CHRISTMAS  NIGHT  December 25, 1776

Crossing the frozen Delaware River into New Jersey*

 

Imagine Christmas night – 1776!  Washington is crossing the Delaware!  A night destined to become the most significant in America’s history.  The snow that began at six in the evening has changed to sleet.  The wind lashes the faces of the men as they huddle in the boats trying to hold on to their tricornes and headgear.  Every man knows it is past midnight and that the crossing should have been made by this hour in order to complete the nine mile march to Trenton and strike before dawn . . . Boats, somewhat like this one, stretch as far as the eye can see.  They are Durham boats, built for carrying iron ore down river.  Their narrow bows and sterns make loading extremely difficult.  Frightened and bewildered horses are led aboard amid blinding snow and sleeting wind . . . Now it will be after 2 a.m. before the crossing can be completed; long after daylight before the Americans can reach Trenton.  Will it be too late to surprise the Hessians?  Washington, alone, must decide.  You sense the decision from his “unconquerable firmness.”  You become aware that this outstanding trait is the rock upon which the American cause is clinging on this night of December 25, 1776  . . . Washington was not only winning his struggle against the icy current of the Delaware, but also turning the tide of the American Revolution in which he successfully defeated the Hessians who were caught by surprise.  This became more than the crossing of a river—to him it was the crossing from previous defeat and despair to hope and victory.

 

In this, our time, many political writers are warning that the end of the United States and the government Washington founded is coming to an end.  George Bush already signed in 2005 the North American Union Agreement to merge Canada, Mexico and the United States together as one country – into a new form of government – a segment of the socialistic New World Order.  Should we allow the sacrifices that were made during the War for Independence to become forgotten and those achievements, which became our legacy, to become squandered? If not, we must demand that all “unconstitutional” laws be rescinded.

 

* This painting was created by Emmanuel G. Leutze (1816-1868).  He came to the United States from Germany in 1825 when he was nine years.  His family settled in Philadelphia, near the Delaware River where he became fascinated with the story of Washington’s crossing the Delaware.  He spent 10 years abroad studying art in Italy and Germany.  This painting was actually done while he was living in Germany and he used American art students and tourists as models.  The original painting he made was smaller, but was damaged by fire, so he produced this larger version that exists today:  21’- 4” wide by 12’-5” high.  It weighs 800 lbs.  Leutze was a patriot to the core.  His son and grandson became Admirals in the U.S. Navy.