19 of 23
Bronze Bell of Illinois
Louis XV of France presented this 650 pound bell cast in 1741 to Kaskaskia for the French Jesuits, traders and soldiers quartered there. The fort was held by the British during the Revolutionary War and it was this bell, eleven years older than the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, that called the people together July 4, 1778, to hear George Rogers Clark announcing his defeat of the British held site. Kaskaskia became the first capital of Illinois from 1818 to 1820.
George Rogers Clark was the older brother of William Clark who penetrated the wilderness to the Pacific Ocean in 1804-06 with Merriwether Lewis.