What Happened to the Troops That Were Supposed to Help Washington at Trenton?
You’ve probably heard that two Continental Army brigades were supposed to complement George Washington’s troops from the south at the Battle of Trenton. These brigades are fairly well-remembered, largely because of their absence—weather conditions prevented them from joining Washington’s troops. So it may come as a surprise to hear that Washington’s strategy called for five separate crossings of the Delaware River on December 25, 1776. Shortly after Washington arrived at McConkey’s Ferry, he learned the British were dividing the Hessian troops among several garrisons throughout New Jersey. The largest, with around 8,000 British and Hessian soldiers, was in the vicinity of Princeton. Read More
Winners Named in “Let’s Draw George” Contest
In February, Washington Crossing Historic Park hosted a drawing contest in honor of George Washington’s birthday. Seven winners from two age categories were selected. These winning drawings are now on display in the Visitor Center, and the artists received free passes to Bowman’s Hill Tower. Thank you to each and every artist who submitted a drawing for the General! Addison, age 5 Andrew, age 5 Catherine, age 7 Emery, age 9 Natalie, age 10 Olivia, age 7 Riley, age 10
Video Series Explores Park and Colonial History…in Under Two Minutes!
To make colonial history understandable and fun for students of all ages, the Friends of Washington Crossing Historic Park created a video series called ’76 Seconds of History. Each video packs a relevant aspect of the crossing and Washington Crossing Historic Park into just over a minute. One minute and sixteen seconds, to be exact. In each video, host Matt answers a key question related to the crossing, the park, or the Continental Army’s time in Bucks County. Videos have covered everything from “What’s a Durham boat?” to “What if Washington hadn’t crossed the Delaware?” Videos are available on the park website and Read More
1953 Photo Likely Shows the First Crossing Reenactment
Harry Guyer holds an enlarged version of the photo he took in 1953 The small, 2×2-inch black and white picture has been pressed between the pages of one of Harry Guyer’s photo albums for 67 years. At first glance it looks like nothing special, but officials at Washington Crossing Historic Park are saying it may be one of the few – and possibly the only – photo that exists of the first modern-day Crossing reenactment, held back in 1953. The park itself has nothing in its archives from that day. “As a kid I was given a camera and I always Read More
Historical Gingerbread, Two Ways
Washington Crossing Historic Park historical interpreters will bake gingerbread during Washington’s birthday party on February 16. To see them in action, stop into the Hibbs House in the Historic Village during the celebration, which runs from noon to 4 PM. Gingerbread’s history dates back to medieval times, when it was thought to be medicinal cure for “coughs and infirmities of the lungs.” Medieval gingerbread would hardly be recognizable to us today as its main sweetener was honey rather than molasses. Gingerbread was popular in the colonial era, too. Early 18th-century recipes commonly called for the addition of caraway and anise seeds, as Read More
What Happened to the Captured Hessians?
About 900 Hessian soldiers and officers were taken prisoner by General Washington and the Continental Army following the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776. Have you ever wondered what happened to them? Washington and his troops wasted little time moving their new prisoners away from the scene of the battle, says Pat Seabright, a historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park. That afternoon and into the night, they were marched north and crossed the river to McConkey’s Ferry Inn—the place where the crossing began on Christmas Day. “It was quite the ordeal,” Seabright says. “For one, the snow from Read More
A Proposal For the History Books
You may have dropped the ring, too. After all, not everyone proposes marriage with General George Washington and his staff looking on…and with a TV cameraman filming you…and on Christmas Day. That was the situation Calvin H. found himself in at the 67th annual Christmas Day crossing reenactment at Washington Crossing Historic Park. It was just as he’d planned it…more or less. “I thought, ‘I’ll do this at the crossing, it’ll be nonchalant, maybe someone will take our picture, maybe I’ll get some reenactors to stand with me,’” Calvin says. “It turned out to be a little bigger than I Read More
Let’s Draw George Washington!
Help George Washington celebrate his 288th birthday! Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA) invites artists 12 and younger to enter the first-ever Let’s Draw George Washington contest. What Should I Draw? First, draw a picture of George Washington. You can draw Washington at any age, in any historical situation. Or give him a brand-new portrait that could be hung in an art gallery. Be creative! Washington himself and Washington Crossing Historic Park staff will evaluate all entries. Please note that we’re looking for drawings that can be framed and displayed on a wall, not three-dimensional artwork. How Do I Enter? When Read More