Betsy Ross

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by sbird
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
Historical biographies

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Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross

Elizabeth (Betsy) Griscom was born January 1, 1752. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She had 16 siblings and was the 8th born. Her family were Quakers, so she attended Quaker schools and learned sewing and many other crafts.

Early life/Childhood

Betsy began aprenticing at a local upholsterer, after she had finnished schooling. She met John Ross when she was 17, during this apprenticship. John was an Aglican and Betsy's Quaker family strictly forbade marriage outside of their religion. Despite their family's opinions, John and Betsy married in 1772. They eventually opened an upholstery business on their own.

Young adult/Marriage

Betsy's Husband, John, died in 1776, after the start of the revolutionary war. He was killed by a gunpowder explosion on the Philadelphia waterfront. After his death, Betsy kept the upholstery business, making flags for Pennsylvania. Later, Betsy married a sailor named Joseph Ashburn and had two daughters. Soon after, his ship was captured by the Brittish and he later died in Prison. In 1783 she married again to John Claypoole, who was the man who told her of her previous husbands death. They had five daughters.

Before George Washington was a general in the army he visited the Ross house often. Betsy had embroidered his shirt ruffles many times. Later in 1776 when Washington was General of the Continental army, he brought two representatives of congress (Colonel Ross and Robert Morrito) to her home. They asked her to make a flag based on the drawings they had done. This was when the first American flag was made.

Upholstery business

Adult life/Marriage

Betsy Ross died on January 30, 1836, in Philadelphia. The Story of her flag making wasnt shared until around 50 years after her death. It was shared by her grandson. Although many historians believe it wasnt actually Betsy who made the first american flag, the story is still well known and her house is one of the most visited tourist sites in Pennsylvania. Betsy Ross is a great example of important women in American history.


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