National Historical Publications & Records Commission

John Dickinson Writings

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John Dickinson, courtesy New York Public Library.


University of Virginia

Additional information at

John Dickinson (1732-1808) was a lawyer from Pennsylvania, known as the "Penman of the Revolution" for his twelve Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania. Dickinson wrote hundreds of published and unpublished works for the American cause, including pamphlets, broadsides, newspaper articles, songs, speeches, and many seminal state papers. He served in the Continental Congress, drafting several attempts to negotiate with King George of Great Britain and later wrote the first draft of the 1776–1777 Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, but absented himself from the proceedings on the Declaration of Independence. He fought in the Revolutionary War and later served as President of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which called for the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Dickinson attended the Convention as a delegate from Delaware. Together with his wife, Mary Norris Dickinson, he is the namesake of Dickinson College.

Project plans on publishing a three-volume edition.

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