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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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Wreaths Across America at Princeton Battlefield

December 14 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 pm
500 Mercer Street
Princeton, New Jersey 08540 United States

Honor the memory of american war veterans during the holiday season, especially those of the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777 Location: Colonnade and Gravesite area, Princeton. Battlefield State Park. Contact: Thomas H. Pyle,


Holiday Wreath Making at Washington Crossing Park NJ

December 14 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

(All ages) Saturday December 14, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. Participants will construct their own wreaths from evergreen clippings collected in the park. Advanced registration required. Fee: $8.00/wreath (exact change please). HOLIDAY WREATH MAKING Saturday, Dec 14, 2019, 1:00 PM Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center355 Washington Crossing Pennington Rd. Titusville, nj 3 Members Attending (All…


Lecture: The Christmas Night Crossing at Washington Crossing Park NJ

December 14 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road
Titusville, NJ 08560 United States

Using diaries and letters of the participants, Resource Interpretive Specialist Mark Sirak will give a lecture on the significance of the Christmas Night Crossing and the Battle of Trenton. Free.  


December Book Club Meeting: The Men Who Lost America

December 16 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
1112 River Rd United States

The December meeting of the Washington Crossing Historic Park Book Club is set for Monday, December 16, at 5:30 PM in the Visitor Center. In this meeting, museum curator Kimberly McCarty will lead a discussion of the book club’s next selection: The Men Who Lost America: British Command during the Revolutionary War and the Preservation…


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

December 20 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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…


Lantern Walking Tours at Washington Crossing Park-NJ

December 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

(10 yrs. – adult) Two tours scheduled: 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. See our park historic sites by night! A popular event which begins at the Nelson House and includes the Ferry boat, Landing site, Overlook, Stone Barn and Johnson Ferry House. Interpreters in period dress will guide each tour group. Lanterns provided and refreshment…


Traversing the Ten Crucial Days Bus Tour

December 21 @ 9:00 am
1112 River Rd
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States

Spend a day retracing the December 25 crossing of the Delaware and the American and British military engagements at Trenton, Princeton and areas in-between. On the Traversing the Ten Crucial Days bus tour, historical interpreters Larry Kidder and Roger S. Williams will tell the remarkable story of these ten days that breathed crucial new life…


Ten Crucial Day Bus Tour

December 21 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States

@ – This all-day bus tour through Washington Crossing, Trenton, and Princeton explores the social, topographical, and military aspects of the campaigns of the Ten Crucial Days, December 25, 1776 to January 3, 1777. Historical interpreters include Larry Kidder, author of TEN CRUCIAL DAYS: Washington’s Vision for Victory Unfolds, and Roger S. Williams, cofounder of…


Christmas Day Crossing from the New Jersey side

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…