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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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Trenton Battlefield Walking Tour

December 30 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
102 South Warren St.
Trenton, United States

@ – Starbucks, 102 South Warren St. (Corner of Front St) This 10-block interpretive walk brings to life the events of the two battles of Trenton. Guests are welcome to gather at Starbucks at 9:00am for a question-and-answer session over coffee. The tour begins at 10:00am and includes the historic Trenton Battle Monument, ending up…

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“Trenton’s Historic Legacy: The Old Barracks and the Trenton Battle Monument”

December 30 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
870 Centre Street
Trenton, NJ United States

  @ –   A presentation highlighting the early efforts to save the Old Barracks by the city’s Daughters of the American Revolution chapter and the work of the Trenton Battle Monument Association in creating the Trenton Battle Monument followed by a walking tour of the gravesites of some of the civic-minded men and women…

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Musket Demonstration at the Old Barracks Museum

December 30 @ 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
2 Barrack St United States

Soldiers of the NJ Line of the Continental Army will drill and fire their muskets on the Parade ground of the Old Barracks Museum. Included in regular cost of admission.

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“Blacks at the Old Barracks”

December 30 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
2 Barrack St United States

Algernon Ward Jr. of Trenton will provide a presentation on the topic of “Blacks at The Old Barracks” which will explore the roles of African Americans in the operation of The Old Barracks as a home for soldiers and a military hospital. Free.

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Musket Demonstration at the Old Barracks Museum

December 30 @ 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
2 Barrack St United States

Soldiers of the NJ Line of the Continental Army will drill and fire their muskets on the Parade ground of the Old Barracks Museum. Included in regular cost of admission.

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“Out with the Old, In with the New: New Sweden and The American Revolution” Lecture by Erick Burro

December 30 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
120 Academy Street
Trenton, New Jersey United States
free

  @ –   This talk will discuss South Jersey’s earliest colonial settlements in the Delaware Valley, which began as the New Sweden Colony by Peter Minuit, a former Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, on behalf of the Kingdom of Sweden, and their part during the American Revolution. An accompanying exhibit of photographs documenting places…

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Musket Demonstration at the Old Barracks Museum

December 31 @ 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
2 Barrack St United States

Soldiers of the NJ Line of the Continental Army will drill and fire their muskets on the Parade ground of the Old Barracks Museum. Included in regular cost of admission.

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John Honeyman, Washingtons’s Spy: Unsung Hero or Urban Legend?

December 31 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
2 Barrack St United States

The story of John Honeyman, the Griggstown, New Jersey butcher and cattle dealer who, according to legend, became a spy for General George Washington in the months leading up to the game-changing victory in the First Battle of Trenton, has intrigued and befuddled historians for more than one hundred years. This presentation will lay out…

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Musket Demonstration at the Old Barracks Museum

December 31 @ 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
2 Barrack St United States

Soldiers of the NJ Line of the Continental Army will drill and fire their muskets on the Parade ground of the Old Barracks Museum. Included in regular cost of admission.