Betsy Ross Made Me Love to Read
I guess I shouldn’t say Betsy Ross made me love to read; I should say Betsy Ross opened my eyes to a whole new world. When I was in the third grade, we were assigned a book report on any biography of our choosing. “Great!” I thought. “Now I have to read some boring book!” I was not thrilled with this assignment, but I was a good student and usually did what I was told. Biographies for third graders were not like the biographies most people think of. These biographies were written like stories based on factual events. I’m not sure why I chose the story of Betsy Ross. It may have been because she was female, or it may have been my curiosity about how a woman was chosen to sew the flag of our nation.
The author took me back to the 1700’s, and made me feel like I was right there alongside Betsy. The story told of Betsy Griscom’s childhood raised with her sixteen siblings in the Quaker Church. Although Betsy knew she would be expelled from the Church and split from her family for marrying outside her faith, she married John Ross when she was 21 years old. The courage it took for Betsy to go against her family’s wishes was inspirational. I could not comprehend how she was able to leave everything she had ever known. The story went on to tell how the two of them began an upholstery business together since Betsy had excellent sewing skills. John and Betsy attended the First Christ Church in Philadelphia, and sat across the aisle from George and Martha Washington. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel personally knowing the man who was soon to become President of the United States. Betsy frequently embroidered ruffles for George Washington’s shirts and cuffs. In June of 1776, she was asked to sew the American Flag by George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross. The author was able to tell Betsy’s story in such a way that I was fascinated and mesmerized. I learned that books didn’t have...
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