The John Dickinson Plantation and Museum celebrates the life and times of John Dickinson. Dickinson, who became known as the “Penman of the Revolution,” was active in the formation of the United States. He helped frame the Constitution and was one of the signers from Delaware. Dickinson, a lawyer, was born in Maryland in 1732 but moved to Delaware with his family when he was 7 years-old. Visitors can tour the plantation and museum with help from historic interpreters dressed in period attire.
Dickinson’s family called the plantation Poplar Hall. He
studied law in Philadelphia and in England before returning to practice law in
Philadelphia. He was active in the Pennsylvania Assembly and attended the Stamp
Act Congress. His Letters of a Farmer written 1767 led to Dickinson being asked
for advice prior to the First Continental Congress. Dickinson also served as brigadier
general of the Pennsylvania militia, President of Pennsylvania and President of
Through the years Dickinson split his time between the
plantation and city homes in Philadelphia and Wilmington. He remained an active
voice in the formation of the country. He died in 1808 leaving the plantation
to his daughter.
The plantation stayed in the family until 1933. After a
series of new owners, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in
the State of Delaware bought the mansion and property. They gave the site to
the State of Delaware that year. It was opened as a museum in 1956 after nearly
four years of restoration.