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Delaware Crossing and the Durham Boats

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This is an interesting topic.  It has been rumored that Christopher Tinsman swam the Delaware river to retrieve his boats that had been taken from the northern bank of the Delaware when the Continentals withdrew to Pennsylvania.


Another letter stated that he and another person swam the river and were caught retrieving/stealing the boats to take back to New Jersey.  So although I have not rediscovered this letter, it causes me to wonder about the Tinsman support of the Continental army with transport or supply efforts.  Another pension request of a 3rd party stated that Sgt Chris Tinsman worked in a supply function, I assumed with wagons.


This note may lead to more information.

5. Experienced watermen from New England and the Philadelphia area ably guided the boats across the challenging river.

One factor in Washington’s favor was the large number of experienced watermen to be found at the crossing site. Col. John Glover’s Marblehead regiment was filled with New Englanders who had extensive experience as seamen. Glover’s men were all quite identifiable with their short blue seaman’s jackets, tarred pants, and woolen caps. Other experienced watermen from the Philadelphia area, many familiar with this exact stretch of river, had also congregated in the area and were able to provide the muscle and skill needed to make the perilous nighttime crossing.

Potential Sources:


“The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.” US Army Corps of Engineers. 13 Apr. 2010. <http://www.nap.usace.army.mil/sb/c&d.htm>.

The Durham Boat. Washington Crossing Historic Park. 20 Jan. 2010. <http://www.ushistory.org/washingtoncrossing/history/durham.htm>.

History of The Durham Boat. Durham Historical Society. Durham Historical Society. 20 Jan. 2010. <http://durhamhistoricalsociety.org/history2.html>.   

Hutton, Ann Hawkes. George Washington Crossed Here. Philadelphia: Franklin Company, 1966.

Leutze, Emanuel Gottlieb. Washington Crossing the Delaware. 1851. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Met Museum. 24 Feb. 2010. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/97.34>.

Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution. Old Saybrook, CT: Konecky & Konecky, 1952.

Werner, Jeff. “Oarsmen Navigate Swift Currents, Biting Winds in Prelude to Washington’s Historic Crossing.” Bucks Local News. BucksLocalNews.com. 7 Dec. 2009. 18 Apr. 2010. <http://www.buckslocalnews.com/articles/2009/12/07/the_advance/news/doc4b1d2b864951a692782793.txt>.

Willey, Stephen. Personal Interview. 29 Jan. 2010.

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still haven't found that letter from a colonel to Washington or his staff.


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