John Dickinson

John Dickinson

(1732-1808)


John Dickinson, known as the “Penman of the Revolution” was born in 1732 in Maryland, the son of a wealthy farm family.

He was educated by private tutors, then studied law in Philadelphia and London.

Dickinson set up his first law practice in Philadelphia, where he served in the Pennsylvania legislature.

Dickinson became famous throughout the colonies for opposing British taxation.

However, he voted against independence in 1776 and did not sign the Declaration.

He did enlist in the Continental Army.

Dickinson later headed the committee that drafted the Articles of Confederation, but by 1786 believed they needed to be changed.

Dickinson had the reputation of a scholar and was highly respected.

He made important contributions to the Philadelphia Convention, including helping to bring about the Great Compromise, but left early due to illness.

He spent his later years writing about politics.

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