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The Trenton Battle Monument
The Trenton Battle Monument. Photo courtesy N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, Div. Of Parks & Forestry

Battle of Trenton Monument: Site of the American Artillery Emplacement

The Battle of Trenton monument was erected in 1893 to mark the site of where American artillery was placed in the surprise attack on Trenton, December 26, 1776. The Continental Army, led by General George Washington, crossed the Delaware in December 1776, and headed for the enemy's barracks in Trenton, where they defeated Hessian mercenaries. On January 2, a second battle was fought that held back the British, while the main Continental forces marched to Princeton. The battle of Trenton marks a turning point in the war in America's favor.

A movement to erect a monument commemorating the success at Trenton began in 1843. About forty years later in 1886, the property for the monument was acquired by the Trenton Monument Association. To build the monument, the New Jersey legislature appropriated $15,000, Congress $30,000, and citizens contributed $15,000. On December 26, 1891-the 115th anniversary of the Battle of Trenton, the cornerstone was laid. Two years later on October 19, 1893-the 112th anniversary of the surrender at Yorktown, a dedication was held, attended by eight governors of the original thirteen states. Designed by John H. Duncan, the architect of Grant's Tomb, the memorial is an early example of the Beaux Arts style in America. Its doric column is 150 feet high and made of granite. Near the top of the column is a small round pavilion that provides access to the platform. The pavilion is surmounted by an acanthus leaf pedestal, upon which a statue of George Washington, right arm outstretched, tops the impressive monument to the pivotal battle.

Documentation comprises a brochure from the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.

Originally submitted by: Christopher H. Smith, Representative (4th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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