Who was John Dickinson?
A member of the Continental Congress and the President of both Delaware and Pennsylvania, John Dickinson (1732-1808) was one of the most important political leaders of the American Revolution. A native of Maryland, Dickinson was one of the wealthiest men in America; his father owned more than 12,000 acres in Delaware and Maryland. A member of the First and Second Continental Congress, Dickinson opposed colonial independence, and he refused to sign the Declaration. He served as a brigadier general of Pennsylvania militia for a short time before returning to politics. He became the President of Delaware (1781-1782) before being elected President of Pennsylvania (1782-1785), being reelected twice by the state's Supreme Executive Council. He later returned to Delaware politics, and upon his death, Thomas Jefferson stated:
"A more estimable man, or truer patriot, could not have left us."
Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is named after him.