Historically Speaking

I love history, and I especially love places that have a storied history.  I grew up in Northeastern New Jersey in a town that was home to the Thomas Edison Museum.  Not too far away was Morristown, a place in New Jersey known as the Military Capital of the American Revolution.  If you think about it, living anywhere within the 13 original colonial states puts in the midst of American History.

Now, I live in Pennsylvania, and you probably know this if you’ve been following my blog.  I’ve been here for almost ten years now, and it has taken some time for me to get over New Jersey – the Garden State – and all the wonderful history it was known for.

Pennsylvania, however, has quite a history itself, and now that I’m settling in, my curiosity is growing.  I mean, immediately, things like Ben Franklin, Philadelphia and the Declaration of Independence, and the Liberty Bell come to mind.

The featured photo you see above was taken by me this past Saturday, I noticed it while walking to get my haircut, and I’ve heard stories before about the hiding of the Liberty Bell, but I did not know Allentown was formally known as Northampton.  Today, Northampton is a completely different and separate town here in Pennsylvania.

But back to the Liberty Bell…

like I said, I’ve heard stories before going back twenty years or so about America hiding the Liberty Bell from the British Army during the Revolution, but seeing the sign kind of confirmed the rumors.  It also made me want to research the situation.

Here’s what I discovered….

The Liberty Bell is one of the most iconic symbols representing American freedom and independence.

(When I first moved to Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania was known as the State of Independence as shown on a welcoming sign if you crossed over the border coming from New Jersey on Rt. 78, but someone changed it to something about being happy.  I’m upset about that. Just saying.)

So, the Liberty Bell is one of the most iconic symbols representing American freedom and independence.  It was used to summon lawmakers to legislative meetings, and it was cracked shortly after its arrival in Philadelphia.  I guess it was rung to hard, but craftsmen John Pass and John Stow repaired it twice.

After America secured its independence from Britian, the Bell disappeared, kind of, for about 60 years, and finally resurfaced in the 1830s.  I would like to say how amazing all this is considering how relatively new American history is.

The connection between Allentown and the Liberty Bell is as follows…in September 1777, the British defeated George Washington’s troops at Brandywine Creek.  Citizens, who were in a panic and defenseless against British occupancy ordered several Bells including the Liberty Bell be removed from the State House and hidden to prevent the British from melting them and making weapons.  The Liberty Bell was hidden in the basement of an Allentown Church.

People originally from Pennsylvania, and hard core history buffs will probably dispute this and say the Bell was hidden in Quakertown.  I don’t know enough to invite myself in on this argument, but as part of my research, I’ll gladly listen to all sides.

I’m looking forward to it.

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