Betsy Ross

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Betsy Ross

While most people admire the ones who wrote the Declaration of

Independence, the ones who flew in space, and the ones who fought in

wars, but one person outshined the rest of them. That person was Betsy Ross.

Without Betsy Ross we would not have the amazing American Flag that we have

today.

She was born Elizabeth Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Samuel

and Rebecca James Griscom. Betsy went to a Quaker public school. For eight

hours a day, Betsy was taught reading, writing and sometimes sewing. She

married John Ross, an Anglican, in 1773, and she was expelled from the

Friends Meeting for marrying outside the meeting. John and Betsy started a

upholstery business together. John was killed in January 1776 on militia duty

when gunpowder exploded at the Philadelphia waterfront. Betsy continued to

work at the shop by herself. In 1777 Betsy married Joseph Ashburn, a sailor, who

had the bad luck of being on a ship captured by the British in 1781. He died

the next year in prison. In 1783, Betsy married again, this time to a man named

John Claypoole, who had been in prison with her previous husband. John

met Betsy when he delivered Joseph's farewells to her. He died in 1817, after a

long disability.

In May or June of 1776 Betsy had a visit from George Washington,

Robert Morris, and George Ross. At the time, George Washington was the head

of the Continental Army, Robert Morris owed a lot of land, and was the most

wealthy person in the colonies, and George Ross was a very respected man who

was the uncle of Betsy's late husband, John Ross. They asked her to sew the

very first American Flag. Of course Betsy knew George Ross, but she was also a

friend of George Washington. Betsy and Washington worshiped together at

Christ Church in Philadelphia. Betsy's daughter recalled, "That she was

previously well acquainted with Washington, and that he had often...
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