History Tea

Timeline created by zoeowenss
In History
  • Birth

    Elizabeth Griscom, also known as Betsy was born. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Betsy was the eighth child, and a fourth-generation American.
  • First Marriage

    While apprenticed to a local upholsterer, Betsy fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross. The marriage caused a split in Betsy's family, due to the fact that she was a Quaker and John was the son of an Episcopal assistant rector at Christ Church, and inter-deniminational marriages were frowned upon by Quakers. Eventually, John joined the Pennsylvania militia, but was wounded in an explosion and died on January 21, leaving Betsy a widow.
  • Sewing the Flag

    In late May 1776, a meeting took place with a secret committee of congress, including George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris. They asked Betsy to sew the first American flag.
  • Second Marriage

    Betsy married sea captain Joseph Ashburn in Philadelphia. They had two children Zillah, who died in her youth, and Elizabeth. On a trip to the West Indies to get war supplies, Joseph was captured by British and sent to Old Mill Prison in England, where he died in March 1782.
  • Flag Was Adopted

    In June of 1777, Congress adopted the flag that Betsy had sewn to be the national US flag. They were seeking to promote national pride and unity by doing this.
  • Third Marriage

    Betsy married John Claypoole, another sailor who was imprisoned at Old Mill. She convinced him to abandon the sea life and find a job on land. They had five daughters, one died at nine months, the others all lived. John died in 1817 after years of being sick. Betsy never remarried.
  • Joined the Society of Free Quakers

    Betsy returned to her Quaker roots when she and John Claypoole joined this society. Unlike most Quakers, who believed in peace, the Society of Free Quakers supported freedom from the British rule.
  • More Flags

    Betsy made six 18 by 24 foot garrison flags to be sent to New Orleans. The following year, she made 27 flags for the Indian Department.
  • Retirement

    After working as an upholsterer for over 50 years, Betsy retired. She left town and moved to her daughter, Susannah's farm in the northern suburb of Abington.
  • Death

    Betsy died in Philadelphia. Her last decade alive was spent in quiet retirement, as she was blind. She died in her sleep at the age of 84.
  • Getting Credit for the Flag

    As more excitement was brought towards the flag, stories were made up about who really made it, because it wasn't made clear that Betsy made the flag. Her grandson, William Canby finally made the story public when he told the family tale to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, making it known that Betsy made the flag.
  • Postal Stamp of Honor

    The United States Postal Service made a stamp to honor the 200th anniversary of Betsy's birth. The stamp shows her presenting the flag to George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris.