Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978, American painter, b. Seneca Falls, N.Y. He studied in New York City with William Merritt Chase, and spent most of his life on Cape Cod. Working during the modernist era, Dickinson went his own way with paintings in several styles and genres. The dark, dreamlike, quasisurrealist, obsessively reworked, and often monumental paintings he called "symbolical" portray figures and objects in complex spatial and psychological interrelationships caught in a mysterious flickering light. Among these are The Cello Player (1924-26; San Francisco Mus.), The Fossil Hunters (1926-28; Whitney Mus., N.Y.C.), and the unfinished Ruin at Daphne (1943-53; Metropolitan Mus., N.Y.C.). He also painted many haunting self-portraits. His quickly painted "premier coup" landscapes, first painted in the mid-1920s and usually small and almost abstract, capture light and atmosphere with an informed spontaneity. A skilled draftsman, Dickinson also created many superb drawings.

See studies by L. Goodrich (1965), J. Shannon (1980), D. Dreishpoon et al. (2002), and J. L. Ward (2003).

Dickinson, Emily, 1830-86, American poet, b. Amherst, Mass. She is widely considered one of the greatest poets in American literature. Her unique, gemlike lyrics are distillations of profound feeling and original intellect that stand outside the mainstream of 19th-century American literature.


Dickinson spent almost all her life in her birthplace. Her father was a prominent lawyer who was active in civic affairs. His three children (Emily; a son, Austin; and another daughter, Lavinia) thus had the opportunity to meet many distinguished visitors. Emily Dickinson attended Amherst Academy irregularly for six years and Mount Holyoke Seminary for one, and in those years lived a normal life filled with friendships, parties, church, and housekeeping. Before she was 30, however, she began to withdraw from village activities and gradually ceased to leave home at all. While she corresponded with many friends, she eventually stopped seeing them. She often fled from visitors and eventually lived as a virtual recluse in her father's house. As a mature woman, she was intense and sensitive and was exhausted by emotional contact with others.

Even before her withdrawal from the world Dickinson had been writing poetry, and her creative peak seems to have been reached in the period from 1858 to 1862. She was encouraged by the critic Thomas Wentworth Higginson, her chosen reader and an advocate who may never have fully comprehended her genius but who, through their considerable correspondence, helped make her aware of events in the world beyond Amherst, and by Helen Hunt Jackson, who believed she was a great poet. Nonetheless, Dickinson published only seven poems during her lifetime. Her mode of existence, although circumscribed, was evidently satisfying, even essential, to her. After her death in 1886, Lavinia Dickinson discovered over 1,000 poems in her sister's bureau. For too long Dickinson was treated less as a serious artist than as a romantic figure who had renounced the world after a disappointment in love. This legend, based on conjecture, distortion, and even fabrication, has plagued even some of her modern biographers.


While Dickinson wrote love poetry that indicates a strong attachment, it has proved impossible to know the object of her feelings, or even how much was fed by her poetic imagination. The chief tension in her work comes from a different source: her inability to accept the orthodox religious faith of her day and her longing for its spiritual comfort. Immortality she called "the flood subject," and she alternated confident statements of belief with lyrics of despairing uncertainty that were both reverent and rebellious. Her verse, noted for its aphoristic style, its wit, its delicate metrical variation and irregular rhymes, its directness of statement, and its bold and startling imagery, has won enormous acclaim and had a great influence on 20th-century poetry.

Dickinson's posthumous fame began when Mabel Loomis Todd and Higginson edited and published two volumes of poems (1890, 1891) and some of her correspondence (2 vol., 1894). Other editions of verse followed, many of which were marred by unskillful and unnecessary editing. A definitive edition of her works did not appear until the 1950s, when T. H. Johnson published her poems (3 vol., 1955) and letters (3 vol., 1958); only then was serious study of her work possible. Dickinson scholarship was further advanced by R. W. Franklin's variorum edition of her poetry (3 vol., 1998).


See also R. W. Franklin, ed., Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson (1981) and Master Letters of Emily Dickinson (1986). Valuable biographies of Dickinson include G. F. Wicher, This Was a Poet (1938, repr. 1980); M. T. Bingham, Emily Dickinson: A Revelation (1954) and Emily Dickinson's Home (1955, repr. 1967); J. Leyda, Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (2 vol., 1960, repr. 1970); R. B. Sewall, The Life of Emily Dickinson (2 vol., 1974); C. G. Wolff, Emily Dickinson (1986); and A. Habegger, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books (2001). Among the many studies of Dickinson are those by C. R. Anderson (1960), A. J. Gelpi (1965), D. J. M. Higgins (1967), W. R. Sherwood (1968), S. Wolosky (1984), B. L. St. Armand (1986), J. Farr (1992), and B. Wineapple (2008).

Dickinson, Goldsworthy Lowes, 1862-1932, English author. He was a pacifist during World War I, and he was later instrumental in the conception of the League of Nations. His political writings include The International Anarchy, 1904-1914 (1926). He is also known for The Greek View of Life (1896), a study of Hellenic society.

See his autobiography ed. by D. Proctor (1973).

Dickinson, John, 1732-1808, American patriot and statesman, b. Talbot co., Md. After studying law in Philadelphia and in London at the Middle Temple, he developed a highly successful practice in Philadelphia. In 1760 he became speaker of the assembly of the Lower Counties (Delaware), and in 1762 he entered the Pennsylvania legislature. Dickinson led the conservative wing opposing Benjamin Franklin and defending the proprietary system. The Sugar Act and the Stamp Act led him to write a pamphlet (1765) in protest. As a member of the Stamp Act Congress he helped draw up the petitions to the king, but he opposed all violent resistance to the law. The passage of the Townshend Acts (1767) led to the colonial nonimportation agreements and the publication of Dickinson's famous Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, which appeared in the Pennsylvania Chronicle in 1767 and 1768. He pointed out that these laws were inconsistent with established English constitutional principles, but he favored nonimportation agreements and conciliation rather than revolt. Dickinson came to be regarded as the leader of the conservative group, which opposed not only British actions but also the ideas of such radicals as Samuel Adams. He was a delegate to the First Continental Congress and drew up a petition to the king. However, he still hoped for reconciliation even after the opening of hostilities, and he refused to sign the Declaration of Independence. He continued to be the leader of the conservative patriots in Pennsylvania and Delaware and held state posts. His draft formed the basis of the Articles of Confederation (see Confederation, Articles of). In 1786 he presided over the Annapolis Convention, and in the subsequent U.S. Constitutional Convention, Dickinson was a delegate from Delaware and a leading champion of the rights of the small states. He later wrote vigorously in support of the Constitution. Dickinson College, established with his support when he was Pennsylvania's president (governor), is named after him.

See biographies by C. J. Stillé (1891, repr. 1967) and E. Wolf (2d ed. 1967); study by D. L. Jacobson (1965).

Dickinson, Jonathan, 1688-1747, American Presbyterian clergyman, a founder and first president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton Univ.), b. Hatfield, Mass., grad. Yale, 1706. He was a leading preacher of the Great Awakening in the middle colonies and supported the revivalists or "New Sides" in the ensuing controversy. Convinced of the need of an educational institution to carry forward the ideals of William Tennent, he obtained a charter (1746) for the College of New Jersey. In 1747 he opened the institution at his house in Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth), N.J.
Dickinson, Preston, 1891-1930, American painter, b. New York City. In New York he studied at the Art Students League. From 1910 to 1915 he traveled in Europe, returning often later in life. His still lifes and landscapes in oil and watercolor are built up of highly colorful planes. He is well represented in museums throughout the United States.
Dickinson, city (1990 pop. 16,097), seat of Stark co., SW N.Dak., on the Heart River; inc. 1919. It is a processing and shipping center for a livestock, dairy, and wheat region, as well as a service center for the Williston Basin oil industry. Dickinson State Univ. and state experimental livestock and agricultural stations are in the city.
There is another Dickinson in Franklin County, New York, U.S..

Dickinson is a town in Broome County, New York, United States. The population was 5,335 at the 2000 census. The town was named after Daniel S. Dickinson.

The Town of Dickinson is adjacent to Binghamton and forms a suburban community to that city.


The Town of Dickinson was established in 1890 from the Town of Chenango.

The former Chenango Canal (1834-1876) passed through the town with a current village of Port Dickinson a port on the canal. The canal linked Binghamton to Troy, NY and the Erie Canal.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.9 square miles (12.6 km²), of which, 4.8 square miles (12.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (1.44%) is water.

The Town is divided by the Chenango River.

Interstate 81 joins Interstate 88 by the north town line. US Route 11 passes across the south part of the town, turning north on the west side of the Chenango River. New York State Route 7 a major north-south highway in the eastern part of Dickinson. New York State Route 17 is partly conjoined with I-81 in the town.

Adjacent towns and areas

To the North lie the towns of Union, Chenango, and Fenton. To the East is the Town of Kirkwood. To the South lies the City of Binghamton, and to the West, the town is bordered by the Town of Union and the Village of Johnson City.


As of the census of 2000, there were 5,335 people, 1,980 households, and 1,219 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,114.8 people per square mile (430.0/km²). There were 2,131 housing units at an average density of 445.3/sq mi (171.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.27% White, 4.20% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.82% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.78% of the population.

There were 1,980 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the town the population was spread out with 19.0% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,996, and the median income for a family was $49,583. Males had a median income of $33,654 versus $25,699 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,246. About 4.6% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

Communities and locations in Dickinson

  • Broome Community College -- A public two year college west of the Chenango River.
  • Cutler Botanic Gardens -- A botanical garden in the town.
  • Otsiningo Park -- A park on the west bank of the Chenango River.
  • Port Dickinson -- The Village of Port Dickinson is on the east bank of the Chenango River.


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