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Betsy Ross: The Life Behind the Legend - Betsy and George Washington

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

History was uncovered in late 2014 when George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon was under refurbishment.

Workers discovered some of Washington’s papers in a third-story bedroom that were later identified as a cash ledger. This discovery confirmed that George Washington had first met Betsy and John Ross in 1774 when he purchased mattresses and bed coverings from them. Washington ordered those bedcoverings for Nelly Custis' Mount Vernon bedchamber. (See this Mount Vernon room-by-room tour.)

Washington was in Philadelphia, for the initial meetings of the Continental Congress, and stopped by the Ross’ shop to contract them to make the bed hangings. Washington had contacts and secured the fabric himself for the Rosses to produce his order.

Washington was from Virginia, so he relied on the recommendation of a friend that the Rosses did excellent work. This is how he knew Betsy Ross and the quality of her work. 

Eighteen months later, after Betsy's husband had died and she was running the business alone—with the American Revolution in full swing—Washington returned to her shop. This time he would commission the first flag for the new country.

Original Release: Sep 12, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Sep 29, 2017


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"Betsy and George Washington" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 12, 2016. Oct 20, 2017.
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