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Friday, January 02, 2009

Betsy Ross Day

American Minute from William J. Federer

JANUARY 2nd is Betsy Ross Day.

Born a day earlier, January 1, 1752, to a Quaker family in Philadelphia, she was 8th of 17 children.

Apprenticed as a seamstress, she fell in love with upholsterer John Ross, son of an Episcopal rector at Christ Church and nephew of George Ross, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

As Quakers forbade interdenominational marriage, John and Betsy eloped, being married by New Jersey Governor William Franklin, Ben Franklin's son.

Attending Christ's Church with Jefferson, Hamilton and Franklin, their pew number 12 was near George Washington's.

During the Revolution, John Ross died when a munitions depot he was guarding blew up. Shortly after, in June 1776, General Washington reportedly asked Betsy Ross to sew the American Flag.

In 1777, Betsy married sea captain Joseph Ashburn at the Old Swedes Church. That winter the British forcibly quartered in their home.

Joseph Ashburn sailed to the West Indies to get war supplies, but was captured by the British and sent to Old Mill Prison, where he died in 1782.

Another prisoner there was John Claypoole, who married Betsy in May 1783 at Christ Church and together they had 5 children.

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


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