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.”

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Upcoming Events

September Book Club: The Revolutionary World of a Free Black Man

September 19 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
PA United States

In partnership with the Friends of Washington Crossing Park the next meeting of the Washington Crossing Historic Park Book Club is set for Monday, September 19, 2022 at 5:30 PM. This meeting will be held virtually using Zoom. Availability of this title is limited. The park gift shop is offering a 25% discount for the…

Tai Chi by the River

September 24 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am
2 River Dr United States

Tai Chi with our steadfast volunteers and beloved teachers Lisa and Robert! They’ll be leading classes by the River for all levels on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30 am. Wear comfy clothes, no mat required. Find us on River Drive in the lower park, in front of the main parking lot. There is no…

Battlefield Tour September 25, 2022

September 25 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
500 Mercer Street
Princeton, NJ 08540 United States

Spend a Sunday afternoon at the Princeton Battlefield State Park and learn more about the Battle of Princeton, a battle that ended the “ten crucial days” of 1776-1777. Walk in the footprints of Washington’s troops and listen to exciting narratives of soldier and civilian experiences. Your tour is led by an approved Historical Interpreter. Following…


September 25 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Free twice-monthly tours by the Historic Preservation and Education Committee of the Washington Crossing Park Association (WCPA). The Free Guided Walking Tour begins in the Visitor Center Museum auditorium of Washington Crossing State Park of New Jersey. Please sign-in with the Tour Guide in the lobby of the Visitor Center Museum before 12:45 pm. Stop…

Traversing the Ten Crucial Days Bus Tour

December 10 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Traversing the Ten Crucial Days Bus Tour begins and ends at Washington Crossing, PA while spending the day retracing the 25 December 1776 crossing of the Delaware through to 3 January, 1777.  You will learn about the military engagements between remaining rag-tag elements of George Washington’s army against Hessian and British troops at Trenton,…