With His Back Against the Wall, How Did Washington Turn the Tide?
Following their retreat across New Jersey, an air of desperation shrouded General George Washington and his troops as they arrived in Bucks County in early December 1776. Having suffered defeat after defeat – and with winter bearing down on them – food and warm clothing were in short supply. Washington watched his army shrink as soldiers deserted and enlistments expired. And yet, within a month, their fortunes – along with the tide of the war – would turn dramatically. From the Christmas night crossing through the Battle of Princeton, Washington always seemed to be one step ahead of his opponent. Read More
Framed Crossing Prints Available Now at the Gift Shop
Five prints depicting the Christmas night crossing and the Battles of Trenton and Princeton are now on sale in the gift shop at the Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA) Visitor Center. The prints, which were created by New Jersey painter Lloyd Garrison, are being sold by the Swan Historical Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering appreciation of the American Revolution. Three of the paintings in the collection portray scenes from the crossing. Garrison painted the rendering of a ferry crowded with soldiers, horses, and oarsmen in the middle of the Delaware River through a consignment with Washington Crossing State Park Read More
Poison or Panacea?
How well do you know your horticultural history? These plants were known to the colonists back in George Washington’s day – but not all of them could be used to heal. Washington Crossing Historic Park’s historical horticulturalist Anna Davis-Agostini shares four plants that were known to the colonists. White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) Anna has grown this plant at the Thompson-Neely Farmstead. Used for centuries and spoken of by both Dioscorides and Pliny, Horehound is renowned for treating asthma, coughs, pulmonary consumptions, some liver and spleen disorders, and “filthy ulcers.” “It was used as a dry or fresh herb in Read More
Native Americans’ Involvement in the Revolutionary War
Native Americans’ participation in the Revolutionary War – and particularly George Washington’s Delaware River crossing – is a sometimes overlooked topic. And it has a complex answer. “It’s convenient to think of everyone from that time falling into two basic camps, the Americans and the British (Loyalists), but there were lots of different groups caught in the middle, with Native Americans being one of them,” says Katherine Becnel, Washington Crossing Historic Park’s volunteer coordinator and a former gallery educator at the Museum of the American Revolution. Native Involvement in the Conflict Initially, Native Americans were discouraged from getting involved in Read More
What Did Washington and His Army Eat Before and After the Crossing?
The challenges that George Washington and his 2,400 soldiers faced ahead of the crossing are too many to list here. In short, they’d experienced only defeat, and many were showing signs of the toll that had taken. They were exhausted, starving, and ill-equipped for the winter. According to the book, Supplying Washington’s Army (a study, in part, of the Continental Army’s Commissariat which supplied food and equipment) every soldier was to be provided with the following daily ration: One pound of beef Three-quarters of a pound of chicken or pork One pound of bread or flour Three pints peas or Read More
Which Founding Fathers Participated in the Crossing?
The crossing was a critical turning point for the beleaguered Continental Army. While General George Washington is credited with conceiving the strategy, pulling it off required contributions from many people, some of whom would rise to become America’s Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers, a select group of elite colonists and several other key figures, united the 13 colonies and structured the government of the United States. But there’s some debate as to who exactly should be counted as a Founding Father. “In my mind, anyone who signed the Declaration of Independence should be counted as a Founding Father,” says Kimberly Read More
Remembering a Happy Childhood at Washington Crossing Historic Park
For most people, Washington Crossing Historic Park is a place to visit and learn about history. For Barbara Felver (pictured above), the park was her childhood home. “I grew up just below Bowman’s Hill Tower,” says Barbara, who now lives in South Carolina. “My parents rented one of the houses from the state. The park was my playground. I can probably still tell you where to find lady slippers and all kinds of cool plants.” Barbara was recently back in Bucks County and shared with park staff a scrapbook filled with memories, photos and newspaper clippings about her father, Bill Read More
Nathanael Greene Challenge Coin Now Available
Washington Crossing Historic Park’s 2020 Challenge Coin is now available. Cost is $17.76, including tax. Shipping is an additional fee. The Major General Nathanael Greene Challenge Coin can be purchased in the Visitor Center gift shop or on our website. 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. About Major Nathanael Greene Major Read More