Two Men, One Name and Difficult Decisions of Faith

October 27th, 2021

  The Society of Friends (known as “Quakers”) was a prominent religion in colonial Pennsylvania and the “testimonies” of peace, simplicity, integrity, equality, community, and non-violence are core to its beliefs. Unfortunately, during times of war and social change, adherence to faith can sometimes be challenged in unexpected ways, as evidenced by the histories of two men named Ennion Williams. The Question of Slavery The first Ennion (b. 1697) was involved in shipping and estate settlement near Bristol, PA. He was affluent, and heavily involved in the Falls Meeting in Bucks County. He was also a slave owner—a fact that Read More

Continental Army Soldiers’ Clothing, Head to Toe

September 27th, 2021

If you’ve ever attended the First Crossing or Christmas Day Crossing reenactments at Washington Crossing Historic Park, you might have noticed something: the soldiers aren’t wearing the same uniform. In fact, the clothing worn by the Continental Army progressed greatly throughout the Revolutionary War. In the early days of the Revolution, militiamen wore civilian clothes. It wasn’t until 1779 that Congress adopted a standardized military uniform. “At the time of the crossing in 1776, soldiers’ uniforms were provided by individual state governments to their troops,” says John Godzieba, president of the Friends of Washington Crossing Park and the reenactor who Read More

What happened to the crossing site between 1776 and the park’s founding?

September 17th, 2021

About 140 years passed between the crossing on December 25, 1776 and when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed legislation in 1917 that established Washington Crossing Historic Park. But the crossing, and its impact on the Revolutionary War, never faded from the collective consciousness in that time, says Kimberly McCarty, the park’s curator. “In fact, it became mythologized not long after it happened,” she says. Depicting the Crossing In 1819, Thomas Sully, a leading portrait painter in Philadelphia at the time, painted the now-famous “The Passage of the Delaware.” The scene features a majestic-looking George Washington presiding over the first brigade to cross Read More

Book Review of “Revolutionary Princeton 1774-1783: The Biography of an American Town in the Heart of a Civil War”

September 9th, 2021

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter Local author and historian Larry Kidder has once again crafted a thoroughly informed and meticulously researched narrative relating to America’s Revolutionary era. This new book continues the focus of his previous work on how the political and military turbulence of the 1770s impacted the lives of people living in the greater Delaware Valley, placing his study of their circumstances and challenges within the broader historical context of young America’s founding struggle. Kidder’s latest creation follows on the heels of his earlier accounts of this period, Ten Crucial Days: Washington’s Vision Read More

Bestselling Author Nathaniel Philbrick Returns to the Park

August 4th, 2021

New York Times bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick will appear at Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA) on Wednesday, September 15 at 7 PM for a lecture, Q&A, and signing of his new book, Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy, which will be released the day before his appearance. Tickets are available now on our website. Ticket price is pay-what-you-wish with proceeds benefiting the non-profit Friends of Washington Crossing Park. Suggested minimum donation is $15 per person. Tickets do not include the new book. You may purchase one copy of the book along with your tickets for an Read More

Full Circle: A Historical Interpreter’s Reflection

July 27th, 2021

By park historical interpreter Thomas Maddock As I led my led my first tour out of the temporary Visitors Center on July of 2009, it was like déjà vu. As I looked out at the Washington Crossing Historic Park, my memory slipped back to the late thirties and early forties. My parents had rented a large wooden house from the State, right on the banks for the Delaware River. My parents had moved to the park in 1935, right after their wedding. I moved in a year later, followed by four siblings. My memories of growing up in the park Read More

Caring for a Historic Flock

June 23rd, 2021

If you’ve spent any time at the Thompson-Neely Farmstead, you’ve likely seen the beloved sheep and goats that call Washington Crossing Historic Park their home. The flock of eleven sheep features several heritage breeds that could have been found in colonial America. Five are Leicester Longwool, an English breed developed in the 18th century and found in George Washington’s flock at Mount Vernon. This breed was once popular in early America, but nearly went extinct in the 1900s. It’s now considered “threatened” by the Livestock Conservancy. The flock also has three Dorset sheep and one Cotswold – both are English Read More

One Pennsylvania Mill Was Vital to the Revolution

May 20th, 2021

Most of our pantries contain a five-pound bag of flour from the grocery store. Although you can purchase flour ground at the park’s Thompson-Neely Grist Mill, locally ground flour is fairly rare in the twenty-first century. Not so in George Washington’s day. From a family’s kitchen table to Washington’s army, let’s take a look back at how grain products – and the mills that made them – played an essential role in colonial life. The Power of Flour It’s hard to overstate the importance of flour and cornmeal in the 1770s. Both could be used in many different ways. In Read More