June 19, 2024

Talk on Art Depicting Early Battles of American Revolution

The Trent House Association will host an illustrated talk on how the early battles of the American Revolution have been portrayed visually over the past two and a half centuries. Given by Roger Williams, a well-regarded local historian of the Revolution, this free talk will be held on Sunday, June 30 at 2 p.m. at the Trent House Museum Visitor Center and virtually at tinyurl.com/THATalkJune30. The museum is located at 15 Market Street in Trenton, across from the Hughes Justice Complex. Free parking and the museum entrance are at the rear of the property off William Trent Place.

One of the iconic images of the early days of the American Revolution is that of Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve 1776, portrayed in an 1851 painting by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutz. This painting solidified this crucial event in the public’s mind, and it remains one of the best-known portrayals of the Revolution. Painted in Germany 75 years after the Battle of Trenton, it is not surprising that some of the details are not accurate. This is also true of many of the numerous other artistic interpretations of this and other events of the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. Williams will share many of these interpretations during his talk, pointing out how these images have reinforced certain beliefs about the Revolution and created opportunities for exaggeration and even distortion of the actual events.

A book publishing professional, Williams serves as a historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park, Pa., and for the Princeton Battlefield Society. He is the state historian for the New Jersey Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and is co-founder of TenCrucialDays.org, an organized affiliation of organizations committed to the promotion of the ten days in 1776-77 that “turned the tide of American fortunes toward independence.”

The William Trent House Museum is a National Historic Landmark in the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area and on the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail. For more information, visit williamtrenthouse.org.