Dickson, John

Dickinson, John (1732-1808) Writer, Political Leader: Dickinson was born in Maryland and raised in Delaware. After studying law in England, he set up a practice in Philadelphia, but soon turned to politics. As a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, he suggested resolutions to the Stamp Act Congress which were largely adopted. Called the "penman of the Revolution," Dickinson protested the Townshend Acts in a series of 12 anonymous letters to the Philadelphia Chronicle entitled Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania. These letters were reprinted throughout the colonies. Dickinson later served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress, helped draft the Articles of Confederation, fought against British troops in New Jersey, and was elected to the Congress in 1779. He retired to his estate in Delaware where, in 1781, he was elected governor. Two years later, he became president of Pennsylvania. At the Constitutional Convention, Dickinson represented Delaware, and fought to protect the rights of small states with respect to representation. He wrote a series of letters, published as Letters of Fabius, to garner support for the proposed Federal Constitution. Seven years before his death, Dickinson's writings were collected and published in two volumes.