This 1776 Christmas Miracle In NJ Saved America

Above: Emanuel Leutze painted the iconic “Washington Crossing the Delaware” in Germany in 1850. The painting has some inaccurate historical details; however, it faithfully portrays how Americans winning and keeping their freedom inspired Europeans living under kings and dictators.

American independence seemed like a lost cause in December 1776. Shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia on July 4, a massive British fleet of 300 ships, 10,000 sailors, and 30,000 soldiers arrived in New York Harbor. Some 18,000 of those soldiers were Hessians. They were professional soldiers hired by the British government from Hesse and other states in Germany. That August and September, the British and Hessian soldiers destroyed about 90 percent of George Washington’s army in battles at Brooklyn, Manhattan, and White Plains, New York. They chased Washington and his remaining 5,000 men out of New Jersey and into Pennsylvania.

Quakers settled much of New Jersey. Most came to America as determined pacifists who opposed all wars; however, many of them later recognized the need to fight to defend themselves and their families. Richard Somers, the father of the Navy hero with the same name, was one of them. He became the commander of the militia for Gloucester County. At that time Atlantic and Camden counties were part of Gloucester County.

As they occupied much of New Jersey, many British and Hessian soldiers began to steal property and abuse local women. The militias of New Jersey fought back. Members who were Quakers became known as “fighting Quakers.”

When Washington heard of this resistance, he made plans to attack the 1,500 Hessian soldiers under British command in Trenton. That Christmas night, Washington with 2,500 of his soldiers crossed the Delaware River.

Above Image:  Victory Or Death: Advance on Trenton 1776. Painting by Don Troiani

Then they marched south to Trenton through the wind, snow and sleet of a bitter winter storm.  The Americans won an overwhelming victory the following day. They killed or captured roughly 1,000 Hessian soldiers and suffered only two dead from the cold.

The Americans surprised and overwhelmed the Hessians with deadly cannon fire.  The Americans did this because they had kept their powder dry during the wet and windy weather. Henry Knox, who commanded their artillery, had been a book seller in Boston before the war. He knew how to use waterproof wax packaging to keep his books dry when he delivered them customers.

One week later, the Americans won a second decisive victory against the main body of British troops at Trenton and a third at Princeton. News of these three American victories in New Jersey instantly revived support for the American cause. It also contributed to America’s victory in 1783, which would enshrine liberty and prosperity for all citizens of the young republic.

This story is told in the December page of our Liberty and Prosperity 2024 Teaching Calendar.

Please Click Links Below For Previous and More Detailed Posts On This Topic.  Thanks!

2021: Christmas 1776: When George Washington & A Few Thousand Volunteers Saved America & Made The World A Better Place. – Liberty and Prosperity

2020: Christmas Day 1776 Began 10 Days in New Jersey That Saved America, Changed The World. – Liberty and Prosperity

2019:  Re-Enactment at Trenton Remembers Christmas Miracle of 1776 That Saved America. – Liberty and Prosperity

2018: New Jersey’s Christmas Miracle – Shore Local Newsmagazine is a tax-exempt, non-political education organization of roughly 200 citizens who mostly live near Atlantic City, New Jersey.  We formed this group in 2003. We volunteer our time and money to maintain this website. We do our best to post accurate information. However, we admit we make mistakes from time to time.  If you see any mistakes or inaccurate, misleading, outdated, or incomplete information in this or any of our posts, please let us know. We will do our best to correct the problem as soon as possible. Please email us at or telephone (609) 927-7333.

If you agree with this post, please share it now on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the “share” icons above and below each post.  Please copy and paste a short paragraph as a “teaser” when you re-post.

Also, because Facebook and Twitter falsely claim our posts violate their “community standards”, they greatly restrict, “throttle back” or “shadow ban” our posts.  Please help us overcome that by sharing our posts wherever you can, as often as you can.  Please copy and paste the URL link above or from the Twitter share button to the “comments” section of your favorite sites like or  Please also email it to your friends. Open and use an alternate social media site like

Finally, please subscribe to our weekly email updates.  Enter your email address, name, city and state in the spaces near the top of our home page at Homepage – Liberty and Prosperity.  Then click the red “subscribe” button.  Or email me at or address below. Thanks.

Seth Grossman, Executive Director

(609) 927-7333

  • Mr Seth Grossman

    Atlantic City, NJ Attorney since 1975. Executive Director of Liberty and Prosperity since 2003. GOP Candidate for Congress, NJ State 2021, 2018. Adjunct Professor of Government & History at Atlantic Cape Community College 2010-2017. Contact (609) 927-7333

    View all posts
Scroll to Top