45 Facts About John Dickinson


John Dickinson, a Founding Father of the United States, was an attorney and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, known as the "Penman of the Revolution" for his twelve Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, published individually in 1767 and 1768.

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John Dickinson later served as president of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which called for the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

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John Dickinson attended the convention as a delegate from Delaware and signed the United States Constitution.

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John Dickinson wrote "The Liberty Song" in 1768, was a militia officer during the American Revolution, president of Delaware, president of Pennsylvania, and was among the wealthiest men in the British American colonies.

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John Dickinson was born at Croisadore, his family's tobacco plantation near the village of Trappe in Talbot County, Province of Maryland.

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John Dickinson was the great-grandson of Walter Dickinson who emigrated from England to Virginia in 1654 and, having joined the Society of Friends, came with several co-religionists to Talbot County on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in 1659.

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John Dickinson's was the daughter of Martha Jones and the prominent Quaker John Cadwalader who was grandfather of General John Cadwalader of Philadelphia.

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Three generations the John Dickinson family had been members of the Third Haven Friends Meeting in Talbot County, and the Cadwaladers were members of the Meeting in Philadelphia.

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John Dickinson was educated at home by his parents and by recent immigrants employed for that purpose.

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John Dickinson was precocious and energetic and in spite of his love of Poplar Hall and his family was drawn to Philadelphia.

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John Dickinson spent those years studying the works of Edward Coke and Francis Bacon at the Inns of Court, following in the footsteps of his lifelong friend, Pennsylvania Attorney General Benjamin Chew, and in 1757 was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar beginning his career as barrister and solicitor.

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John Dickinson argued that Parliament had the right to regulate commerce but lacked the right to levy duties for revenue.

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John Dickinson further warned that if the colonies acquiesced to the Townshend Acts, Parliament would lay further taxes on the colonies in the future.

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John Dickinson's was the daughter of wealthy Philadelphia Quaker and Speaker of the Pennsylvania General Assembly Isaac Norris and Sarah Logan, the daughter of James Logan.

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John Dickinson was one of the delegates from Pennsylvania to the First Continental Congress in 1774 and the Second Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776.

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John Dickinson wrote the Olive Branch Petition as the Second Continental Congress' last attempt for peace with Britain .

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John Dickinson prepared the first draft of the Articles of Confederation in 1776, after others had ratified the Declaration of Independence over his objection that it would lead to violence, and to follow through on his view that the Colonies would need a governing document to survive war against them.

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At the time he chaired the committee, charged with drafting the Articles, John Dickinson was serving in the Continental Congress as a delegate from Pennsylvania.

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John Dickinson believed that Congress should complete the Articles of Confederation and secure a foreign alliance before issuing a declaration.

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John Dickinson objected to violence as a means for resolving the dispute.

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John Dickinson is one of only two members of the First Continental Congress who actively took up arms during the war.

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John Dickinson was the only Founding Father to free his slaves in the period between 1776 and 1786.

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John Dickinson returned to the property to investigate the damage and stayed for several months.

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The old Pennsylvania General Assembly was dominated by the Loyalists and moderates and, like John Dickinson, did little to support the burgeoning Revolution or independence, except protest.

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John Dickinson managed to settle quickly the old boundary dispute with Virginia in southwestern Pennsylvania but was never able to satisfactorily disentangle disputed titles in the Wyoming Valley resulting from prior claims of Connecticut to those lands.

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Somewhat sympathizing with their case, John Dickinson refused Congress's request to bring full military action against them, causing Congress to vote to remove themselves to Princeton, New Jersey.

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John Dickinson was quickly appointed to represent Delaware at the Annapolis Convention where he served as its president.

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John Dickinson was elected president of this convention, and although he resigned the chair after most of the work was complete, he remained highly influential in the content of the final document.

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John Dickinson remained neutral in an attempt to include a prohibition of slavery in the document, believing the General Assembly was the proper place to decide that issue.

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John Dickinson had freed his slaves conditionally in 1776 and fully by 1787.

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Once more John Dickinson was returned to the State Senate for the 1793 session but served for just one year before resigning because of his declining health.

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In 1801, John Dickinson published two volumes of his collected works on politics.

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John Dickinson died at Wilmington, Delaware, and was buried in the Friends Burial Ground.

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John Dickinson was a self-taught scholar of history, and spent most of his time in historical research.

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John Dickinson did not think it wise to plunge into immediate war; rather he thought it best to use diplomacy to attain political ends and used the insights he gained from his historical studies to justify his caution.

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John Dickinson used his study of history and furthered his education to become a lawyer, which exposed him to more historical schooling.

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John Dickinson incorporated his learning and religious beliefs to counteract what he considered the mischief flowing from the perversion of history and applied them to its proper use according to his understanding.

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John Dickinson's religiosity contributed heavily to his discernment of politics.

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John Dickinson's political thought, given his education and religion, was influential towards the founding of the United States.

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The political theory of Quakers was informed by their theology and ecclesiology, consequently John Dickinson applied his religious beliefs and his belief in adhering to the letter of the law in his approach to the Constitution, referring to his historical knowledge as he did so.

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Jane Calvert has contended that John Dickinson was arguably an early feminist, partly because of his Quaker culture.

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John Dickinson believed that women were spiritually equal to men and that they deserved equal religious rights.

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John Dickinson was good friends with Quaker feminist Susanna Wright and was a correspondent of Catharine Macaulay and Mercy Otis Warren.

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John Dickinson encouraged both Warren and Macaulay to continue writing.

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John Dickinson additionally bought books that detailed the lives of strong Quaker women.

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