A 3-cent stamp honoring Betsy Ross was issued in Philadelphia, Jan. 2, 1952, commemorating the 200th anniversary of her birth. Born a day earlier, Jan. 1, 1752, to a Quaker family in Philadelphia, Betsy was the eighth of 17 children.
Betsy apprenticed as a seamstress and fell in love with upholsterer John Ross, son of an Episcopal rector at Christ Church and nephew of Declaration signer, George Ross. George Ross, the son of an Anglican clergyman, was a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Constitutional Convention, being elected its first vice-president.
George Ross was a colonel in the Continental Army and later an admiralty judge in Pennsylvania where he refused to acknowledge the authority of the federal court over state decisions. George Ross’ sister married George Read, another signer of the Declaration.
As Quakers forbade interdenominational marriage, John and Betsy eloped, being married by the last colonial Governor of New Jersey William Franklin, the son of Ben Franklin. John and Betsy Ross attended Christ’s Church with George Washington, Robert Morris, Francis Hopkins, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
The Ross’ pew, number 12, was next to a column adjoining George Washington’s pew number 56 and not far from Ben Franklin’s pew number 70. 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 an American Flag.