World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania

Article Id: WHEBN0008338084
Reproduction Date:

Title: Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pennsylvania in the American Revolution, Petition to the King, American Revolutionary War, Pennsylvania Chronicle (Colonial newspaper), American political philosophy literature
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania

Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania is a series of essays written by the Pennsylvania lawyer and legislator John Dickinson (1732–1808) and published under the name "A Farmer" from 1767 to 1768. The twelve letters were widely read and reprinted throughout the thirteen colonies and were important in uniting the colonists against the Townshend Acts. The success of his letters earned Dickinson considerable fame.[1]

While acknowledging the power of Parliament in matters concerning the whole British Empire, Dickinson argued that the colonies were sovereign in their internal affairs. He thus argued that taxes laid upon the colonies by Parliament for the purpose of raising revenue, rather than regulating trade, were unconstitutional.

In his letters, Dickinson foresees the possibility of future conflict between the colonies and Great Britain, but cautions against the use of violence until "the people are fully convinced":

If at length it becomes undoubted that an inveterate resolution is formed to annihilate the liberties of the governed, the English history affords frequent examples of resistance by force. What particular circumstances will in any future case justify such resistance can never be ascertained till they happen. Perhaps it may be allowable to say generally, that it never can be justifiable until the people are fully convinced that any further submission will be destructive to their happiness.
—Letter III

According to Mel Bradford, "The manner of Dickinson’s twelve letters is well suited to their matter. In form they belong to the 'high' or 'sober' tradition of English political pamphleteering — as does Common Sense to its 'rough and ready' but popular counterpart."[2] Bradford argued that the letters had antecedents in the writings of "Milton, Swift, Addison, and Burke," as well as the authors of Cato's Letters and the Roman statesman Cicero.[2]

References

  1. ^ Early History of the Falls of Schuylkill, Manayunk, Schuylkill and Lehigh Navigation Companies, Fairmount Waterworks, Etc., by Chrles V. Hagner, 1869, reprinted by the University of Michigan, 2010
  2. ^ a b McCarthy, Daniel (2010-01-08) Right Rhetoric, The American Conservative

External links

  • Full text of letters
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.