Ross, Betsy

Ross, Betsy,

1752–1836, American seamstress, b. Philadelphia. Her full name was Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole. She is known to have made flags during the American Revolution, although the long-accepted story that she designed and made the first American national flag (the Stars and Stripes) is generally discredited. The flag may have been designed by Francis HopkinsonHopkinson, Francis,
1737–91, American writer and musician, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Philadelphia. A practicing lawyer, Hopkinson was also an accomplished poet, essayist, and musician and is considered the first native American composer of a secular
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See R. Thompson, The Last of Philadelphia's Free Quakers (1972).

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Ross, Betsy (b. Elizabeth Griscom)

(1752–1836) seamstress; born in Philadelphia. Although she was a well-known seamstress and the official flagmaker for the Pennsylvania Navy, there is no real evidence that she designed or made the first flag of the United States (in 1776). The story was first told in 1870 by a grandson.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.