Dickinson, John

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Dickinson, John

John Dickinson. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
John Dickinson.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

John Dickinson was born November 8, 1732, in Talbot County, Maryland. He was educated at the College of New Jersey (today known as Princeton University), where he earned a doctor of laws degree in 1768. He also pursued legal studies at the Middle Temple, Inn of the Court, England.

After his admission to the Philadelphia bar in 1757, Dickinson established a prestigious legal practice in that city and subsequently entered politics on the state level.

In 1760, Dickinson served in the Assembly of Lower Counties, Delaware, and performed the duties of speaker. Two years later, he participated in the Pennsylvania legislature, representing Philadelphia until 1764, and again, from 1770 to 1776. In 1765, Dickinson wrote a pamphlet titled The Late Regulations Respecting the British Colonies on the Continent of America Considered, which protested the passage of two unjust acts of taxation, the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act, by England. In the same year, he also served at the Stamp Act Congress and drafted a series of requests to King George III. Although he opposed many of the policies enforced by England, Dickinson favored conciliatory action over violence.

England passed the unpopular Townshend Acts in 1767, which levied tariffs on colonial imports of certain items. Dickinson composed another publication in protest, known as "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania"; these letters advocated nonimportation of the taxed materials, rather than a violent reaction to the passage of the act.

Dickinson continued to serve in pre-Revolutionary War activities, including the Committee of Correspondence in 1774 and the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776 and from 1779 to 1781. He still hoped for reconciliation with England and, as a result of this sentiment, opposed the Declaration of Independence. However, with the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Dickinson served a tour of military duty.

"It is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people that no taxes be imposed on them but with their own consent, given personally or by their representatives."
—John Dickinson

From 1781 to 1785, Dickinson was a participant in state government activities, acting as administrator of the Supreme Council of Delaware in 1781 and performing the same duty for the Supreme Council of Pennsylvania from 1782 to 1785.

Dickinson was instrumental in the formation of the Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, by serving as presiding officer of the committee appointed to compose the document and creating the outline that became the foundation of the articles. In 1787, he represented Delaware at the Constitutional Convention and advocated the ratification of the Constitution through a series of letters published under the name of Fabius.

In addition to his achievements as a statesman, Dickinson also contributed to the field of education as a founder of Dickinson College, located at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Dickinson died February 14, 1808, in Wilmington, Delaware.

References in classic literature ?
Geo: Read Gunning Bedford jun John Dickinson Richard Bassett Jaco: Broom
This draft was prepared by John Dickinson, then a delegate from Pennsylvania, who voted against the Declaration of Independence, and never signed it, having been superseded by a new election of delegates from that State, eight days after his draft was reported.
John Dickinson, Ian Dickinson and John Armstrong were 21-15 winners over Malcolm McNulty.
LOOKING AHEAD Chairman of the Owen Pugh Group, John Dickinson, at Marsden Quarry near Sunderland.
My family all do but whenever I fight more often than not I am announced in the programme as John Dickinson, which infuriates my mam.
For eight years her father, John Dickinson, made more than 20 trips to France.
Sgt John Dickinson, who organises the awards, said: 'All those who have received Good Citizenship certificates have shown that they are prepared to do that little bit extra to help others.
Canon replaces John Dickinson, who served as editor-in-chief since the magazine's launch in 1994.
It sold the leading UK manufacturer of paper stationery, John Dickinson Stationery Ltd, to Groupe Hamelin of France, but acquired the leading office products wholesaler in the Benelux region, Timmermans.
With three ends remaining there was little to separate the two teams but Rob Carson, John Higgins and Joan Mason made certain of the points to win 26-13 against John Dickinson.
John Dickinson, head of research at fund management group Brewin Dolphin, said: "Although Grainger will be aware of the strains elsewhere in the market, they will be confident that they can continue its impressive growth.
In the pack, John Dickinson returns to the back row after injury.