IntroductionOf all of the famous American Revolutionary women in history, the woman who shall forever stand out as an icon to so many is Betsy Ross. Although there is no actual historical evidence she is widely regarded as the person who sewed the very first American Flag. A patriotic symbol, such as a flag, was just what the American colonist needed as a symbol to help unite them during the war for independence. As the eighth of seventeen kids, her love of sewing flourished during her childhood where, as a Quaker, she was taught many crafts. Not only is her life interesting because of the flag, but the facts and information below highlight her struggles as a widowed business owner, which are just as impressive.
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Betsy Ross Interesting Facts
- Betsy Ross was born as Elizabeth Griscom on January 1, 1752.
- Her first marriage was to John Ross in 1772, for whom she went outside of the Quaker religion to marry. This action caused her Quaker place of worship to expel her and her own family to disown her.
- Together, she and John Ross began their own upholstery business with the knowledge and skills she had gained as an apprentice to John Webster.
- Sadly, Betsy Ross's first husband, John Ross, was killed while on militia duty. She became a widow who worked night and day to keep her company going on her own.
- Joseph Ashburn became her next husband and he too tragically died young. In 1780 his boat was captured by the British upon which he was charged with treason. He was sent to prison where he died the following year.
- Betsy Ross was married for a third time in 1783 to a man named John Claypoole. They went on to have five children together and continued to run an upholstery shop together. In 1817, she was widowed for the last time when John passed away.
- It is widely believed that in June of 1776, President George Washington, George Ross and Robert Morris paid a visit to Betsy Ross at which point they asked her to design and sew the very first flag.
- The tourist attraction, the Betsy Ross House, is said to be the place where the first flag was created. There is no definitive proof, however, that she even lived there.
- After the first flag was sewn, the Pennsylvania State Navy paid her to manufacture flags.
- A truss bridge, which crosses the Delaware River, was named after Betsy Ross. It has the distinction of being the first automotive bridge to be named after a woman.
Betsy Ross Later Years Facts
- Betsy had made a point of teaching her daughters to sew and before she died, she turned over her upholstery business to them.
- Betsy Ross was 84 when she died in 1836 in Philadelphia.
- Betsy Ross had an unusual amount of burials. First she was buried at the Free Quaker burial ground in Philadelphia. Twenty years later her remains were brought to Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia. Her remains were moved again in 1975 when the city of Philadelphia had the remains moved to the courtyard by the Betsy Ross House.