Could George Washington Have Crossed the Delaware?

The crossing of the Delaware River on Dec. 25-26, 1776, is a seminal moment in the American Revolution. To start a sneak attack against Hessian soldiers in Trenton, New Jersey, Gen. George Washington led his troops across the frozen Delaware for an early victory in the Continental Army’s war for independence.

That crossing might not have been possible without a unique boat with strong ties to the young country’s burgeoning foundry industry.

Though they weren’t the only crafts used, numerous Durham boats carried soldiers across the frigid river. A flat-bottomed, wooden boat that was routinely 60 ft. long, Durham boats were used on the Delaware, especially by Durham Ironworks, to move products.

The Durham Ironworks was a foundry owned by George Taylor, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

Click here to see this story as it appears in the March/April 2019 issue of MCDP.