On Christmas Day in 1776, in snow and frigid temperatures, George Washington led his troops across the Delaware River, between Washington Crossing in Pennsylvania and Titusville, New Jersey.
Washington’s courageous leadership reversed the direction of events in the Revolutionary War against the British. The New Jersey Department of Parks and Forestry explains:
“On December 25, 1776, the icy waters of the Delaware River provided the setting for one of the pivotal events of the American Revolution. The Continental Army had little to celebrate that Christmas and seemed beat by hunger and cold. After crossing the rough winter river at night, General George Washington and the Continental Army landed at Johnson’s Ferry, at the site now known as Washington Crossing State Park. At 4 am, they began their march to Trenton where they defeated the Hessian troops in an unexpected attack. This battle was quickly followed by the Second Battle of Trenton on January 2, 1777, and the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777.”
Each year at Christmas time, this extraordinary event is re-enacted in Titusville, with curious visitors coming out to see the place where Washington changed history, and to honor both Washington and the brave men who followed him.
A visit to Titusville, NJ, or Washington Crossing, PA, however, in winter or at any time of year, is inspiring for young and old. The towns surrounding the crossing site are charming and thought-provoking, featuring museums, guided tours, restaurants, and, especially for warm weather visits, beautifully maintained parks for outdoor enjoyment and picnics.
For more information about visiting Washington’s Crossing on the Pennsylvania side: http://www.washingtoncrossingpark.org/#
For more information about visiting Washington’s Crossing on the New Jersey side: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/washcros.html
Both visits can be made on the same day, as a bridge connects the two towns.
One can also view the renowned painting by American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816-1868) painting, “George Washington Crossing the Delaware” (pictured above) in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Learn more about this famous work of art from an expert Metropolitan Museum’s curator.
Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art