Betsy Ross Essay

485 WordsApr 30, 20122 Pages
Andrew was successful at his trade. He was also of firm Quaker belief, and he was inspired to move to Philadelphia to become an early participant in Penn's "holy experiment." He purchased 495 acres of land in the Spring Garden section north of the city of Philadelphia (the section would later be incorporated as part of the city), and received a plot of land within the city proper. Griscom's son and grandson both became respected carpenters as well. Both have their names inscribed on a wall at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, home of the oldest trade organization in the country. Griscom's grandson Samuel helped build the bell tower at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall). He married Rebecca James who was a member of a prominent Quaker merchant family. It was not unusual for people in those days to have many children, so it is only somewhat surprising to learn that they had 17! Elizabeth Griscom — also called Betsy, their eighth child and a fourth-generation American, was born on January 1, 1752. Betsy went to a Friends (Quaker) public school. For eight hours a day she was taught reading, writing, and received instruction in a trade — probably sewing. After completing her schooling, Betsy's father apprenticed her to a local upholsterer. Today we think of upholsterers primarily as sofa-makers and such, but in colonial times they performed all manner of sewing jobs, including flag-making. It was at her job that Betsy fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross, who was the son of an Episcopal assistant rector at Christ Church. Quakers frowned on inter-denominational marriages. The penalty for such unions was severe — the guilty party being "read out" of the Quaker meeting house. Getting "read out" meant being cut off emotionally and economically from both family and meeting house. One's entire history and community would be instantly

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