Be a Farmer

John Dickinson became well known for his way with words after arguing that it was unfair for the British Government to tax goods being shipped to America. He wrote down his thoughts in a series of letters that were signed from a farmer in Pennslyvania. Collectively, the letters were known as "A Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania" and were reprinted in almost all of the colonial newspapers.
A book with the words "A Letter from a Pennsylvania farmer by John Dickinson"
A book with the words "Letters from a framer in Pennsylvania to the inhabitants of the British Colonies"

Your Challenge: Inspire your countrymen.


  1. OPTIONAL Follow the link to listen to one of the “Letters from a Farmer" written by John Dickinson with a friend, family member, sibling, or teacher.
  2. Brainstorm some rules that you have in your life that you would like to change. For example it could be:
    • moving your bedtime back 1 hour
    • dessert for breakfast
    • two recesses at school
  3. On a piece of paper, pick one of the rules and inspire your dear countrymen by writing a letter using your words. Make sure you include at least one reason why they should support you.

Bonus! Listen up.

John Dickinson was not the only one who saw the importance and value in farming during the 18th century. Early European settlers also saw the value and established farms and mills bordering creeks throughout Beaver Valley. If you visit the John Dickinson Plantation or Beaver Valley you can take a step into the one of the fields and feel the wind blow across your skin, or smell the same smells that John Dickinson or the early Quaker settlers did.


  1. Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a farm at Beaver Valley or at the John Dickinson Plantation.
  2. On a piece of paper describe how you feel by filling in the poem below:

I see __________________________________________________________________
I smell _________________________________________________________________
I taste _________________________________________________________________
I hear _________________________________________________________________
I feel __________________________________________________________________

Learn More

Visit the John Dickinson Plantation to learn more about John Dickinson's role in the Revolution, farming, and the plantation or visit the Beaver Valley to explore agricultural fields and ruins of the old mills. Visit the agriculture & ranching page to learn more about historic and modern farming.

Last updated: February 1, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


(302) 544-6363
This phone number is not staffed. You can leave a message on the park's main phone number (302-544-6363) and we will return your call as soon as possible. If you are visiting one of the seven sites, and need specific information, please refer to the "Places to Go" page for phone numbers and addresses of each site.

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