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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Mrs. Rachel J. Wilson Albright

Rachel Wilson Albright, the grand-daughter of Betsy Ross who made the first United States flag, was born in Philadelphia, June 16, 1812, and died at her home in Ft. Madison, April 18, 1905, at the age of ninety-two years.  Her daughter, Mrs. Kate Albright Robinson, the great-grand-daughter of Betsy Ross, still lives in Ft. Madison.  Mrs. Albright, with her husband, came to Ft. Madison in the spring of 1841, bringing with them many family heirlooms, some of which are priceless.  In the collection of furniture are two chairs, which were in Betsy Ross' parlor at 239 Arch St., Philadelphia, that morning in 1777, when George Washington and the committee appointed for the purpose, came to ask Betsy Ross to make the flag.  We like to think that Geo. Washington sat on one of these chairs that memorable day.  The design which George Washington brought had on it stars with six points.  Betsy Ross, with her scissors, cut a five pointed star and suggested its use, which suggestion was accepted.  Mrs. Robinson has also in her possession a work box made in 1837 for her aunt by Miss F. Key, and aunt of Francis Scott Key, who wrote "The Star Spangled Banner."  Mrs. Albright, and later her daughter, made duplicates of the original flag made by Betsy Ross.  Many of these flags are in the possession of Daughters of the American Revolution in Iowa and one is in the Historical Department in Des Moines.  Mrs. Albright was very quaint and courtley in her manner, and seemed herself quite to belong to colonial times.



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