On last night's Town Tours and Village Walks, we visited Trimbleville, which was a key spot as the British army followed a maze of local roads on September 11, 1777 on the way to meet Washington's Continental army in Chadd's Ford.
Local loyalists led Generals Howe and Cornwallis and 8500 soldiers through this peaceful village which was described as looking today much as it looked that day. Villagers could see dust rising from the Great Valley road and could hear cannons and gunfire across the fields. A local Quaker had warned Washington of their route, but he was ignored because the Quakers did not take up arms or support the revolution with their pacifist stance and could not be trusted.
The one thing the Quakers did well was keep records, and from these records, we find the exact route can be traced by their recording the "depredations" caused by thousands of looting (and starving) troops from both sides. Recent archeological evidence of a layer of slag (disposed of by blacksmiths) at Trimble's Ford along the Brandywine Creek gave evidence of reinforcement the original fording place on the Creek. We were shown pictures of this evidence, since the site of the crossing is now inaccessible to the public deep in a forested area. But we could see the depressions still evident showing where the old roads crossed local fields.
The same small grouping of stone homes that greeted the British still stands in this National Register Historic District village surrounded by rolling fields and grazing horses, a typical Chester County scene in an area with much preserved open space today. Kudos to the West Bradford and Pocopson citizens for their skilled presentation of history in this important place which honored the 240th anniversary of the campaign of 1777.
Presented by Carolyn Roland, Your Older and Historic Homes Resource in Delaware and Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.