“With this exhibit, we’re hoping to bond that generation of heroes with our visitors today on this common ground.”
A new exhibit will open at the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center on Saturday, March 2.
Titled “A Glorious Enterprise—Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware,” the free long-term exhibit will explore the Christmas night crossing in 1776 and the Continental Army’s encampment at the Thompson-Neely House before the crossing.
Objects from the Past
The exhibit’s authentic and reproduction objects shape a family-oriented, tactile experience, says park curator Kimberly McCarty. “We will have reproduction wedge tents for children to experience army life in 1776,” she says.
Also featured will be a number of small objects that provide insight into the soldiers’ everyday lives. The exhibit includes a musket flint lock excavated near General Washington’s Bucks County headquarters and a Hessian snuff box with the image of Frederick the Great (the Prussian king at the time of the Revolutionary War).
The Ten Crucial Days
“A Glorious Enterprise” frames the encampment and crossing within the Ten Crucial Days, which included the battles of Trenton and Princeton.
“While we understand the importance of the larger context and connecting the crossing to those battles, we want to tell the story of what happened here and connect our visitors to the ground on which they are walking,” McCarty says.
To that end, the exhibit will also feature several secondary storylines, including the backstory of the McConkey Ferry Inn, and highlight some of the notable people who passed through it, including Washington himself, soldiers of color, and the women who traveled with and tended to the army.
“Through those stories, we want to illuminate the people who participated in the crossing,” McCarty says. “While the event itself has taken on legendary status, it’s important to remember that it was achieved by people. With this exhibit, we’re hoping to bond that generation of heroes with our visitors today on this common ground.”
Visit the New Exhibit
“A Glorious Enterprise—Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware” will be open to the public every day from 10 AM to 5 PM starting March 2.
The park’s curator will lead a small gallery tour of the new exhibit on Sunday, April 14 at 7 PM. Registration is required by calling the Visitor Center at 215-493-4076.