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History of the Delaware

The Delaware River starts on the western slopes of the Catskill Mountains in eastern New York. The river consists of two branches: the West Branch and the East Branch. The West Branch flows southwest to Deposit, New York and then turns southeast to Hancock, New York, where it forms the boundary between New York and Pennsylvania. The East Branch parallels the course of the West Branch above Deposit and the two branches meet at Hancock. From that point the Delaware flows south and continues to border New York and Pennsylvania as far south as Port Jervis, New York. From there it becomes the boundary between Pennsylvania and New Jersey all the way the the Delaware Bay.

There have been many historic battles fought along the Delaware, but none more important than on the evening of December 25, 1776, when George Washington led his troops across the Delaware. The next day, he and his troops defeated German mercenaries allied with the British at the Battle of Trenton.

During the Civil War there was a great train wreck along the river in Pike County carrying 600 confederate prisoners. Sixty five confederate prisoners were killed and many escaped.

The Delaware River is particularly scenic along the New York and Pennsylvania border. This area is known as the Upper Delaware. In addition, the area between Stroudsburg and Port Jervis is spectacular. This area is known as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

The Delaware Water Gap is a gorge that has 1,200 foot cliffs on each side of the river and is one of the scenic wonders in the eastern United States. The gorge has a long cultural history starting when native Americans first lived in the river valley about 8,000 BC.

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