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

Battlefield Tour June 23, 2024

June 23 @ 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…

Weekly Living History Programs

June 28 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States

Join us for a series of Living History programs that we will be conducting in the park on Fridays in April – June, and then Fridays and Saturdays in July…

Musket Firing Demonstrations Begin this Month

June 29 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Park historians Clay Craighead and Mark Sirak will begin doing Musket firing demonstrations on April 13th at 2pm! Musket demos will occur on most Saturdays (staffing and weather permitting) at…

Brews & Bites

June 29 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
400 Pennsbury Memorial Road
Morrisville, PA 19067 United States

  Kick off your 4th of July celebrations with this historic brew fest at the idyllic riverside home of Pennsylvania’s founder. Sample artisanal beers, wines, ciders, and spirits from local…

Animals at Pennsbury

June 30 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Meet the furry, fuzzy, and feathered inhabitants at Pennsbury, and discover the important role their 17th century predecessors played in daily life. This program is included with admission to Pennsbury…

Site Closed for Independence Day

July 4

Independence Day Celebration: Living History Day 2024

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

Celebrate Independence Day by bringing the whole family back in time—to July 4, 1776! At Washington Crossing Historic Park, you can watch living historians demonstrate their crafts and see a…

Weekly Living History Programs

July 5 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
1638 River Road
New Hope, United States

Join us for a series of Living History programs that we will be conducting in the park on Fridays in April – June, and then Fridays and Saturdays in July…

Independence Day Celebration: Colonial Field Day

July 6 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm
1112 River Road
Washington Crossing, PA 18977 United States

Round up your family or friends for a spirited colonial competition at Colonial Field Day on Saturday, July 6 from 10:00-11:30 AM and 1:00-2:30 PM. Try your hand at playing…