The Age of George III

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John Dickinson: timeline

I am grateful to Joe Dickerson for supplying this page.

1732 Born, November 13, in Talbot County, Maryland
1741 Moved to Kent County, Delaware, near Dover, now "The Dickinson Plantation"
1750 Age 18, began study of law with John Moland in Philadelphia
1753 Continued study of Law at London's Middle Temple; admitted to Delaware Bar.
1757 Returned to Philadelphia to practice law.
1759 Elected to the Assembly of the Lower Three Counties (Delaware).
1760 Became Speaker of the Assembly of the Lower Three Counties.
1761 Served in the Pennsylvania legislature; chosen its representative to the Stamp Act Congress and the "Continental Congress"
1762 Served in both Pennsylvania. and Delaware Assemblies
1764 Lost the Pennsylvania legislature seat because of his defence of the proprietary government against Benjamin Franklin's faction.
1765 Played a key role in debates over the Stamp Act. Wrote The Late Regulations Respecting the British Colonies Considered, urging repeal of the Stamp Act.
1767 Wrote for the Pennsylvania Chronicle the series of articles known as Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania attacking British taxation policies.
Emphasized the possibility of a peaceful resolution.
He became the "first native political hero," and was awarded the LLD degree from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) , and Paul Revere engraved his likeness.
1768 Championed colonial resistance to taxes inform of non-importation and non-exportation agreements.
1770 Married Mary Norris, daughter of wealthy merchant Isaac Norris (of five children, only daughters Sally and Maria survived to maturity)
1774 Though unpopular because of his opposition to use of force, he chaired the Philadelphia Committee of Correspondence.
1775 After Lexington and Concord he still worked for peace, but held rank of colonel in the First Battalion recruited to defend Philadelphia.
Served in the Second Continental Congress and wrote "Declaration of the Causes of Taking up Arms."
1776 Spring of 1776, he stayed at Poplar Hall, his home near Dover, DE. Part of his reason for opposing separation from Britain was "that the States had no settled governments of their own, had received no foreign aid, and had not yet set up a working confederation." Knowing well that his action would be devastating to his standing, he did not sign the Declaration of Independence.
Nevertheless. he became one of only two contemporary congress members who entered military service in the Pennsylvania militia.
1777 In August, with Lord Howe marching troops toward Philadelphia, he enlisted as a private under command of Gen. Caesar Rodney, but saw no action.
In October, his home, "Fairhill," was burned during the Battle of Germantown. He freed all the slaves at Poplar Hall in Delaware.
1779 He helped draft the Articles of Confederation and signed them.
Poplar Hall was plundered by Tories who looted or destroyed silver chests, meat, wine, etc.
1781 Chosen Governor (President) of Delaware.
1782-85 Served as Governor of Pennsylvania. He donated 500 acres in Adams and Cumberland Counties to create Dickinson College near Carlisle. Gave 1500 books to that college's library.
1786 Elected President of the Annapolis Convention
1787 Helped draft the U.S. Constitution, and signed it for Delaware.
1792-94 Elected to the Delaware State Senate. He owned 1,279 acres in Pennsylvania. and 5,587 acres in Delaware. He furthered the cause of abolition of slavery. Much of his wealth was donated to "relief of the unhappy." He helped pay for neighbours' children's education, prison relief and other charities.
1801 Published two volumes of his collected works on politics.
1803 Wife Mary died on July 23.
1804 Poplar Hall burned; afterwards he lived in Wilmington. corner of 8th & Market.
1808 On February 14, 1808, age 75, he died, was buried in Friends Burial Ground in Wilmington

John Dickinson's lineage

Dr Thomas Wynne (1627-92)
Friends' minister and physicial to William Penn, first Speaker of the Pensylvania legislature

Mary Wynne (1659-1726)
married - in 1677
Dr Edward Jones (1645-1736)
Dr Jones led the First Company of Welsh Quakers into Lower Merion

Martha Jones (c. 1678-1747)
married - in 1699
John Cadwalader (c. 1677-1734)
John was a schoolmaster in Merion, and later a merchnt. He was prominent in political circles

Mary Cadwalader (1700-1776)
married - in 1731
Samuel Dickinson (1689-1760
Samuel was a wealthy Quaker tobacco planter and merchant who moved from maryland to Delaware to become a judge.

John Dickinson (1732-1808)


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