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Betsy Ross, 1777 CE

Betsy Ross, 1777 CE


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      Interesting Betsy Ross Facts

      1. She was born as an 8th child in a family of 17 children!

      Can you believe the number of siblings that Betsy Ross had? Personally, I am very sorry for the mom because that must have been very hard to be pregnant for 17 years! Also, could you imagine what it would be like as parents? It would be very hard to remember all the names of the children. Also, the 17th child will be miserable because he would have gotten all the hand-me-downs from his 16 older brothers and sisters! I cannot imagine being in a family of 17 children.

      2. Her original name was not Betsy Ross.

      The last name Ross was from her first husband, John Ross. Her birth name is Elizabeth Griscom, and her nickname was Betsy.

      3. She is a New Year’s Day Baby.

      She was born in January 1, 1752. She was born on a New Years Day! Not many people can say that.

      4. She grew up in a Quaker family.

      Quakers are known for emphasizing friendships, and their famous city is Philadelphia, which is “city of brotherly love.” Her great-grandfather came to the United States to be part of Penn’s holy experiment. Her family kept to the Quaker roots when Betsy was born, so she grew up in a Quaker neighborhood and in Quaker schools.

      5. She married an Episcopal named John Ross.

      After finishing school, Betsy was apprenticed to an upholsterer. There, she met John Ross, and they secretly married. This was a big change for Betsy because Quakers are not allowed to marry outside their faith. The consequences were grave. The Quaker community and her family disowned her.

      6. She had three husbands.

      One interesting fact about Betsy Ross is that she remarried twice. Her first husband was John Ross, where she got her famous last name. He died in 1776 in an explosion while guarding ammunition. Her second husband was Joseph Ashburn, who was a sea captain. However, he lost and was imprisoned. In this imprisonment, he died. Her third husband was the one that brought that Joseph Ashburn had died. His name was John Claypoole, who was imprisoned with Joseph Ashburn, but later was free. It is kind of ironic that she would marry the one that brought the news that her former husband has died.

      7. Did she really sew the first flag? Historians are not sure.

      Here are the Betsy Ross facts. First, there is no concrete evidence that she was the first one to sew the American flag. What we have is a speech by her grandson to a committee. He said that George Washington along with others visited her shop, and he a sketch of the flag to Betsy Ross. She then gave some suggestions, modified the sketch, and sewed it in her porch. Ross’s family members also have signed that they heard from Betsy that she had made the first flag of America. Afterward, she got requests from other places to sow the flag. So, you can decide for yourself if she really did sow the first flag with these facts about Betsy Ross.

      8. She was a businesswoman in colonial America.

      You might say, why is that important? In colonial times, it was because not many women had their own business on their own. It was unique for Betsy to have her own shop. She should be commended for keeping her own shop even in difficult circumstances of war and losing her husbands.

      Like stated before, there are a lot of controversies surrounding whether or not Betsy Ross made the first flag. Regardless, she was a great woman with great ambition and strength. If you liked this article about Betsy Ross facts, check out facts about other historical figures in this page!


      Betsy Ross and the American Flag

      Maybe! The evidence is compelling, though not conclusive. Several of her relatives testified to having heard extensive details of the flag's creation. The testimony is entirely plausible, and no other claimant has ever produced any equally compelling evidence, but no preserved documents from the Continental Congress or the personal correspondence of George Washington or any related figures has emerged to either confirm or contradict the claims made by Betsy's decendents.

      While the evidence is simply not sufficient to definitively classsify it as a fact or a fiction, you can examine that evidence yourself and draw your own conclusions. You can read the testimony of William Canby and the affidavits of Rachel Fletcher, Sophia Hildebrant and Margaret Boggs

      Are these people telling the truth? Is it all a carefully orchestrated hoax? Somewhere in between? That's up to you . . .

      Why do some people think that Betsy Ross's creation of the flag is a myth?

      Betsy's creation of the flag is not an established historical fact, like the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, or Washington's winter at Valley Forge. Those events quite definitely took place, and were public knowledge from the beginning.

      Most of us learned about all those things in school. Upon learning later that Betsy Ross's flag creation has not been established with the same level of certainty as those other events, some conclude that it was therefore a myth or a hoax, like George Washington and the cherry tree. That's a genuine American myth. Betsy is not.

      The available evidence is insufficient to establish Betsy as the creator of the flag with certaintly. But it's entirely plausible and consistent with the evidence we do have. Some suggest that sexism explains the reluctance to accept Betsy's achievements, but perhaps it is simply a misunderstanding of the process of history. Historians don't have all the answers. They don't have a complete and reliable record of the past. Historians need to interpret the available evidence to construct as accurate a picture of the past as they can, and sometimes the available evidence is incomplete and inconclusive. That's very different from a hoax or a myth.

      What do the red, white, and blue of the flag represent?

      The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows:

      • Red: Valor and hardiness,
      • White: Purity and innocence
      • Blue: Vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

      According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.

      Why are the stars in a circle?

      The stars were in a circle so that no one colony would be viewed above another. It is reported that George Washington said, "Let the 13 stars in a circle stand as a new constellation in the heavens."

      If Betsy sewed the flag, who designed it?

      In an affidavit made public in 1870, Betsy Ross's daughter, Rachel Fletcher, testified :

      Why would Betsy Ross be chosen to make the flag?

      It was usual in that day for upholsterers to be flagmakers. As Betsy Ross prayed in the pew next to George Washington and had already sewn buttons for him, and she was a niece of George Ross, it is not exceptional that these members of the Flag Committee formed by the Continental Congress would call upon Betsy Ross to make the flag.

      Was this her house?

      It is known that Betsy Ross rented rooms here. At the time of the alleged flag creation, she was either here at 239 Arch Street or next door at 241 Arch, where the garden is now. House numbers on her street between the years 1785 and 1857 were registered using three different numbering systems, making the determination very tricky. If you are interested in historical detective work, you'll enjoy the methodical, historical approach used by experts: check out the Was this her house? page.

      Where is the first flag?

      We have very little definitive information about the first flag. Betsy's association with the flag arose through an oral history brought to public attention long after the flag's creation. No actual flag exists that is alleged to have been the first flag created by Betsy Ross.

      Why is the flag called "Old Glory"?

      In 1831, Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts, left on one of his many world voyages. Friends presented him with a flag of 24 stars. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze, he exclaimed, "Old Glory." He kept his flag for many years, protecting it during the Civil War, until it was flown over the Tennessee capital. His "Old Glory" became a nickname for all American flags.

      Who was Mary Pickersgill?

      Mary Young Pickersgill sewed the very large (30'x42') Star-Spangled Banner in the summer of 1813. It flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 (1812-1814) and was the inspiration for Francis Scott Key to write what would become our National Anthem. Pickersgill's flag today hangs at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Her house still stands as a museum you can visit in Baltimore, Maryland.

      What is a vexillologist?

      A vexillologist is an expert on flags and ensigns. A vexillum (plural vexilla) is a military standard or flag used by ancient Roman troops.

      Many people discover among their family relics a certificate from the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association. What is it?

      Over two million of these certificates were sold starting in 1898 in order to raise funds needed to preserve the Betsy Ross House. These certificates were receipts or "thank-yous" for contributions of 10 cents. The Association went out of business in 1935. The only "value" to these is the knowledge that the recipient participated in the preservation of the Betsy Ross House.


      Betsy Ross, 1777 CE - History

      Considered essential to the American Revolution, Betsy Ross is credited with sewing the first United States flag . A symbol of patriotism, Ross is often celebrated as the woman who helped George Washington finish the design. Although there is no historical evidence that she created this flag, her story has made her a national icon.

      Betsy Ross was born as Elizabeth Griscom on January 1, 1752. She was the eighth of seventeen children, but only about nine survived childhood. Her father Samuel Griscom owned an old farmhouse and was a successful carpenter in New Jersey. When Ross was only three years old, her parents Samuel and Rebecca Griscom moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ross and her family were members of the Quaker religion and she attended a traditional Quaker school in Pennsylvania. Upon finishing her schooling, Ross became an apprentice for the popular upholsterer, John Webster. Ross learned how to make and repair many items, including curtains, tablecloths, bedcovers, and rugs. She became a very skilled seamstress and upholsterer. While working for Webster, she fell in love with another apprentice named John Ross. John Ross was the son of the former Assistant Rector of Christ Church. The Quakers did not approve of their members marrying people outside of their faith, so Betsy’s family did not approve of her relationship with John Ross.

      On November 4, 1773, Betsy and John ran to Hugg’s Tavern in Gloucester, New Jersey and eloped. Her decision to marry John Ross caused her to split from her family and the Quaker religion when she was only 21-years-old. Betsy and John Ross started their own upholstery business in Philadelphia and became members of Christ Church. Their business was successful, and it is reported that they even made bed hangings for George Washington in 1774. John Ross was also a member of the Pennsylvania militia. After three years of marriage, John Ross passed away. At 24-years-old, Betsy Ross became a widow. She continued to run the upholstery business and worked on uniforms, tents, and flags for the Continental Army.

      Shortly after her first husband’s death, Ross claimed she was recruited for a very important job. According to a speech her grandson gave to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania years after her death, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, visited Ross’ upholstery shop in the summer of 1776. Washington and the two other members of the Continental Congress brought a rough sketch of a flag with thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen six-pointed stars. Ross suggested that the six-pointed stars be changed to five-pointed stars because they were easier to make. Allegedly, she showed them how to make the new stars by folding a piece of paper into triangles and with a “single snip of the scissors” she made a perfect star. The men agreed to change the design. Ross is said to have made the first American flag shortly after that meeting.

      Ross continued working as a seamstress and upholsterer for many years. She married her second husband, Joseph Ashburn on June 15, 1777. They had two daughters, but their first daughter died at nine months old. Ashburn was a merchant sailor during the Revolution and a British warship captured his ship in 1781. He was sent to prison and he died in May of 1782 of an unknown illness. Later that year, a fellow prisoner named John Claypoole visited Ross to tell her that Ashburn passed away. Claypoole and Ross became friends and got married a year later. They enjoyed a 34-year marriage and had five children. Unfortunately, after years of poor health, Claypoole died in 1817. Ross continued to work in her shop until she retired at the age of 76. By 1833, she was completely blind, but she continued to tell the story of how she made the first American flag to her children and grandchildren. She died peacefully in her sleep on January 30, 1836, a few weeks after her 84th birthday.

      In 1870, William Canby brought his grandmother’s story of making the first American flag to the public . He presented a paper to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania recalling the story his grandmother told him. No historical records or documentation could be found to verify his claims. Instead, Canby got family members to sign legal documents stating that Ross also told them this important story. His presentation brought Ross’ life into the spotlight and she became a national icon. Although historians now disagree with Canby’s evidence, Ross is often still credited with making the first American flag. On January 2, 1952, the Betsy Ross stamp was issued to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of her birth. It featured an image of Ross and the flag on her lap.


      History of Flag Day

      Deeply embedded in our American mythos is the story of the seamstress Betsy Ross being commissioned by General George Washington to create a flag for the newly formed United States.

      According to the Library of Congress, Ross sewed American flags in the Ross family’s Philadelphia upholstery shop and probably met Washington, but was not the designer of the first flag.

      Instead, the credit is given to Francis Hopkinson. Hopkinson was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The only evidence pointing to him as the designer of the flag is a bill he submitted to Congress “for designing the flag, you owe me two casks of ale.”

      There is no picture, sketch, or written description of the original flag, so the designer cannot be indisputably identified, but the legend of Betsy Ross as the designer and maker of the first flag of the Revolutionary Period is so ingrained, the flag is referred to as “The Betsy Ross.”

      On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. The original was 13 stripes and 13 stars to represent the 13 colonies. When two states were added, Congress passed a 2nd flag act to add a strip and a star for each additional state. This 15 star and 15 strip flag was known as The Star-Spangled Banner, and flew over Fort McHenry during the war of 1812. It was this flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that became the National Anthem.

      In 1818, Congress passed the 3rd flag act which took the design back to the original 13 alternating red and white stripes representing each of the 13 colonies, with one star representing each state on a blue background. Now as states entered the Union, a star would be added to the flag.

      The shape and arrangement of the stars were left to the flag makers preference until 1912, when President William Howard Taft standardized the star patterns.

      President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation in 1916 establishing a national Flag Day on June 14. In 1949, President Harry Truman signed into law legislation passed by Congress designating June 14 National Flag Day.

      The current version of the flag dates to July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became the 50th state on Aug. 21, 1959.


      Did Betsy Ross really make the first American flag?

      If you grew up in the United States, chances are you've heard the story of Betsy Ross and the first American flag. It's a charming tale that's won its place in many hearts and imaginations, just like other stories about the nation's founding. However, much as we might want to believe it, some historians have come to question the historical accuracy of the Betsy Ross flag story. Before we discuss the controversy, let's go over the famous yarn for those who haven't heard it or who are a little fuzzy on their grade-school history.

      Legend has it that one day in 1776, George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross (a relative of Betsy's) called on Mrs. Ross, an upholsterer and seamstress. The men identified themselves as a congressional committee and asked for her help sewing a flag. Washington reached into his coat pocket and took out a folded paper with a crude sketch of his vision for the flag. The design had 13 red and white stripes as well as 13 stars (each representing the 13 colonies and soon-to-be states). When asked if she could do it, Ross famously replied, "I do not know, but I will try" [source: Betsy Ross House]. Supposedly, Ross suggested one important alteration to Washington's design: Instead of six-pointed stars, she recommended five-pointed ones. The men agreed, and she set to work sewing the first American flag.

      An easily recognizable flag was a practical necessity for the new nation -- especially in battle when communication was slow and difficult. At the outset of the conflict with Britain, the colonies had been using the Union Jack (the British flag) within the design of their own flag. This prompted confusion among British troops when colonists flew their flag outside Boston [source: Crews]. Beyond these practicalities, colonists fighting for independence were ready to distance themselves from their British oppressors. So did Betsy Ross, the humble seamstress from Philadelphia, have a hand in sewing and designing the all-important flag and symbol for the fledgling United States?


      On This Day in History -September 3, 1777

      On this day in history, September 3, 1777, the Battle of Cooch's Bridge is the only battle of the American Revolution to take place in Delaware. It is also the first battle during which the American flag is flown.

      Thomas Cooch House, Newark, Delaware

      British General William Howe landed 17,000 troops at Head of Elk, Maryland on August 25th, 1777, with the goal of capturing Philadelphia, the capital of the rebel Continental Congress. Over the next few days, while Howe unloaded troops and supplies, George Washington and the Continental Army reconnoitered the British army to gauge its strength and intentions.

      Washington's main force was camped near Wilmington, Delaware. Washington himself traveled to the nearby hills overlooking Head of Elk to spy on the British troops. The Commander of the Continental Army placed sentries and small groups of troops at various roads and bridges to watch for British movements and advances, since it was not known which way Howe would try to approach Philadelphia.

      About 1,000 Pennsylvania and Delaware troops were placed under the command of Brigadier General William Maxwell, who had them divided between Iron Hill, the tallest hill in Delaware, near modern day Newark, and the nearby Cooch's Bridge.

      Battle of Cooch's Bridge Memorial, Newark, Delaware

      On September 2, British and German troops under the command of Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis took over Aiken's Tavern about 5 miles east of Head of Elk and 3 miles south of Cooch's Bridge. In the morning, an advance company of Hessian dragoons scouting the road north of the tavern were fired on by Maxwell's light infantry. This brought a rush of German jagers, (light infantry) who engaged the militia.

      Maxwell held for some time, but a German bayonet charge forced him to retreat. The jagers chased Maxwell back to Cooch's Bridge where they made an heroic stand. Eventually, though, they ran out of ammunition and another bayonet charge forced Maxwell to retreat to General Washington's camp at White Clay Creek. The Germans pursued them for a few miles, but turned back to shore up their gains.

      The Battle of Cooch's Bridge would be the only engagement of the American Revolution fought in Delaware. After driving off Maxwell's troops, General Cornwallis occupied Cooch's Bridge and Iron Hill, while General Howe made his headquarters at Aiken's Tavern for the next week.

      The Battle of Cooch's Bridge also has the distinction, according to many historians, of being the first engagement during which the new American flag was flown. The flag was created on June 14, 1777 by the Flag Act of 1777. The act stated that the flag would have "thirteen stripes, alternate red and white that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

      According to legend, Betsy Ross then created the flag at the request of George Washington. There is debate, however, about the accuracy of the Betsy Ross flag story, which you can learn more about at our Betsy Ross Flag page.


      Betsy Ross, 1777 CE - History

      1777 Betsy Ross Old Glory United States History Collection Commemorative Continental Meeting Coin 1777 Betsy Ross Old Glory United States History Collection Commemorative Continental Meeting Coin

      Availability Availability 504 In stock

      Product Type Product Type Coin

      Material: Gold Plated
      Style: American Style
      Technique: Plated
      Regional Feature: us
      Year: 1840 & Earlier
      Theme: Patriotism
      Condition: Brand New and High Quality
      Coin Color: Gold/Silver
      Coin Size: 40mm*3mm
      Coin Weight: About 1OZ
      Fade: No
      Theme: Betsy Ross
      Style1: Challenge Coin USA
      Usage:.

      Material: Gold Plated
      Style: American Style
      Technique: Plated
      Regional Feature: us
      Year: 1840 & Earlier
      Theme: Patriotism
      Condition: Brand New and High Quality
      Coin Color: Gold/Silver
      Coin Size: 40mm*3mm
      Coin Weight: About 1OZ
      Fade: No
      Theme: Betsy Ross
      Style1: Challenge Coin USA
      Usage:.

      Material: Gold Plated
      Style: American Style
      Technique: Plated
      Regional Feature: us
      Year: 1840 & Earlier
      Theme: Patriotism
      Condition: Brand New and High Quality
      Coin Color: Gold/Silver
      Coin Size: 40mm*3mm
      Coin Weight: About 1OZ
      Fade: No
      Theme: Betsy Ross
      Style1: Challenge Coin USA
      Usage: Collection and Home Decor
      Packing: Coin Capsule

      Material: Gold Plated
      Style: American Style
      Technique: Plated
      Regional Feature: us
      Year: 1840 & Earlier
      Theme: Patriotism
      Condition: Brand New and High Quality
      Coin Color: Gold/Silver
      Coin Size: 40mm*3mm
      Coin Weight: About 1OZ
      Fade: No
      Theme: Betsy Ross
      Style1: Challenge Coin USA
      Usage: Collection and Home Decor
      Packing: Coin Capsule

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      Returns Policy

      You may return most new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. We'll also pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.)

      You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

      If you need to return an item, simply login to your account, view the order using the 'Complete Orders' link under the My Account menu and click the Return Item(s) button. We'll notify you via e-mail of your refund once we've received and processed the returned item

      Shipping

      We can ship to virtually any address in the world. Note that there are restrictions on some products, and some products cannot be shipped to international destinations.

      When you place an order, we will estimate shipping and delivery dates for you based on the availability of your items and the shipping options you choose. Depending on the shipping provider you choose, shipping date estimates may appear on the shipping quotes page.

      Please also note that the shipping rates for many items we sell are weight-based. The weight of any such item can be found on its detail page. To reflect the policies of the shipping companies we use, all weights will be rounded up to the next full pound.


      Betsy Ross

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      Betsy Ross, née Elizabeth Griscom, (born January 1, 1752, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [U.S.]—died January 30, 1836, Philadelphia), seamstress who, according to family stories, fashioned and helped design the first flag of the United States.

      Elizabeth Griscom, the eighth of 17 children, was brought up as a member of the Society of Friends, educated in Quaker schools, and became an apprentice to a Philadelphia upholsterer. She married another upholsterer’s apprentice, John Ross, in 1773 and was disowned by the Society of Friends for marrying outside the faith. By 1775 the Rosses had opened a small shop in the commercial district of Philadelphia where they lived. John was killed in January 1776 soon after he joined a local militia company to fight in the American Revolution. Betsy continued to work as a seamstress and upholsterer. In June 1777 she married Joseph Ashburn, who would die in prison in England in 1782 after the merchant marine brigantine on which he was serving was captured during the war. In 1783 Betsy married again, this time to John Claypoole, who had been imprisoned with Ashburn and brought the news of his death and with whom Betsy joined the newly formed Free Quakers. Betsy ran her upholstery business with Claypoole and then for years afterward with her daughters, granddaughters, and nieces, producing flags among other objects.

      The story that Betsy Ross made and helped design the American flag has been disseminated since her grandson William Canby presented his paper “The History of the Flag of the United States” to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870. According to Canby’s account, his grandmother not only made the first Stars and Stripes at George Washington’s behest but also helped design it. Canby based his paper on stories that he had heard from family members, along with his own memories of his grandmother’s tales of her involvement in making flags.

      Canby claimed that in June 1776 Washington and a committee from the Continental Congress asked his grandmother to make a flag for the new country on the verge of declaring its independence. The story then goes on to say that Ross made suggestions to improve a rough sketch of the flag that was presented to her—including the use of the five-pointed star rather than the six-pointed one chosen by Washington—and Washington incorporated her suggestions. Ross then fashioned the flag in her back parlour—again, according to the legend.

      On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag of the United States. It is known that Ross made flags for the navy, but there is no firm evidence in support of the popular story about her making (and designing) the national flag. Since the turn of the 20th century, the Betsy Ross House on Arch Street in Philadelphia has been a museum though it is debatable whether Ross actually ever lived or worked in this house, it is likely that she did live and work in the vicinity.

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