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A CHRISTMAS CROSSING

WASHINGTON CROSSES THE DELAWARE TO ATTACK TRENTON


Trenton, New Jersey (JFK+50)  239 years ago this Christmas evening, General George Washington led 2400 American soldiers across the ice-packed Delaware River to attack the Hessian winter camp at Trenton.


The historic crossing began at 11 p.m. and was made at three different locations along the Delaware River.  One of the General’s Continental soldiers, Elisha Bostwick, later wrote…


“I heard his Excellency…encouraging the soldiers…’Keep by your officers.  For God’s sake, keep by your officers!”


General Washington’s rout of the professional German troops hired to fight on the side of the British during the American Revolutionary War came on December 26th.


Emanuel Leutze‘s* original painting of “The Crossing,” completed in 1851, was destroyed in a British air raid on Germany during World War II.  Two of Leutze’s other versions remain, one located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the other at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, MN.


*Emanuel Gottieb Leutze (1816-1868) was born in Germany and came to America as a child.  EGL lived in Philadelphia and opened a studio in NYC in 1859.  That year he painted a portrait of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney which hangs today at the Harvard School of Law.  His painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware is, by far, his most famous.


SOURCES


“Washington Crosses the Delaware, 1776,” Eyewitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/


“Washington Crossing the Delaware,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, www.metmuseum.org/

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