John Dickinson

November 2, 1732-February 14, 1808


Family History:

  • John Dickinson was born in Croisadore, Maryland at his family's tobacco farm.
  • His family traditionally passed the farm down from father to son, however, when he was 18 he moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania to study law and in 1757 he was admitted into the Pennsylvania Bar.

Political Affiliations:

  • Dickinsons wife was a Quaker, as was much of her family, however he did not formally join the Quakers, as he explained at the Quaker Meeting where he said that he "believed in the lawfulness of defensive war". Quaker = pacifist
  • Dickinson went on to be the President of Delaware and Pennsylvania, and is considered one of the most successful and influential politicians of his era.

Contribution/Participation in Colonial Independence:

  • Delegate in the First Continental Congress in 1774 (Pennsylvania)
  • Delegate in the Second Continental Congress in 1775-76 (Pennsylvania)
  • Contributed to many declarations in the name of Congress
  • Strong opposer of violence between Great Britain and the Colonies
  • He opposed the Declaration of Independence because he felt that it would lead to violence
  • He drafted up the Articles of Confederation based on his belief that in the ensuing war, the colonies would require a governing document
  • After he was elected governor of Pennsylvania in 1781 he began his term with the "Proclamation against Vice and Immortality" and sought for a way to end the Revolutionary War.

Integrity: When a person has honest morals that are righteous.

  • John Dickinson stood up for the colonies by writing the King of England
  • He had peaceful intentions for when becoming independent
  • Did not want to cause War with England
  • Went against signing the Declaration of Independence because of his belief in peace
  • "A more estimable man, or truer patriot, could not have left us. Among the first of the advocates for the rights of his country when assailed by Great Britain, he continued to the last the orthodox advocate of the true principles of our new government and his name will be consecrated in history as one of the great worthies of the revolution." - Thomas Jefferson on John Dickinson

Citizenship: A citizens efforts towards being a positive member of society in relation to obligations and duties.

  • He became one of Pennsylvania's delegates and was heavily involved in the First Continental Congress in 1774, as well as the Second Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776.
  • Dickinson believed that Americans were, “resolved to die freemen rather than slaves,” he wrote about this in the Olive Branch Petition which was a last effort to reach out to King George III and resolve the dispute in a peaceful positive way.
  • Although Dickinson was passionate about independence and revolution his main focus always remained on reconciliation and was an enthusiast of the British Constitution.
  • Dickinson was also involved with the Pennsylvania militia and took on the obligation to lead 10,000 soldiers to Elizabeth, New Jersey in order to protect the territory against British attacks.

John Dickinson

Maria Garcia, Zach Price, Christina Burdette