Plan of the Operations of General Washington against the King's Troops in New Jersey, from the 26th of December 1776 to the 3rd January 1777


Copper engraving with period color, 11-1/4” x 15-1/4”. One mended marginal tear not affecting engraved surface, slight stain on verso, overall a very good example with wide margins.


London, April 15, 1777


The only contemporary plan of an iconic event in American history: Washington crossing the Delaware.

By December 1776, the American Army was in desperate straits. Driven from New York by the British the previous September, then pursued across New Jersey, Washington had taken refuge in Pennsylvania on the west bank of the Delaware. The Americans seemed on the verge of a final defeat. Washington’s solution was to mount a brilliant counter-strike. On Christmas Eve, when the British least expected it, he crossed the Delaware and attacked the Hessian post at Trenton, and the following week, crossed the river again and struck General Howe outside of Princeton. Both attacks resulted in victories that sustained American morale through winter and were among the decisive battles of the Revolution.

Faden’s plan depicts a roughly 400 square-mile are of northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It documents key events of the Trenton-Princeton operation, including the crossing of the Delaware on December 25th, the attack on Col. Rall’s force at Trenton on the 26th, Cornwallis’ rush south from Fort Lee, and Washington’s end-around to hit Cornwallis’ flank at Princeton on January 2nd and 3rd. Tables at lower left and right summarize British losses in the two encounters.

The plan appeared only three months after the battles and only a few weeks after the news reached London. It is hard to overstate the impact it must have had on the British elite, who after the capture of New York had anticipated a swift and successful conclusion to the war.


Nebenzahl, Atlas of the American Revolution, 15; Nebenzahl, Printed Battle Plans, 119; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, Mapping of America, pp. 189-190; Stevens & Tree, “Comparative Cartography,” 36b (State 2).

Inventory No. 8751

Cohen & Taliaferro

*indicates required

Receive copies of our printed catalogs in the mail several times each year (U.S. residents only) and/or email updates to our on-line catalog every few weeks.

Cohen & Taliaferro LLC never sells, trades or gives away information from our mailing lists.

() -