John Dickinson Plantation Reflection Project

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The John Dickinson site offers various historical interpretations and educational activities centered on plantation life in the eighteenth century. This project aims to develop a master plan for the John Dickinson Plantation Reflection, which is located in Dover, Delaware. Its main focus is to create a reflection area in the plantation to remember the enslaved peoples’ legacy. The site properties will be developed into a mixed-use landscape for visitors, students, and residents around the area (“Tour the John,” 2021). The plantation was established by Samuel Dickinson. Samuel Dickinson, a prosperous Quaker tobacco planter and merchant from Talbot County, Maryland, relocated his family to the Jones Neck property southeast of Dover, Delaware, on January 18, 1740. He was then seven years old, John Dickinson. On the different plantations, a substantial slave community lived and worked for Dickinson and his tenants. John Dickinson agreed in 1777 to release his thirty-seven slaves after twenty-one years of service ( Newton, 1997). He split his time be-tween his father’s plantation estate and his city residences in Philadelphia and Wilmington for 68 years until he died in 1808. Moreover, he was instrumental in founding a new nation—the United States of America—during that period (“Tour the John,” 2021). After John died in 1808, his daughter did receive the plantation and remained in her family several times until the start of the twentieth century. In 1952, the Sociedad Nacional de las Colonias de América bought the main mansion and 12 acres of land for 25,000 dollars. At the Constitution Day ceremony that year, they gave the site to the State. The house started opening again in May 1956, after three-and-a-half years of renovation (“Tour the John,” 2021). The mission of this landscape master plan is that the project will provide an open memorial space that commemorates the legacy of en-slaved peoples at the John Dickinson Plantation. Visitors will be able to interact with one another and the site history.
John Dickinson Plantation, Landscape architecture, Memorial, Enslaved people, John Dickinson Plantation, Dover DE