Betsy Ross House
Meet Phillis the Laundress
Meet Phillis, a free African American woman who was born into slavery in Philadelphia. She went to school to learn to read and was then indentured where she acquired valuable domestic skills, such as cooking and laundry, which she used to support herself when she received her freedom at the age of 21. As a free woman of color, Phillis lived in a growing and active community of free blacks in 18th century Philadelphia. Though her work was hard as a free and educated woman, she enjoyed a degree of independence that many were looking for in 18th century Philadelphia. Below are future dates Phillis will be at the Betsy Ross House.
- February: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am - 5 pm; (Open Presidents’ Day, 10 am - 5 pm)
- March: Thursdays - Sundays, 12 pm - 5 pm; (Daily March 22 - 31, 12 pm - 5 pm)
Phillis' programming is sponsored by the Philadelphia Abolitionist Society Endowment Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation.
MLK Bust at the Betsy Ross House
View a beautiful bust honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The bust, created by students from the Potter-Thomas School through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, commemorates the 50th anniversary year of the assassination of MLK. The bust will be on view at the Betsy Ross House through the end of February.
This public art project is sponsored by Comcast.
Colonial Chocolate Making
Sunday, February 18, 11 am - 4 pm
Saturday and Sunday, March 3 & 4, 11 am - 4 pm
Friday, March 30, 11 am - 4 pm
Meet three female entrepreneurs and learn how women played an active role during the American Revolution – from making important military supplies, like flags and musket cartridges, to choosing “patriotic” beverages like chocolate and coffee, rather than tea. Sample the hot chocolate drink that colonists enjoyed.
Sponsored by AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate.
Women's History Month Celebration
Saturday, March 31, 10 am - 4 pm
The Women’s History Month celebration wraps up Saturday, March 31 with an entire day of free, family-friendly events celebrating Colonial women.
- Once Upon A Nation Storytellers from 10 - 4 pm: Hear tales of how women helped to shape our nation
- Meet Betsy Ross at 11 am & 2 pm: Take a brief look at how a colonial bed is assembled and dressed and the role an upholsterer, like Betsy, has in the process
- Breeches & Petticoats at 1 & 2 pm: Meet Sarah Melton, a colonial businesswoman who worked as a “mantua maker” designing one-of-a-kind dresses for her clients in Philadelphia. Learn about popular 18th-century clothing styles and even dress the part.
Stitching the Story Together: Betsy Ross and the American Flag
Opens March 1
Discover the life behind the legend in a new exhibit exploring Betsy Ross and the work that made her one of the most well-known women in American history. From her work in upholstery and flag making to a larger than life painting, explore truths and misconceptions about Betsy Ross and how her story grew from an oral tradition to a house museum visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Generously funded by The McLean Contributionship.
Furnishing the Widow’s Chamber
Opens March 1
Observe as Betsy Ross stitches a full set of chintz bed hangings for Hannah Lithgow, the widowed owner of the home who ran multiple boarding houses and lived here alongside Betsy. In addition to the hand-sewn upholstery work, other changes in the bedchamber reflect new research and interpretation of Hannah Lithgow and a more open flow for guests.
Generously funded by Dr. Jeffrey Kenneth Kohn.
Plan your group trip to Historic Philadelphia with unique experiences from the Betsy Ross House, Franklin Square, and Once Upon A Nation! From interactive Storytelling tours and Philadelphia-themed mini golf to performances by historic reenactors, it's all listed right here!