In honor of Women’s History Month, the ASK THE STRATEGIST blog is launching Women of Influence: Leaders Past, Present, and Future. During the month of March, we will feature audacious, awesome women who contribute, or have contributed, to communities across the globe.
January 1, 1752 – January 30, 1836
Betsy Ross, an American icon (source: Biography.com)
It is fitting that the first woman featured today, International Women’s Day, is Betsy Ross. Born in Philadelphia on January 1, 1752, Elizabeth Griscom Ross was the eighth of seventeen children born to Samuel and Rebecca James Griscom. Ross married her first husband at age 21, John, with whom she established an upholstery and seamstress business.
Famous for fashioning the American flag presented to George Washington in 1776 to commemorate the country’s independence from Great Britain, Ross was a successful entrepreneur in 18th century Philadelphia. What makes her occupation an even rarer occurrence is that Ross maintained the upholstery business after the deaths of her first husband, John, and indeed, after her second and third husbands, Captain Joseph Ashburn and John Claypoole, respectively.
While Ross’ legend revolves around Old Glory, and the debate about whether she designed the original flag, the fact remains that this “patriot of Philadelphia,” Betsy Ross continues to inspire civic pride and patriotism.
So, we celebrate Betsy Ross on March 8, 2012 – International Women’s Day – for her lasting contributions as a pioneering woman entrepreneur whose work in the 1700s continues to resonate centuries later.
Betsy Ross’ family were devout members of the Quaker Society
Ross’ family ostracized her when she married John Ross, an Episcopalian
She was a fourth-generation American
Betsy Ross, http://www.biography.com/people/betsy-ross-9464205
Betsy Ross, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross
Betsy Ross, http://www.answers.com/topic/betsy-ross
Talk Back: Tell us about the women – past present and future – who inspire you in the comments section.
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