Ask the Editors: The Liberty Bell
I was always told that the Liberty Bell had an inscription inside the bell. Apparently, the names of different people who helped fix the bell are there. Could you please check this out and let me know where I can look for a write up about it?
We went just short of asking someone to stick their head inside the bell to answer your very interesting question. There is no record of any names being inscribed inside of the Liberty Bell, but two are on the outside.
The following inscription was ordered by Issac Norris, Assembly Speaker and Chairman of the State House Superintendents in Philadelphia:
Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof Lev. XXV X
By Order of the ASSEMBLY of the Province of PENSYLVANIA for the State House in Philada.
(The verse in Leviticus reads, in full, "And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.")
Historians disagree about what the passage refers to, but there is no mistaking that "Pensylvania" is spelled with one "n" instead of two. Perhaps Norris, who was known for his opposition to the influential Penn family, was making a "mistake" on purpose.
Below the above inscription is:
PASS AND STOW
John Pass and John Stow recast the bell in 1753, after the original version-delivered in 1752-cracked on its first ringing.
For more information, see the Liberty Bell FAQ.