Adams vs Dickinson: Where Do You Fall?

Are you a Dickinson or an Adams? Today, we all think we’d be on Adams’ side of the debate. However, given the relationship between the colonies and the British crown, and the people who populated the Continental Congress, I don’t think the choice is really all that clear-cut.

Imagine it this way: you live in a small territory recently purchased and controlled by the United States. You moved there from your home state where you’d lived most of your life, in order to set up a US outpost, and make a new life for yourself.

Gradually, the federal government starts taking arbitrary liberties with your territory. Revoking constitutionally guaranteed rights, on the basis that it’s not “really” the US. Ignoring your pleas for redress. Forcing you to quarter US troops in your home against your will, stationed there because of the strategic importance of the territory.

Then, after a brief protest over these rights violations that gets particularly violent, the US cracks down HARD, and kills a bunch of people, including some of your own extended family members.

You send a peace offer to the US, asking again for redress, this time, directly from the President. But he sends back to you a message saying that you’re all traitors, and that he’s going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. What would your feeling be, then? What would you do next?

I submit, that John Dickinson was, hands down, one of the bravest, one of the most loyal, and one of the most tragic figure of all of the Revolutionaries. He wanted desperately to remain loyal to his homeland - as any one of us Americans would, now. He held out hope against hope that George would come to his senses. And he lost almost as many friends in the colonies for this stance, as Tom Paine would later lose because of his outspoken atheism.

Watch this, and tell me that Dickinson doesn’t at least have a respectable position…

[Imported from on 27 November 2021]