"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

Fate of America

photo of painting
In this photo:

OIL PAINTING "Washington Crossing the Delaware" probably painted by Robert Wise after Emanuel Leutze, 1874. The original painting by Leutze is 12' high by 21' wide, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

This famous painting is purely imaginary: a) the flag shown was not yet used by the Army; b) the boats were specially constructed to navigate shallow rivers with platforms for sailors to pole, not row, across the water; c) on December 25, 1776, visibility was poor but there were no ice floes in the river; d) soldiers would have carried musket barrels downward to protect from moisture and bayonets were not fixed until close fighting in battle; and e) had Washington been standing he would have pitched overboard!

  On loan from the collection of:
    --Claude and Jeanne Harkins
ARTWORK (reproductions) depicting a Continental drummer boy, a soldier and his equipment, and the Continental Army retreating across New Jersey

"I will if you will"

The Continentals suffered defeat throughout New York and across New Jersey for the remainder of 1776. After retreating into Pennsylvania, General Washington devised a daring plan for December 25, 1776. On Christmas night in freezing sleet, soldiers re-crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey to launch a surprise dawn attack at Trenton. It became the first unqualified American victory!

But enlistments would soon be up for most of the army. The Commander-in-Chief begged his men to re-enlist for six more months. Reluctantly, one by one, thousands of soldiers stepped forward. Their subsequent victory at Princeton not only outwitted British Lord Cornwallis but also impressed foreign powers.


A Confederation
The Continental Navy
  Father of the Navy--John Paul Jones
Fate of America (You are here)
  Commander-In-Chief, George Washington
  Official Flag


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