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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Victory at Princeton

Victory at Princeton

Throughout my 19 years as president of this fine organization, I have shared many exciting preservation victories with you. Today, I am very proud to announce something that is near to my heart, and I know near to many of yours: Today, we closed on the purchase of the 15-acre Washington’s Charge site on the Princeton Battlefield. It is officially ours!

Acquiring this property was no easy feat. Not long after we added Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites to our battlefield preservation mission, we found ourselves involved in a controversy over the fate of this iconic landscape, which was slated for faculty housing. Fortunately, in December 2016, we were able to reach a landmark agreement with the Institute for Advanced Study to preserve 15 critical acres of the property.

Then came the next hurdle: The Trust needed to raise $4 million in just 14 months to save this hallowed ground. Fortunately, thanks to your generosity and enthusiasm for history, we succeeded in meeting this ambitious goal.

The January 3, 1777, Battle of Princeton showed our budding nation and the world that Americans could defeat the most experienced soldiers in Great Britain’s formidable army. More than 240 years later, you and I stood shoulder to shoulder once again, preserving one of the most important pieces of Revolutionary War history and accomplishing one of the most ambitious land-preservation goals in the Trust’s history.

While more than 8,000 individuals all around the world donated generously to this project, we would like to extend a special thank-you to Mr. Richard Gilder of New York, who, through his foundation, gave $1.1 million, and without whom we would not have been able to achieve this historic preservation victory.

In addition, our good friends at the American Battlefield Protection Program and the Mercer County Open Space Assistance Program awarded another $837,000 in government grants toward the purchase of the property.

Thank you for helping to honor the memory of George Washington and his Continental Army by joining me in this worthy preservation effort.

American Battlefield Trust