Legend has it that as the American colonies hurtled toward independence, representatives of the Continental Congress, including George Washington, walked into Betsy Ross’s Philadelphia upholstery shop and commissioned the first flag of the Revolutionary nation. Although this story has long made Betsy Ross one of America’s most celebrated patriots, little had been known until now about the woman behind the flag.
Drawing on new sources and bringing a fresh, keen eye to the fabled creator of “the first flag,” Marla R. Miller thoroughly reconstructs the life behind the legend. This authoritative and thoughtful work provides a close look at the famous seamstress, and along the way delivers an epic depiction of the tensions that animated life in Revolutionary Philadelphia. At the same time, Miller casts new light on the lives of the hardworking artisan families who peopled the young nation and crafted its furniture, clothing, ships, and homes.
This history of the ordinary craftspeople of the Revolutionary War and their most famous representative will be the definitive volume for years to come.