Washington facing left, standing in boat with eight other men crossing river in winter. Other print by same title, 2004.D03.217 (FAC#6523) is Washington on horseback
This print depicts the fateful evening when General George Washington led the American Revolutionary soldiers across the Delaware River in order to surprise the English and Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton. Washington and more than 2,000 men crossed the icy, treacherous water in the middle of the night. The surprise attack was successful and the battle was won by the American troops. The battle was a turning point in the Revolution and provided renewed hope for the military and general public. Images of historic events such as this were popular and served as a way for Americans to celebrate their sense of pride in their newly formed nation. The 1851 painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware by German-American Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868), may have inspired this print.