John Dickinson, born on November 13, 1732, was raised with an excellent educational background with would later bring him into politics. John was born the second son of Samuel and Mary Dickinson near the village of Trappe in Talbot County, Maryland. By the age of eighteen, Dickinson began the study of law in Philadelphia. John then continued his education at London s Middle Temple, and was admitted to the Delaware Bar. Four years later, he returned to Philadelphia and quickly became a prominent lawyer in the city.
The struggle between the colonies and England had worsened in the debates over the Stamp Act . That year, 1765, he wrote The Late Regulations Respecting the British Colonies… Considered, an influential pamphlet that urged Americans to seek repeal of the act by pressuring British merchants. Consequently, the Pennsylvania legislature appointed him as a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress, whose resolutions he drafted.
British taxation policy. He also emphasized the possibility of a peaceful resolution. In 1774 he chaired the Philadelphia committee of correspondence and briefly says in the First Continental Congress as a representative from Pennsylvania.
Dickinson chaired a Philadelphia committee of safety and defense and held the rank of colonel in the first battalion recruited in Philadelphia to defend the city. After the battles of Lexington and Concord, he continued to hope for a peaceful solution to the conflicts between the colonies and England, and in 1775, he served in the Second Continental Congress. As a delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, Dickinson was in Philadelphia during the early spring of 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was being considered. In July of 1776, he voted against and declined to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Despite Dickinson s actions, he served in the American revolutionary militia, becoming one of only two contemporary congressional members who entered military service being given the rank of Brigadier General in the Pennsylvania militia. He was elected as the Governor of Pennsylvania where he served through 1785.
After serving as Pennsylvania s governor, he returned to Delaware and was quickly appointed as a Delaware delegate to the Annapolis Convention in 1786 were he was made President of the Convention. The following year, he was sent again as a delegate from Delaware to sign the Constitution. In 1792, Dickinson was again elected to the Delaware State Senate where he served his last two years in politics.
Dickinson died at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, on February 14, 1808, at the age of 75. In history he has become popularly referred to as the Penman of the
Dickinson was a very important figure in our nation s history. I do not believe gets enough credit. Even thought he remained against war for most of his tenure as an assemblyman, he served in the Pennsylvanian militia.