Betsy Ross: The Life Behind the Legend - Betsy Ross: Businesswoman

"Betsy Ross' House, Philadelphia", circa 1900, by Detroit Press, Shorpy, Fair Use.

Betsy ran her shop alone, advertising that she was using American material (hard to find suitable fabric, but somehow Betsy managed) and that she was a true “Buy American” patriot. Business was slow, as many people chose to put off buying luxury goods until after the crisis blew over. She was also in competition with three other fabric shops who had large staffs and more money.

Betsy was worried. She realized that her future might be ensured if she specialized in prospective orders from the wartime government of Pennsylvania and the Continental Congress.  She knew her financial and political security lie with making contracts to supply military goods. Despite her Quaker upbringing, which encouraged her to steer clear of war activities, Betsy knew she had to embrace the revolution.

It was difficult for a single woman to be in business alone in the 18th century, but Betsy eked out a living they only way she could.


Original Release: Sep 12, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Sep 10, 2016

1) Salmon, Marylynn, Legal Status of Women, 177601830, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Jul/12/2016, Jul/12/2016, http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/womens-history/essays/legal-status-women-1776%E2%80%9318

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"Betsy Ross: Businesswoman" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 12, 2016. Oct 16, 2019.
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