Defining Victory in the Revolution

The resilience displayed by the Continental Army was paramount in England’s failure to defeat the American rebellion, especially as that insurrection was supported by weapons and ammunition from France and then subsequently by the armed forces of its monarch, Louis XVI. According to 18th-century military protocol, the side that held the field at the conclusion of battle was regarded as victorious; and, from that perspective, the redcoats won most of the engagements. They achieved unambiguous success (in chronological order) at Long Island, Kip’s Bay, Fort Washington, Brandywine Creek, Paoli, Germantown, Savannah, Charleston, Camden, and Waxhaws, while suffering clear-cut defeats at Read More

Shining the Spotlight on Our 2024 Volunteers

  Each April, we take a moment to recognize the hundreds of volunteers who help us provide a truly unique experience to thousands of visitors at Washington Crossing Historic Park. This year, they have contributed more than 4,000 hours to educational and public programs. Volunteers are vital to our operations, providing special event support to tours, education, and reenactments. There are a few volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help us in our mission to preserve our historic site. Our Volunteer Awards were given out at our volunteer picnic in September. Since then, two Read More

Laundry: The Primary Occupation of Followers

Introduction “The multitude of women in particular, especially those who are pregnant, or have children, are a clog upon every movement”. When George Washington’s general orders on August 4th of 1777 stated these harsh words, his army had already greatly suffered before the start of the Philadelphia campaign. Arthur St. Clair’s retreat from Fort Ticonderoga in July of 1777 lowered morale as another valuable military defense was lost. Washington was desperate to keep his army together. He followed General Howe’s movements closely, as British warships left New York City and hugged the Atlantic coast. A battle for Philadelphia seemed inevitable. With Read More

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

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