Bordentown’s Grenadier: Prince Lewis and His Revolution Experience

Several years ago while researching Count von Donop’s occupation of Burlington County, I came across an interesting note related to the von Minnigerode Grenadier Battalion, who for a brief time was quartered in Bordentown, NJ. It showed that a black man named Prince Lewis had enlisted as a drummer for the Hessian battalion on the 10th of December 1776, during the first day of von Donop’s occupation. Lewis’s background is murky, but it is clear that he was 26 years of age, a capable musician, and from Bordentown. If the Minnigerode records are to be believed at face value, then Read More

Journal Articles by WCHP Staff

The Journal of the American Revolution (JAR) editorial board has selected a pair of articles written by staff of The Friends of Washington Crossing Park for inclusion in its next annual hardcover volume, scheduled for release this coming spring. These are among forty scholarly articles chosen for the 2024 print edition out of the total number published by the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal in its online format during the prior year.   JAR, which claims to be “the leading source of knowledge about the American Revolution and Founding Era,” has attracted more than six million readers since its launch in 2013. On average, it Read More

Staff Spotlight: Alex Robb

  Alex Robb was hired in January of 2024 as a full-time Interpretive Program Specialist to assist with the design and implementation of new educational programs that highlight the park’s unique military history as FWCP continues to prepare for the upcoming Semiquincentennial celebration. This position was funded through generous support from the Philadelphia Funder Collaborative for the Semiquincentennial. Alex has always been interested in history, as his mother is a history teacher and his grandfather also used to take him to reenactments and historical sites. He’s been a historical reenactor for the past six years, participating in programs at Washington Read More

Rider College Reenacts the Famous Crossing

This article is an expansion of the Rider College Reenactment mentioned in last month’s article, “Early Reenactments of Washington Crossing the Delaware”, written by Denis J. Cooke. As we all look forward to another exciting reenactment of General George  Washington’s daring crossing on Christmas night in 1776, it would do us well to  understand and appreciate just how critically important it was.  The six-month long struggle to achieve independence from Great Britain was not going well. Even after driving the British from Boston in early 1776, Washington’s army was having a terrible time. The defense of New York resulted in Read More

Early Reenactments of Washington Crossing the Delaware

  The verdict is still out in identifying the first commemorative reenactment of Washington Crossing the Delaware. I am talking about ad hoc reenactments that occurred prior to annual theatrical presentations, which began in 1953.  This year’s reenactment will be number seventy-one, and counting. According to a 2019 article written by Jonathan Wilson, the first attempted reenactment was in 1844 with a rowdy crowd and drunken participants but, unfortunately, no other details were provided. Earlier reenactments held in 1931 and 1947 have been mentioned on the Washington Crossing Historic Park website. Here is a snippet from the May 24, 1931 Read More

Friends of Washington Crossing Park Receives $500,000 National Park Service Grant

The National Park Service recently awarded the Friends of Washington Crossing Park a $502,768 grant for the rehabilitation of the McConkey Ferry Inn. This was one of only 20 cultural resource preservation projects to be funded nationally. The grant will allow the park to continue renovations to the Inn, above and beyond last year’s $8.7 million capital project which funded renovations throughout the park. Specifically, this new grant will fund complete interior renovations to museum standards and help the park update the Inn’s National Register of Historic Places documentation. Created by Congress in 2020 and funded through the Historic Preservation Read More

A Few Thoughts About George Washington

By David Price, WCHP Historical Interpreter Not long ago I had the opportunity to read a chapter in a manuscript about the turning points of the war for independence. This particular chapter covered the “Ten Crucial Days” (TCD) from December 25, 1776 to January 3, 1777, when Washington’s army won its first three significant victories and profoundly altered the course of the conflict. The draft cited to a quote by a noted military historian referring to the Continental Army’s Christmas Night 1776 crossing, which asserted that this action was perhaps Washington’s only “really brilliant” stroke of the war. Having spent Read More

A Christmas Eve Visit to the Bank of the Delaware River. December, 1776.

By Denis J. Cooke  Captain John Lacey arrived home to Bucks County (Buckingham Township) from Fort Ticonderoga on December 1, 1776. His year- long enlistment in the Continental Service was ending and the experience had left a very bad taste in his mouth. In his memoirs, Lacey describes in detail how he and his commanding officer, Colonel Anthony Wayne, had engaged in a clash of wills, and he came home determined to resign from the Army. Catching up on the latest news on his arrival home, Lacey wrote, (original spelling and grammar maintained) “I was however, greatly alarmed on finding Read More

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