submitted by Captain Bob, Gerenser’s Exotic Ice Cream
A treasure in New Hope consists of an array of events and people who have done important deeds, which in turn salvaged victory from the gaping maw of defeat. That salvaged victory allowed the triumph at Trenton that insured the permanent establishment of the United States. General Washington’s many defeats in the fall of 1776 ultimately led to his last stand on the Western bank of the Delaware River.
What many people don’t know is that Washington planned for two other crossings, both of which were unsuccessful. A fourth maneuver, led by Washington’s cousin Captain William Washington, at Coryell’s Ferry (New Hope) was successful.
A major participant and second in command to “Bill” Washington was young Lt. James Monroe. He was to cross the river at Coryell’s Ferry, march seven miles inland to an intersection of the Princeton/Pennington road, stop all individuals traveling on that road to prevent reinforcements from reaching Trenton in time to help the Hessians.
In this case Lt. Monroe’s column was hampered by a Nor’easter that turned into a full-fledged blizzard. They dutifully held that intersection for over six hours when the nearest neighbor to that intersection, Dr. Riker, was awoken by their activities. Six hours was all that General Washington required of these troops.
Once the time had elapsed, they were free to quit their post and head to safety. After some spirited discussion it was decided they would try and reach Trenton, head into danger, in time to join up with General Washington.
Dr. Riker immediately volunteered to go along. There were four casualties in that action. Two soldiers froze to death in the line of March getting to Trenton. Two officers were shot in the chest, Captain William Washington and Lt. James Monroe. Dr. Riker’s quick medical treatment saved them both.
This insured that the young man, James Monroe, would survive and become the fifth President of the United States of America.
Washington’s crossing had the first future President; New Hope had the fifth!