John Dickenson

2nd- Huy Kunkel Prashan Jose


Family History: John Dickinson grew up in a moderately wealthy family that lived in Maryland. He had 8 siblings, but 3 of which died due to smallpox. His father, Samuel, was the first judge to the Court of Pleas in Delaware. John studied law at the Temple in London. At the time, it was one of the highest education that a person could hope for. John had a great grandfather, Walter, he emigrated from England to Virginia in 1654. Walter wanted to start a plantation, so he started out with 400 acres to began his plantation on the bank of Choptank River. Later on, Walter bought another 800 acres on St. Jones Neck. Samuel later on inherited 2,500 acres, and increased that to 9,000 acres over his lifetime.

Political Affiliations: While most political affiliations of this time were very simple and easy to understand, the loyalties of Mr. Dickinson were much more complex. He valued and took great pride in being a colonist. He loved the Colonies, but he saw it in their best interest that they stay united with Great Britain. He was openly opposed to declaring independence. He was devoted to the British Constitution, yet felt that the colonies should have more power in governing themselves. He wanted a peaceful negotiation, and wanted to reconcile with King George. Ultimately Dickinson was loyal to both the Colonies and England, since he thought they should remain united.

Contributions to/Participation in colonial development and independence: John Dickinson was one of the wealthiest men in Colonial America. He was well spoken and was a lawyer by profession. While he was very loyal to The colonies, he saw it best that they stay a part of Great Britain. His first notable acts of patriotism occurred in 1765 when he was invited to attend the Stamp Act. There he gained notice for defending the notion that the colonist’s should try to reconcile with England through an orderly and diplomatic way. He ended up writing a series of essays and letters titled “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania.” These letters gained international acclaim, and he soon rose in popularity for his anti-violence stance. When the Continental Congress convened for the first time, he proved to be a member worth recognition. He wrote and drafted documents listing the grievances the members of the Continental congress had against Parliament. He was later invited to return to the second meeting of the Congress, where he still stood for reconciliation with the king. He faced increasing number of opposition, and he worked until the Declaration of Independence was voted on and signed to try to save the colonies’ relationship with the England. His last act before leaving the Continental Congress was to right the Olive Branch Petition, which was his last attempt at salvaging the colonies. He did however he actively participated in the militia, and was the chairman of Pennsylvania's Committee of Safety and Defense. He strongly supported the Colonists’ right to defend themselves against direct attack, and wrote his “Declaration of Causes for Call to Arms” to support such thought. After America gained her independence, he went on to help draft and sign the Articles of Confederation and was a Statesman of Pennsylvania and Delaware for many years.


Integrity- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness

John Dickinson had integrity by making it ubiquitous among their politicians that there was no need to create conflict between the United States and Great Britain . Even though he wanted the best for America he also wanted Britain to stay as powerful as they were and he showed this by protesting against war and unbalance of power between the countries. Integrity was shown by his plans to keep the nations peaceful. He also showed integrity in constantly trying to reconcile with the king and parliament for disrespectful and rebellious actions of his peers. He was also chairman of the Pennyslvania Committee of Safety and Defense, a position where he took into account the safety of the general public against British attacks. He showed great concern for the public when he could easily retire to amassed riches.


Citizenship- The state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen.

John Dickinson proved his citizenship by deciding to stick with the colonies even though he didn’t want to turn his back on Great Britain. One could argue that the highest level of citizenship that could be displayed is serving one's country in both a military and political fashion (of which he did both). He activley played a role in the governing and decision making in the colonies, participating in both Continental Congresses and signing the Articles if Confederation. He also wrote a Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms with Thomas Jefferson. He later served in the militia and helped people prepare for direct attacks from the British. It is in these ways that Dickinson displayed massive citizenship, serving his country in both a military and political form.

John Dickinson