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At this location on April 21, 1789, General Washington passed through an arch designed by the citizens of Trenton to celebrate his election to the Presidency. At this time, New York City was the capitol and Washington was on his way from Virginia to New York for his inauguration.


  • This monument reflects upon the two Battles of Trenton. The second took place among Assunpink Creek.
  • A reflection of the Battle of Assunpink Creek. Although it was technically a loss for the Colonial Army, the British endured many casualties.
  • This historical marker commemorates the arch made by Trenton residents to welcome Washington as he made his way to New York City for the inauguration.

Near this same location in 1776, Washington delivered one of his most important addresses to his troops. While history may focus on the more heroic speeches of politicians in the early years of the American Revolution, it may be Washington's message at this location where he implored his men to keep fighting and remain in the army even though their contracts had expired and prospects were bleak that helped turn the tide. And while the speech could not reverse the military defeats as his men faced the British for the second time in a matter of days, Washington's ability to keep his fledgling army in the field and the skirmishes that occurred here prior to the Battle of Trenton were essential. By keeping many of his men in the army, General Washington was able to win small but significant battles as the fight moved on to Princeton. 

Shortly after his famous crossing of the Delaware River, a small battle took place just days later along the Assunpink Creek. Washington had abandoned Trenton, taking the fight into Pennsylvania when the British believed he was still in the city. Rather than let the British have Trenton, Washington sent his troops back across the river in order to recapture the city.

Washington made a personal address to his troops to regain Trenton and then stay in the army. Washington implored his troops near this location in the final days of 1776: "You have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear...If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty, and to your country, which you probably never can do under any other circumstance."1. 

Washington's speech resonated throughout the army and carried the troops into battle once again. Washington planned to defend the area around Assunpink Creek and then move back across the bridge to Princeton. However, his army was pushed back across the bridge where Washington wanted to hold firm. Nearing the end, Washington decided that they were going to abandon Trenton but instead of retreating, he wanted to double back on the British in Princeton. The colonial army slipped back to Princeton in the night as the British kept firing upon a small group of troops that heroically held their ground and allowed the army to escape.  

American casualties among these defenders were slight whereas the British lost many men owing to their attempt to surge forward in an attempt to capture the Americans before they could cross the bridge. Although a loss for the Americans, casualties for the British army were five times higher and the battles proved once again that the American army could inflict damage upon the British. 

1. "Ten Crucial Days: The Second Battle of Trenton", last accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.visitprincetonbattlefield.org/visit-princeton-battlefield/ten-crucial-days/second-battle-of-trenton/ 2. "The Two Battles of Trenton", last accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.trentonhistory.org/His/battles.html 3. "Battle of Assunpink Creek", last accessed November 1, 2014, http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/AmRev1777/p/American-Revolution-Battle-Of-The-Assunpink-Creek.htm