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

“Traversing the 10 Crucial Days” Bus Tour

December 5 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Take a ride through history on the “Traversing the 10 Crucial Days” bus tour! You’ll spend the day retracing the December 25 crossing of the Delaware and the American and British military engagements that followed at Trenton, Princeton and areas in-between from December 26, 1776 through January 3, 1777. This public bus tour will be…

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…

Author Talk – Patrick K. O’Donnell – THE INDISPENSABLES: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware.

December 11 @ 5:00 am - 6:30 pm
2688 Main Street
Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648

From the bestselling author of Washington’s Immortals and The Unknowns, an important new chronicle of the American Revolution heralding the heroism of the men from Marblehead, Massachusetts Click here to Register This is a free event, but your tax deductible donations, for any amount, supporting historic education are greatly appreciated. The author’s books will be available for sale.…

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…

“Traversing the 10 Crucial Days” Bus Tour

December 18 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Take a ride through history on the “Traversing the 10 Crucial Days” bus tour! You’ll spend the day retracing the December 25 crossing of the Delaware and the American and British military engagements that followed at Trenton, Princeton and areas in-between from December 26, 1776 through January 3, 1777. This public bus tour will be…

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…

“Traversing the 10 Crucial Days” Bus Tour

December 21 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Take a ride through history on the “Traversing the 10 Crucial Days” bus tour! You’ll spend the day retracing the December 25 crossing of the Delaware and the American and British military engagements that followed at Trenton, Princeton and areas in-between from December 26, 1776 through January 3, 1777. This public bus tour will be…

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…