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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

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Author talk at the Princeton Public Library

December 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
65 Witherspoon St
Princeton, NJ 08542

Borrowing from his new book, David Price offers a new perspective on the “Ten Crucial Days” of the American Revolution — the period from December 25, 1776 through January 3, 1777 — in which George Washington’s army won its first three significant victories. Price’s latest work provides a unique interpretation of this critical period in…

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Holiday Decor in the Historic Village

December 6, 2019 - January 6, 2020
1112 River Rd United States

As you stroll through the Historic Village in December, be sure to note the hand-crafted Christmas decorations adorning the buildings! Wreaths and other decor were created by park staff and members of the public in early December and will be displayed until January 6, 2020. Thank you to all the individuals on Facebook who donated…

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British Occupation Day

December 7 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
2 Barrack St United States

Come to the Old Barracks this December as the 17th Regiment of Infantry returns as they first did in December 1776! This event will commemorate the occupation of Trenton by British troops just weeks prior to the Battle of Trenton, and offer visitors a view into this often misrepresented side of American history. Throughout the…

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Washington Crossing the Delaware Re-enactment (Pennsylvania view)

December 8 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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…

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Washington Crossing the Delaware Re-enactment (New Jersey view)

December 8 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Experience the “Christmas Crossing Dress Rehearsal” as troops row General George Washington across the Delaware River. See colonial life, demonstrations and artisans, blacksmithing, hearth cooking, and much more…bring your camera! This event is held in Washington Crossing Historic Park, PA. The Washington Crossing Park Association of NJ will be offering hot cider and a warm…

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First Crossing of 2019

December 8 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
1112 River Rd 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…

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Washington Crossing Reenactment – First Crossing

December 8 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States
free

@ – (Crossing: 1pm) Witness George Washington’s 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River. This Bucks County tradition features several hundred re-enactors and George Washington himself plus family-friendly colonial activities & demonstrations throughout the day. Google Calendar iCal Export Details Date: Time:

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Rescheduled: Lecture on “Who was here in December 1776?”

December 8 @ 11:00 am - 11:45 am
1112 River Rd United States

Washington Crossing Historic Park’s Evening with the Curator series concludes for the year with a free public lecture on some of the people who contributed to the Ten Crucial Days surrounding the crossing. The lecture, rescheduled from December 1, will be held in the Visitor Center auditorium on two dates: Sunday, December 8 at 11…

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Read “An American Revolution Diary” and Follow the Ten Crucial Days of 1776-77

December 14

Ten Crucial Days, An American Diary You are invited to read “An American Revolution Diary,” an exclusive, new examination of the ten crucial days of 1776-77 on the Princeton Battlefield Society’s website, www.pbs1777.org. The Diary will start on December 14. In the words of leading historians and authors, explore this time in our American history,…