Image of John Dickinson

John Dickinson was born in November, 1732 in Talbot County, Maryland. In 1740, John's father, Samuel Dickinson moved his family to a plantation on Jones Neck, southeast of Dover, Delaware. Samuel Dickinson had come to Kent County, Delaware to accept a judgeship and to allow his wife, Mary Cadwalader Dickinson to be closer to her native Philadelphia.

At the new plantation, which they called Poplar Hall, John was schooled by his parents and a series of tutors. In 1750, at age 18, John began reading law in Philadelphia and later to England at Middle Temple, Inns of Court and Westminster. Returning home in 1757, he began law practice in Philadelphia. Active in the Pennsylvania Assembly, he attended the Stamp Act Congress where his suggested resolutions were adopted with few changes. His Letters of a Farmer in Pennsylvania written in 1767, brought him fame. As a result, Dickinson was called on for advice and inspiration in the years before the First Continental Congress.

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John Dickinson

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John Dickinson: Oil on canvas, by Charles Willson Peale (1780)

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress: John Dickinson