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
How Did the Continental Army Get Artillery and Horses Across the Delaware?
Getting 2,400 soldiers across an ice-choked river under the cover of darkness and in the middle of a blinding Nor’easter was certainly a feat. But it’s only part of the story: Washington’s covert plan hinged on being able to get artillery and horses across the river, too. In early December, Washington’s soldiers gathered boats from the New Jersey side of the Delaware River and brought them across to Pennsylvania. Along with large Durham boats, they slowly but surely transported the men across the river. But these boats would have been an impractical choice for anxious horses and cumbersome cannons. How, Read More
What Role Did the Marbleheaders Play in the Crossing?
By June 1775, the Intolerable Acts, also known as the Coercive Acts, had pushed a port town a little more than 300 miles north of Washington Crossing to the brink. Rendered unemployed and angry by the strict trade measures imposed by British Parliament, virtually every able-bodied man in Marblehead, Massachusetts, rallied to fight against their common enemy. (Accounts vary significantly as to exactly how many men the group included at its inception.) The Origins of the Marbleheaders By the next year, the modest militia had become the 14th Continental Regiment of George Washington’s army—and one of the few integrated regiments Read More
Preserving the Harvest in the 18th Century
Long-term food storage was critical to the 18th-century household. During the colonial era, the coming of autumn did not just mean changing leaves and cooler temperatures: it was also time to preserve the harvest. Fresh produce could only be enjoyed during the growing season, so colonists would intentionally grow an overabundance of food and then preserve their harvest for consumption during the winter. Produce was continuously preserved as it came into season, and whatever was not eaten was preserved for future use. Depending on the type of food—fruits, vegetables, meat, or dairy—colonists used a variety of different techniques. Drying For fruit, Read More
Flour Ground at the Thompson-Neely Grist Mill Now for Sale
If you walked down the wiped-out baking aisle of your local grocery store at the height of the pandemic, you saw firsthand how many Americans have taken up baking. For those looking to whip up some historically accurate treats, the Friends of Washington Crossing Park now sell flour ground in the park’s historic Thompson-Neely Grist Mill. Period-accurate Flour Five-pound bags of two kinds of flour – whole wheat and fine flour – are for sale in the Visitor Center gift shop for $12 a bag (shipping is not offered). All the flour was ground in the mill using waterpower, 2,000-pound Read More
General Washington’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Was George Washington a great general? It sounds like a preposterous question. After all, he won the Revolutionary War. But like anyone, the general had his strengths and weaknesses. “Washington was a great strategic leader who was very good at seeing the big picture and playing the long game,” says Adrienne Harrison, PhD, senior historian at Battlefield Leadership and a former assistant professor of American history at the U.S. Military Academy. “But tactically, he was terrible, and he never got better as the war went on.” Fortunately, says Harrison, Washington would come to realize he didn’t need to win every Read More