The New Challenge Coins Are Here!

December 31st, 2019 History,News and Events

The Hugh Mercer Challenge Coin can be purchased in the Visitor Center gift shop. Cost is $17.76, including tax.

Washington Crossing Historic Park’s 2019 Challenge Coin is available now. The new coin features Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, who was mortally wounded during the Ten Crucial Days at the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777.

The coin’s design is based on a pencil sketch drawn in 1781 by John Trumbull, who used Mercer’s son, Hugh Jr., as a model.

The Continental Congress appointed Mercer a Brigadier General in June 1776. Like other officers, he watched his militia command evaporate thanks to term expirations and desertions. He led a brigade at the Battles of Trenton (December 26, 1776) and Princeton, where he was wounded after a larger force overwhelmed him.

He lingered for several days under the care of Dr. Benjamin Rush before succumbing on January 12, 1777. Rush wrote that Mercer’s “character was marked with all the traits of one of the heroes of antiquity; the manner of his death was equally honorable to himself and to our cause.”

Every year between now and 2026—the 250th anniversary of the crossing of the Delaware River—Washington Crossing Historic Park will release a new challenge coin. The back of each year’s coin will feature a different officer in the Continental army, while the front features the crossing as depicted in Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” painting.