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Rachel Fletcher (Claypoole)

Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Claypool (Claypole) and Betsy Ross
Wife of Edward Jones, Sr. and John Fletcher
Mother of Edward Jones, Jr.; Margarette Butler Fletcher; Mary Wright and Daniel Fletcher
Sister of Harriet Claypoole; Clarissa Sidney Wilson; Susannah Griscom Satterthwaite; Jane Canby and Sydney Claypool
Half sister of Aucilla Zillah Ashburn and Elizabeth Ashburn

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rachel Fletcher


Affidavit of Rachel Fletcher, a daughter

of Eli zabeth Claypoole (Betsy Ross)

I remember having heard my mother Elizabeth Clay poole say frequently that

she, with her own hands, (while she was the widow o f John Ross,) made the

first Star-spangled Banner that ever was made. I remem ber to have heard

her also say that it was made on the order of a Committee, of whom Col.

Ross was one, and that Robert Morris was also one of the Committ ee. That

General Washington, acting in conference with the committee, called with

them at her house. This house was on the North side of Arch Street a few

doors below Third Street, above Bread Street, a two story house, with

atti c and a dormer window, now standing, the only one of the row left,

the old nu mber being 89; it was formerly occupied by Daniel Niles,

Shoemaker. Mother at first lived in the house next East, and when the war

came, she moved into th e house of Daniel Niles. That it was in the month

of June 1776, or shortly be fore the Declaration of Independence that the

committee called on her. That t he member of the committee named Ross was

an uncle of her deceased husband. T hat she was previously well acquainted

with Washington, and that he had often been in her house in friendly

visits, as well as on business. That she had e mbroidered ruffles for his

shirt bosoms and cuffs, and that it was partly owi ng to his friendship

for her that she was chosen to make the flag. That when the committee

(with General Washington) came into her store she showed them i nto her

parlor, back of her store; and one of them asked her if she could mak e a

flag and that she replied that she did not know but she could try. That

they then showed her a drawing roughly executed, of the flag as it was

propo sed to be made by the committee, and that she saw in it some defects

in its p roportions and the arrangement and shape of the stars. That she

said it was s quare and a flag should be one third longer than its width,

that the stars we re scattered promiscuously over the field, and she said

they should be either in lines or in some adopted form as a circle, or a

star, and that the stars were six-pointed in the drawing, and she said

they should be five pointed. Th at the gentlemen of the committee and

General Washington very respectfully co nsidered the suggestions and acted

upon them, General Washington seating hims elf at a table with a pencil

and paper, altered the drawing and then made a n ew one according to the

suggestions of my mother. That General Washington see med to her to be the

active one in making the design, the others having littl e or nothing to

do with it. That the committee then requested her to call on one of their

number, a shipping merchant on the wharf, and then adjourned. Th at she

was punctual to her appointment, and then the gentlemen drew out of a

chest an old ship's color which he loaned her to show her how the sewing

wa s done; and also gave her the drawing finished according to her

suggestions. That this drawing was done in water colors by William

Barrett, an artist, who lived on the North side of Cherry Street above

Third Street, a large three s tory brick house on the West side of an

alley which ran back to the Pennsylva nia Academy for Young Ladies," [note

missing open quotation mark, probably me ant before "Pennsylvania Academy"

--Webmaster] kept by James A. Neal, the bes t school of the kind in the

city at that time. That Barrett only did the pain ting, and had nothing to

do with the design. He was often employed by mother afterwards to paint

the coats of arms of the United States and of the States on silk flags.

That other designs had also been made by the committee and giv en to other

seamstresses to make, but that they were not approved. That mothe r went

diligently to work upon her flag and soon finished it, and returned it ,

the first star-spangled banner that ever was

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Rachel Fletcher's Timeline

December 1, 1789
October 22, 1817
Age 27
October 18, 1824
Age 34
June 20, 1827
Age 37
December 15, 1829
Age 40