Did you know that Bergen County is home to what is known as one of the key American Revolution events and to “The Bridge That Saved A Nation” the historic New Bridge landing in River Edge? On May 3, join Author’s Day at Historic New Bridge Landing and, visit 3 Jersey-Dutch Sandstone Houses including the Zabriskie-Steuben House used by militiamen and soldiers who defended this area against the British.
The year 1776, you may recall, went rapidly downhill for the Americans. After a victory in Boston in March and the Declaration of Independence ratification in July, Manhattan fell to the British in August, and General Washington was forced to retreat with 3,000 troops through New Jersey on their way to Pennsylvania ? en route crossing the “new bridge” at New Bridge Landing in Bergen County.
In the early morning hours of November 20, 1776, Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis led a British and Hessian army of about 2,500 soldiers across the Hudson to New Dock into New Jersey for an attack against Fort Lee, then defended by about 900 soldiers. Washington led his 2,000 troops in a retreat through present-day Fort Lee, Englewood and Teaneck across the Hackensack River at New Bridge. The hasty withdrawal of the American garrison across the Hackensack River at New Bridge preserved them from entrapment on the Bergen Neck, the narrow piece of land between the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers.
The British failure to capture the American garrison at Fort Lee, and perhaps defeat the American rebellion, was a consequence of self-confident British officers not realizing, despite reminders from local Loyalists, that “New Bridge was the key to the peninsula between the Hackensack and the Hudson.”
The park, strategically situated at the narrows of the Hackensack River, is only 15 minutes by car from Tenafly, Closter, Cresskill and Demarest. Visitors will also enjoy the Steuben House, Campbell-Christie House and the Demarest House, all landmarks of Bergen Dutch sandstone architecture.
To see some of the nearby battle-related sites yourself, join Bergen County Historical Society in hosting its first Authors’ Day 12 noon to 5 pm on Sunday, May 3, 2015 Featured: Authors on local history, American history and historical fiction. Books are available for purchase & book signing.