The Battles of Trenton and Princeton

This page provides resources on the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. It relies heavily on The Winter Patriots, 25-minute film that covers America's declaration of independence, Washington's strategies behind the early Revolutionary War battles, and mandated smallpox inoculations. Use these resources to view the film, learn more about the Revolutionary War, and find incredible source materials! 

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Click to watch the full film of The Winter Patriots: A Revolutionary War Tale.

Interactive Map

Use this link to access a map depicting the Battles of Trenton and Princeton!

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Interactive Revolutionary War Timeline

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The Battle of Trenton

Washington crossed the Delaware River with his troops on Christmas Eve, 1776. The river was icy, and the men experienced intense amounts of rain, hail, and snow. Nevertheless, Washington was surprisingly successful in his efforts and managed to surprise Hessian and British troops.

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The Battle of Princeton

After Washington was victorious in Trenton, he turned to fight the British in Princeton. Washington successfully deceived General Cornwallis into thinking the Americans were staying at Trenton and led the Continental Army to defeat the British in battle.

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Primary Source: Trenton Letter

Washington wrote this letter to General James Ewing just before the Battle of Trenton. Washington inquired about the location of the British, and suggested that Ewing send a spy over to gain more information.

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Primary Source: Portrait of Washington after Princeton

After the Battle of Princeton, Washington got his portrait painted by Charles Wilson Peale. Peale watched as Washington's troops defeated the British at Princeton, which inspired Washington's expression and dress in this painting.

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Primary Source: Smallpox Inoculation Letter

Smallpox was a dangerous disease in the eighteenth century. Many of Washington's soldiers received inoculations after the Battle of Princeton - a dangerous, yet effective treatment. Washington described this in a letter to David Grier in March 1777.

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Educational Videos

Click the link to explore more videos at the Educational Videos page.

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Watch The Winter Patriots


Learn how Washington successfully defeated the British and Hessians at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.

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