Image Defense of the Hudson

Autumn, 1776.

After leaving Boston, the British developed a new strategy for defeating the rebellious colonies, centered on occupying New York City and the Hudson River Valley, which would divide the colonies in two. They successfully invaded and captured New York City, but were defeated a year later at Saratoga.

Washington’s forces attempted to hold Fort Washington in northern Manhattan, and Fort Lee across the river in New Jersey. But it’s all for naught, British ships controlled the river, and in November, both forts fell, with the loss of thousands of men captured, along with valuable materials like cannons and ammunition. It was a terrible defeat for the Americans, who retreated south across New Jersey.

Excellent exhibits on the early defense of the Hudson and the British assault on New Jersey are located in the visitor center at the Fort Lee Historic Park. Comprehensive presentation of this storyline should be undertaken through collaboration with the Hudson River National Heritage Area and their interpretation of the Revolutionary War in the Lower Hudson.