What are the “Ten Crucial Days?”     

In December 1776, a mere six months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, General George Washington's fledgling American Army and the cause of liberty were on the verge of being extinguished. A disastrous New York campaign that fall had resulted in the loss of more than half of Washington’s troops, as well as the confidence of Congress and his fellow citizens. Retreating through “the Jerseys” with the remnants of his ragtag Continentals, Washington and his soldiers sought refuge on the west bank of the Delaware River, having narrowly escaped King George III's British troops and their Hessian auxiliaries. Doubling as peace commissioners, British General William Howe and his brother, Royal Navy Admiral Sir Richard Howe, reasoned that further bloodshed was unnecessary. They assumed that the rebellious American soldiers—many of whose enlistments were scheduled to expire at year's end—would no longer be able to offer any significant resistance. Settling into winter quarters, General Howe ordered his regiments to set up a string of cantonments posted through the Jerseys.  

George Washington saw something very different... Taking stock of his army’s desperate situation, the rebel commander-in-chief would launch his forces into a series of victorious engagements, of which British historian Sir George Otto Trevelyan later wrote, “It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world.” That space of time—December 25, 1776 to January 3, 1777—encompassed “Ten Crucial Days” that changed the course of history.

Do something revolutionary! Experience the “Ten Crucial Days.”

Upcoming Events

Musket Firing Demonstration

October 30 @ 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
201 Washington Crossing Pennington Rd
Titusville, NJ United States

Join a Park Historian for an interpretive talk about some of the weapons used during the American Revolution and their use during the Battle of Trenton. Included will be a musket firing demonstration. Approximately 30-minute program. Park vehicle entrance fee of $5 per vehicle applies…CASH ONLY.

Fall Clean Up 2021

November 6 @ 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
500 Mercer Street
Princeton, NJ 08540 United States

Join Us for Clean Up Day At The Princeton Battlefield Saturday, November 6 (no rain date) 10:30AM – 1:00PM Clip, cut, rake, pick up. We invite you to pitch in to get the Princeton Battlefield “cleaned up” for the Winter ahead. With storms over the Summer, there are many needs to get the Park ready,…

Lecture – The Quaker Conundrum in Revolutionary Pennsylvania

November 7 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States
Free

Join us Sunday, November 7 at 1:30 PM for a free lecture on the lives of two men named Ennion Williams, both Pennsylvania Quakers who found themselves in direct conflict with some of the most divisive issues of their faith: pacifism, slavery and the Hicksite separation. Washington Crossing Historic Park curator Kimberly McCarty will explore…

November Book Club: Ten Crucial Days

November 15 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
PA United States
Free

The November meeting of the Washington Crossing Historic Park Book Club is set for Monday, November 15 at 5:30 PM. This meeting will be held virtually using Zoom. Registration is required. To register, please visit DCNR’s website. Zoom meeting details will be provided upon registration. Museum curator Kimberly McCarty will wrap up discussion of Ten…

Lecture – Who Was Here in 1776?

December 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States
Free

While some of the people who crossed the Delaware to attack the Hessians in Trenton have become well-known historic figures, many are unknown to the public. On December 5 at 7 PM, join Washington Crossing Historic Park curator Kimberly McCarty as she explores the lives and contributions of some of the individuals who were part…

First Crossing of 2021

December 12 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States

Witness American history come to life! Each December, thousands of people gather on the banks of the Delaware River to watch the reenactment of George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas night river crossing. During the event, several hundred reenactors in Continental military dress listen to an inspiring speech by General Washington and then row across the…

December Book Club: Surviving the Winters

December 20 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
PA United States
Free

The December meeting of the Washington Crossing Historic Park Book Club is set for Monday, December 20 at 5:30 PM. This meeting will be held virtually using Zoom. Registration is required. To register, please visit DCNR’s website. Zoom meeting details will be provided upon registration. Museum curator Kimberly McCarty will begin discussion of the book…

Christmas Day Crossing

December 25 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
2 River Dr United States

Celebrate the “Christmas Day Crossing Reenactment,” arranged by the Washington Crossing Historic Park of PA, as we commemorate the 243rd anniversary of General George Washington’s famous Christmas night crossing of the Delaware. A history narration, hot cider and donuts will be on hand at The Nelson House. An annual tradition not to be missed. Come…

69th Annual Christmas Day Crossing Reenactment

December 25 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States
Free

  Witness American history come to life! Each December, thousands of people gather on the banks of the Delaware River to watch the reenactment of George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas night river crossing. During the event, several hundred reenactors in Continental military dress listen to an inspiring speech by General Washington and then row across…