John Dickinson Plantation


Historic house
John Dickinson Plantation
Highlights histories of enslavement in Delaware.
Photograph of the John Dickinson Plantation mansion, known as Poplar Hall. The John Dickinson Plantation was home to a variety of people, including tenant farmers, indentured servants, and free and enslaved Black men, women, and children.

Poplar Hall was also home to as many as 59 enslaved people at one time, which included men, women, and children. John might have purchased some bondspeople from his brother to keep families together. Work performed on Dickinson’s properties included growing crops, digging ditches, mending fences and buildings, spinning flax and wool, and odd jobs. In 1776, the Quakers in the Philadelphia area made it known that holding humans in bondage was an unacceptable practice. It was strongly recommended that all Quakers free the individuals they had enslaved. Eventually, in 1786, John unconditionally released his enslaved laborers.
House originally built in 1739 but was burnt down and re-built in 1804 under the direct supervision of John Dickinson.
1700s, 1800s
Dover, Delaware
Dickinson, Samuel (1739 house)
Dickinson, John (1804 house)
Enslaved labor
13,000-acre plantation
Now owned by the State of Delaware and open to the public as a museum by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Part of First State National Historical Park.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
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