Liberty Bell

Topics: Philadelphia, Allentown, Pennsylvania, Liberty Bell Pages: 7 (2154 words) Published: January 9, 2007
The Liberty Bell, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an American bell of great historic significance. The Liberty Bell is perhaps one of the most prominent symbols associated with the American Revolution and the American Revolutionary War. It is one of the most familiar symbols of independence, abolition of slavery, nationhood and freedom within the United States, and has been used as an international icon of liberty. [1]

Its most famous ringing, on July 8, 1776, summoned citizens of Philadelphia for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Previously, it had been rung to announce the opening of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and after the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775.

The Liberty Bell was known as the "Old State House bell" until 1837, when it was adopted by the American Anti-Slavery Society as a symbol of the abolitionist movement. [2] Contents

* 1 Inscription
* 2 Casting and early history
* 3 19th-century history, repair and crack
* 4 20th and 21st century
* 5 Description and composition
* 6 Replicas of the Liberty Bell
* 7 Sister Bell
* 8 See also
* 9 External links
* 10 References

[edit] Inscription

The inscription on the Liberty Bell reads as follows:


The source of the inscription is Leviticus 25:10, which reads "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family." The inscription was intended to mark the 50th anniversary of William Penn's Charter of Privileges of 1701.

[edit] Casting and early history

The bell was ordered in 1751 by the Pennsylvania Assembly for use in the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia. It was cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London and delivered to Philadelphia in late August/early September 1752.

In March 1753, the bell was hung from temporary scaffolding in the square outside of the State House. To the dismay of onlookers, the bell cracked the first time it was rung. Isaac Norris, speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly, wrote "I had the mortification to hear that it was cracked by a stroke of the clapper without any further violence as it was hung up to try the sound." [2]

While a replacement from Whitechapel was ordered, the bell was recast by John Pass and John Stow of Philadelphia, whose surnames appear inscribed on the bell. Pass & Stow added copper to the composition of the alloy used to cast the bell, and the tone of the new bell proved unsatisfactory. The two recast the bell yet again, restoring the correct balance of metal, and this third bell was hung in the steeple of the State House in June 1753. [3]

The bell remained in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House through the start of the American Revolution, when the Second Continental Congress used the building for its deliberations in 1775 to 1776.

In September 1777, as the Revolutionary War intensified and the British attempted to seize Philadelphia, the bell was moved north, to the Pennsylvania village of Northamptontown (present-day Allentown). The bell was hidden under the floor of Old Zion Reformed Church, where it remained until the British evacuated Philadelphia in 1778, when it was returned to Philadelphia. Today, in the basement of this center-city Allentown church, is the Liberty Bell Museum, which houses the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's official replica of the Liberty Bell. Close-up of the Liberty Bell. Inscribed are the names of John Pass and John Stow, together with city and date, along the inscription "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land...
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