American Legends: The Life of Betsy Ross

American Legends: The Life of Betsy Ross

by Charles River Editors

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"A nation thrills, a nation bleeds,
A nation follows where it leads,
And every man is proud to yield
His life upon a crimson field
For Betsy's battle flag.” – Minna Irving, “Betsy’s Battle Flag”

A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors’ American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America’s most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.

Betsy Ross is one of the few women in American history whose name is known to every American, but that is not the only reason she’s such a unique figure. Indeed, Betsy Ross is a true rarity in that she has been turned into a mythological heroine. Every country has legends, and tales that grow out of its founding, but given that the United States is a relatively young country, there is ample historical information on the lives and exploits of its Founders. Though there are apocryphal myths attached to men like George Washington, who did not chop down the cherry tree, American legends are usually famous for what they actually did.

This is not the case with Betsy Ross, who remains best known for creating the first American flag at Washington’s behest. But that story is based entirely on legend and rumor, and as such, her life is interesting more as a symbol than as an individual life. Historian Marla Miller, author of the definitive biography of Ross, explains this dilemma: “From start to finish, Betsy Ross remained elusive to me as an individual. What I could see far more clearly was the several generations of a Pennsylvania family whose fortunes fluctuated over time and space, for whom the Revolution was arguably more bane than boon, their patriotic family storytelling notwithstanding.”

Given that nothing else about her life is remembered like the legend of the first flag, Betsy Ross remains an elusive historical figure, even though she lived a long life that saw the conception, birth and childhood of her country. Had she lived in Georgia or Vermont, no one would have ever heard of her, but she lived in Philadelphia, the center of the action in the late 18th century. Ross was a witness to many of the events that have since become legendary themselves.

American Legends: The Life of Betsy Ross looks at the life of Betsy Ross and analyzes how her legend and legacy were created over the centuries. Along with pictures, you will learn about Betsy Ross like you never have before, in no time at all.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015769036
Publisher: Charles River Editors
Publication date: 11/20/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 563,796
File size: 888 KB

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