Betsy Ross Day - January 2
- 2013 1 Jan
JANUARY 2nd is Betsy Ross Day. Born a day earlier, January 1, 1752, into the Quaker "Griscom" family in Philadelphia, she was 8th of 17 children. Apprenticed as a seamstress, Betsy 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, the Ross' 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 for war supplies but was captured and sent to Old Mill Prison, where he died in 1782. Another prisoner, John Claypoole, brought news of his death to Betsy, and in May of 1783, John Claypoole married Betsy at Christ Church and together they had 5 children.