The Friends of Washington Crossing Park support the programs of Washington Crossing Historic Park by aiding in preservation, collection and maintenance of physical materials relating to the life of our ancestors; in acquisitions; in conducting public events; in preparation and distribution of literature; and in solicitation of financial and material aid.
From this site, General George Washington and men of the Continental Army and militia crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776 and marched to Trenton, New Jersey.
There they attacked and defeated Hessian troops quartered in and around the village.
This surprise attack and victory set the stage for Washington's subsequent victories at the Second Battle of Trenton and Princeton.
The Crossing and the Trenton/Princeton campaign have become known as the Ten Crucial Days — a campaign that saved Washington's army from defeat, allowing them to fight another day and achieve ultimate victory.
What did they see? Gusts of breath billowing from the nostrils of agitated horses being loaded this dawn onto ferry boats. Ice floes clogging the Delaware and the river's choppy water churning past.
What could they hear? The poles of Glover's Marblehead sailors penetrating the water with frigid splashing and oar-thwacks as they maneuvered the Durham boats across the inky river. They heard Colonel Knox's booming voice giving orders, rising above the confusion, as to how the assembled 2400 troops, cannons and equines should be shuttled across the Delaware.
What did these soldiers think about? About getting across this cold-cloaked river? About attacking Hessians, those fierce European soldiers allied with the British to help stanch this revolt? Did they think it was remotely possible that this plan of Washington's would work? To make a nocturnal river crossing, covertly entering New Jersey, march 9 miles, and attacking these Hessians at a Trenton outpost? Did they think that as night faded to daybreak that their chances of a successful surprise attack would fade as well? Did they think about their families at home this Christmas Day? Did they think about their farms and friends and villages? Slouching into these Durham boats, did they think what they were doing would change the world?
Washington's army needed a victory. Enlistments were soon to expire. The soldiers' and the country's morale were low. Winter was upon them and they needed to end the campaign season on a positive note after surviving through a summer and fall filled with agonizing failures. This was the moment, a turning point, a crossroads. Would the army survive to fight another season? Would this bring new hope or was it the end of a Revolution?
From the time of the crossing of the Delaware River to within the next ten days, the fate of the colonies was changed. The army survived and grew stronger. The British and Hessians almost instantly saw their enemies, these "rebellious farmers," turn into a formidable foe. And it all began here, by the McKonkey Ferry Inn, when a small band crossed a tempestuous river, because they could see, hear, and conceive a new future.
***The official registration and financial information of The Friends of Washington Crossing Park may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.***