Jonathan Dickinson (New Jersey)


Jonathan Dickinson (New Jersey)

Jonathan Dickinson (1688–1747) was a Congregational, later Presbyterian, minister, a leader in the Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s, and a co-founder and first president of the College of New Jersey, which later became Princeton University. Born in Hatfield, Massachusetts on 22 April 1688, Dickinson studied theology at the Collegiate School of Connecticut, which later changed its name to Yale College, graduating in 1706. In 1709 Dickinson was ordained minister of the Congregational church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey.

Dickinson became concerned about the attempts of the established Church of England to suppress dissenters in New Jersey. Seeing a need for more coordination among dissenting churches, in 1717 Dickinson persuaded his congregation to join the Presbytery of Philadelphia. He became an active and influential participant in the affairs of the Presbyterians, and was twice elected moderator of the Synod of Philadelphia. As a former Congregationalist, Dickinson was part of the "New England" faction of Presbyterians who opposed the strict doctrinal requirements favored by the "Scots-Irish" faction. Dickinson was a strong supporter of Presbyterianism, earning a reputation as a leading defender of Calvinism in America. His book "Familiar Letters to a Gentleman, upon a Variety of Seasonable and Important Subjects in Religion" was reprinted a number of times in America and elsewhere.The Great Awakening that started in the 1730s profoundly changed religion in the American colonies. The Presbyterians were divided into "New Sides" and "Old Sides", supporters and opponents, respectively, of the great revival meetings and the fervent preaching that accompanied them. Dickinson was a moderate "New Sider", supporting the revivals while opposing their more violent excess. In 1738, Dickinson joined with other "New Siders" to form the Presbytery of New York. When the Presbytery of New Brunswick was expelled from the Synod of Philadelphia over its support for the more extreme "New Siders" in 1741, Dickinson and others tried to negotiate a reconciliation. In 1745 the Presbytery of New York withdrew from the Synod of Philadelphia and joined with the Presbytery of New Brunswick to form the Synod of New York. Dickson was elected the first moderator of the new synod.

Dickinson had long been interested in starting a new college to serve the middle colonies. When he saw that the existing colleges in New England were hostile to the "New Siders", he returned to the project of establishing a college. A group that included Dickinson, Aaron Burr, Sr. and Peter Van Brugh Livingston, among others, received a charter for a college from the governor of New Jersey in 1746. In April, 1747 the trustees appointed Dickinson first president of the College of New Jersey, which eventually became Princeton University. Classes in the new college started in May 1747, meeting in the parsonage of Dickinson's church. Less than five months later, Jonathan Dickinson died suddenly on October 7 1747 due to complications related to smallpox.

References

* [http://etcweb1.princeton.edu/CampusWWW/Companion/dickinson_jonathan.html Extract from: Alexander Leitch. (1978) "A Princeton Companion". Princeton University Press.] Accessed November 19 2005

External links

* [http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0815449.html The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia article on Jonathan Dickinson]
* [http://www.etsjets.org/jets/journal/41/41-3/41-3-pp455-467-JETS.pdf Jonathan Dickinson and the Subscription Controversy]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jonathan Dickinson (disambiguation) — Jonathan Dickinson may refer to:*Jonathan Dickinson, author and mayor of Philadelphia *Jonathan Dickinson (New Jersey) *Jonathan Dickinson State Parkee also*John Dickinson …   Wikipedia

  • New Jersey Lightning — Founded 2007 League EBA 2007 present Team history New Jersey L …   Wikipedia

  • New Jersey General Assembly — For the current session, see New Jersey General Assembly, 2010 2012 term. New Jersey General Assembly New Jersey State Legislature Type …   Wikipedia

  • New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association — Not to be confused with the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association …   Wikipedia

  • Moorestown Township, New Jersey — This article is about the Township of Moorestown in New Jersey. Other places in New Jersey with similar names are Morris Township, New Jersey and Morristown, New Jersey. Moorestown Township, New Jersey   Township   …   Wikipedia

  • History of New Jersey — Colonial period American Revolution …   Wikipedia

  • Columbia High School (New Jersey) — Columbia High School Excelsior Locati …   Wikipedia

  • United States congressional delegations from New Jersey — These are tables of congressional delegations from New Jersey to the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. Contents 1 United States Senate 2 United States House of Represe …   Wikipedia

  • Liste der US-Senatoren aus New Jersey — Die Liste der Senatoren der Vereinigten Staaten aus New Jersey zeigt alle Personen auf, die jemals für diesen Staat im Senat waren, nach den Senatsklassen sortiert. Dabei zeigt eine Klasse, wann dieser Senator wiedergewählt wird. Die Wahlen der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Colonial history of New Jersey — European colonialization of New Jersey started soon after the 1609 exploration of its coast and bays by Sir Henry Hudson. Part of the state was settled by Dutch and Swedish as New Netherland and New Sweden. In 1664 the entire area was surrendered …   Wikipedia