Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SNOW WEEK - Crossing the Delaware

TITLE: When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots

AUTHOR: Lynne Cheney

WHO WAS WHERE IN THE SNOW? George Washington and his dilapidated army crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania to attack the Hussians (German fighters hired by the British) in Trenton, New Jersey on December 25, 1776.

AMAZING FACTS ABOUT THIS EVENT: The downtrodden, ill-equipped, rag-tag Americans took by surprise the best trained army in the world. They were rallied by the words of Thomas Paine, “these are the times that try mens souls,” as they prepared for the crossing. 2,400 men and eighteen cannons moved over the ice-laden Delaware that night then marched the nine miles to Trenton where they captured nearly 900 unsuspecting Hessians. They regrouped and took on thousands of British and Hessian troops near Princeton, miraculously gaining the upper hand there as well. Among the American soldiers were Alexander Hamilton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and James Monroe, who was injured in the fight and later became our nation’s fifth president.

What a well written, designed and illustrated way to introduce children to this pivotal moment in American history. The book is punctuated with many quotes including this one:

I remember reading in my youth a small book – The Life of Washington—and of all his struggles none fixed itself on my mind so indelibly as the crossing of the Delaware preceding the battle of Trenton...I am exceedingly anxious that the object they fought for —liberty, and the Union and Constitution they formed—shall be perpetual.

—Abraham Lincoln, February 21, 1861

Ages 9 to 12

Activity: The Mount Vernon web site offers a nice coloring page of Washington crossing the Delaware. You'll find it through this link.

1 comment:

  1. Jill, So glad you found my blog. Yours is like a Christmas pudding - just stick in your thumb and pull out a plum (of a book)!