BUCKS COUNTY CANDLE Co. Blog

Inspirations and just A Bit of Bucks County…online

In Wintry Light

McConkey's Ferry Inn tavern in the village of Washington Crossing, Bucks County

McConkey’s Ferry Inn tavern in the village of Washington Crossing, Bucks County.



Historic Bucks County In Wintry Light
After Christmas Dinner at Samuel McConkey’s Ferry  tavern located on the western banks of a then icy Delaware River, on December 25, 1776,  by the light of large campfires, General George Washington, 2,400 militia men and officers including 2 future Presidents James Madison and James Monroe, and American portrait painter then Lieutenant Charles Wilson Peale, prepared to cross the River with horses and artillery,standing in large, stable Durham boats used to transport iron ore that Washington had specifically ordered to secure, in a blinding northeaster snow storm, to march nine miles with soaked muskets and fixed bayonets, engaging and surrounding the British and Hessian Troops in the village of Trenton, that would turn the tide of the American War of Independence.

Currier and Ives Print, Washington Crossing the Delaware, The First Battle of Trenton

Washington Crossing the Delaware, Currier and Ives hand colored lithograph print, The Library of Congress.


Passage of the Delaware by Thomas Sully, 1819.

Passage of the Delaware, by Thomas Sully. 1819. Oil on Canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The incredible story and that Historic Crossing, captured in iconic paintings, and more recent movies such as A and E’s Network’s “The Crossing”, are commemorated and reenacted annually, and a media event broadcast around the world along the western banks of the Delaware River, on Christmas Day, from the Washington Crossing Historic Park.  The Park includes a Visitor Center, historic village of homes, shops, and a replica Boat House. The Park is administered by The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, PHMC.

Hand colored 1777 Map of "Plan of the Operations of General Washington, against the King's Troops in New Jersey, from the 26th of December, 1776 to the 3d. January 1777."  London 1777, cartographer William Faden

Hand colored 1777 Map of “Plan of the Operations of General Washington, against the King’s Troops in New Jersey, from the 26th of December, 1776 to the 3d. January 1777.” London 1777, cartographer William Faden. Library of Congress.

January 3, 1777, eight days later, the young Continental Army would again set out in darkness on frozen ground with the last of their ammunition, hardly any rations or sleep, pursuing and engaging the superior forces of the British in a sunrise surprise Battle of Princeton, leaving a canonball impression still visible, in the sandstone facade  of Nassau Hall on the Princeton University campus. Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of George Washington at the Battle of Princeton, painted from life sitting with the future president in 1783, is on display at the Princeton University Art Museum.

Visit David Hanauer’s Tour of Bucks County site, and read excerpts from General Washington’s Letters of the time, with great images of The Delaware, and Washington’s and the Continental Army’s Crossing, that fateful night, in Wintry Light.

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One comment on “In Wintry Light

  1. Cassandra
    January 3, 2015

    What an amazing story- and such a part of our local history. Those paintings are beautiful and Bucks County Wintery Light- what a tale!

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2015 by in Historic Bucks County, Towne.
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