Newly Discovered Original of Betsy Ross’s Husband’s Diary Confirms ‘Profound Sacrifices’ Flagmaker and Her Family Made to Create United States

John Claypoole Betsy Ross
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The original diary of John Claypoole, the third husband of Betsy Ross, the seamstress often credited as the maker of the first American flag, has recently been found, writes Natalie Pompilio for The Washington Post.

The 240-year-old record details the John Claypoole capture by the British as a prisoner of war and being charged with high treason against the king. It also covers his time at Old Mill Prison near Plymouth.

One of the notes talks about watching, in 1782 as “M. Joseph Ashburn departed this life after an illness of about a week which he bore with amazing fortitude & resignation.”

Ashburn was married to Betsy Ross at the time. Her first husband also died during the war.

While the diary predates John Claypoole’s relationship with Ross, it gives perspective to her place in the nation’s founding, according to Philip Mead, chief historian, and curator at Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution.

“This really taps into the profound sacrifices she and her family made to create the United States,” said Mead. “Whether she created the first flag or not, she certainly helped create the country.”

Read more about Betsy Ross in The Washington Post.