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Betsy's Great-Grandfather, Andrew Griscom, migrated to New Jersey and then Philadelphia in 1680. After completing her schooling her father apprenticed Betsy to an upholsterer where she fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross. Betsy learned of Joseph's demise from an old friend, John Claypoole, who was also captured and imprisoned at the Old Mill.
Betsy died at her daughter's home on January 30th, 1836, at the ripe old age of 84 and was buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia. In 1977 she and husband John Claypoole's remains were removed from Mount Moriah Cemetery and reinterred in the garden of the Betsy Ross House, where they can be viewed today. In March of 1870, undoubtedly for the forthcoming centennial, Betsy Ross' grandson, William Canby delivered a paper before the Pennsylvania Historical Society. Pro: True enough, but the question is not whether or not Canby can be trusted but whether we can trust Betsy Ross. Con: Again, citing Canby, he stated that Betsy said there was a debate over the flag design. It is hard to believe that artists known for their eye for accuracy and detail, would make an error and include a flag that did not exist at the time.


However there appears to be a great deal of circumstantial evidence supporting the claim that it was Betsy Ross. In the case of whether or not Betsy Ross did create the first American flag, there is no supporting documentation, just a lot of circumstantial evidence. He died in March 1782 in England's infamous Old Mill Prison leaving thirty year old Betsy a two time war widow.
It is clear that Canby and the other members of the family based their affidavits on their recollection of what Betsy told them. She and Samuel Wetherill, a long time friend of Betsy, were the last two members of the Free Quaker Meeting House in Philadelphia.
Betsy's skill with a needle drew customers like George Washington while he was serving at the Second Continental Congress. Eighteenth century people frowned on self-aggrandizement and when Betsy was telling her story, there were numerous people living who could have criticized it. Congressman Robert Morris and General George Washington worshiped at Christ Church, as did Betsy.
His paintings, in which he went to great efforts for accuracy, depicted the Betsy Ross Flag in both pictures.


The only thing of importance that is at stake is the continuation of the Betsy Ross House Museum in Philadelphia.The question still remains. Washington was probably introduced to her by George Ross, a delegate from Philadelphia and the uncle of her husband. Betsy continued in her upholstery business unti1 1827, when she retired and moved in with her daughter Susannah (Satterthwaite) who lived in Abington, just north of Philadelphia. However, Canby's report was widely accepted and in the July 1873 issue of Harper's Weekly, the story was retold. The tradition of the Wetherill family states that Samuel visited Betsy shortly after the Congressional delegation had accepted her flag. Apparently Samuel spotted the paper template that Betsy had made to ensure that each star was identical in size.



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