Delaware Public Media

History Matters: Celebrating the "Penman of the Revolution."

Dec 1, 2017

250 years ago, “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies” were published.

The series of 12 letters appeared throughout the winter of 1768 in colonial newspapers, laying out the Colonies’ common cause against The British Crown and Parliament in an effort to create unifying message to rally around.

The man behind those letters, simply signed “ A Farmer,” was John Dickinson, a well-educated lawyer with Quaker beliefs who called Kent County – then a part of Pennsylvania – his home.  For this work, Dickinson would earn the title of “Penman of the Revolution.”

To mark the letters’ 250th anniversary – the State of Delaware has created a website and will offer a variety of Dickinson related events and programs over the coming months.

In this month’s History Matters, produced in conjunction with the Delaware Historical Society,  Delaware Public Media's Tom Byrne visited the John Dickinson Plantation to chat with with Vertie Lee,  historic interpreter at the Plantation, and Doug Denison from the Department of State to discuss Dickinson, his letters and the state’s plans to celebration the anniversary of their publication.