Web Exclusive: Who Was Delaware’s John Dickinson and Why You Should Care

William Murchison authors the new biography “The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson.”



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About the Book
William Murchison is the author of the new biography “The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson,” from which this essay is adapted. Reprinted with permission of ISI Books (Wilmington, Del.). The book is available at isibooks.org or wherever books are sold.

 

We lose track of our great men and women sometimes—especially if they wore a lot of lace when alive, and could talk for hours without uttering a word modern TV censors would find worthy of a bleep. Take John Dickinson, native Delawarean and possessor of a name once familiar enough to adorn high schools, not to mention a college in Pennsylvania. He had a plantation in Dover. Schoolchildren still visit it. John Dickinson—yes; famous for . . . That depends, in some measure, upon how much faith one places in modern narratives regarding Dickinson’s agonized decision to withhold his signature from the Declaration of Independence. All the rest of his deeds—representing Delaware brilliantly at the Constitutional Convention, writing the major prerevolutionary assertions of colonial rights against England—get lost in popular accountings (HBO’s John Adams miniseries, the musical 1776) of his deliberate absence from the Continental Congress the day of the vote for independence.

The moment would seem at hand to restore balance to general perceptions of the life and career of a gifted and influential patriot—“one of the great worthies of the Revolution,” in the words of the man whose masterpiece Dickinson felt unable to sign. Thomas Jefferson knew a patriot when he saw one. He saw in John Dickinson a deep lover of the American cause.

How did it come to be otherwise?

 

A Shaper of Mighty Events

Contrary to the simplistic image of The Man Who Would Not Sign the Declaration of Independence, Delaware’s John Dickinson was one of the most complex and influential figures of the entire revolutionary period, someone who was present at all the major assemblages where thinkers and activists charted the young nation’s path. The historian Forrest McDonald has called Dickinson “the most underrated of all the Founders of this nation.” 

There is much to examine in the life of a patriot who wrote with force and intellectual brilliance many of the revolutionary era’s major documents—pamphlets, petitions, and speeches, by turns forceful and intricate. Dickinson wrote an extremely popular patriotic song (“The Liberty Song”)—and probably would have written the Declaration of Independence had he been as hot as John Adams to strike off the mother country’s shackles at that precise moment. His Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, which carefully enunciated the argument for colonial rights, were read and huzzaed throughout the colonies. London took exasperated note of them. They made him the leader, in a rhetorical and sometimes operational sense, of colonial opposition to Britain’s transgressions against her overseas sons and daughters. Historians have dubbed Dickinson the “Penman of the Revolution.” It is not a bad phrase; nor is it a totally adequate one, suggesting as much as anything else a recording secretary in half-moon spectacles, with head bent low over his journal—a note taker rather than a shaper of mighty events.

Among the large fraternity active in the cause of independence, John Dickinson gave place, intellectually, to no one. Whenever large decisions were in the offing, his presence and counsel were wanted. In the preconstitutional period he served as chief executive of two different states, Delaware and Pennsylvania. His was the first draft of the Articles of Confederation. A decade later he was instrumental in arranging the convention that wrote the Constitution.

He was deeply learned in history and law alike. Out of the deep net of the past, he fished principles that bore directly on current affairs: respect for the admonitions and precedents of past centuries, and prudence that called for heeding guideposts and warning signs. “Experience,” Dickinson said at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, “must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us.”

Brains, energy, analytical power—one thing more John Dickinson had. The thing was moral courage of an order not often enough glimpsed today. The shifty, weasel-like Dickinson of the HBO series is hardly a man you picture facing down powerful adversaries whose shouts grow fiercer as their numbers grow greater. Yet so he faced them down—and never, as far as history knows, did he give thought to acting otherwise. He was one of the revolutionary era’s authentically great men.

Dickinson understood the risks he ran by questioning the wisdom of severing all ties with Britain in the summer of 1776. Men who had hailed him scurried away from him. He held tight to conviction nonetheless, hazarding fame and reputation to tell the truth as he saw it. The necessity of independence he had come, however slowly, to acknowledge. Was it necessary, all the same, that the task be accomplished before the perils of precipitate action were properly explored? Dickinson, a venerated tribune of the colonists’ cause, counseled precaution and delay. Of his decision to withhold approval of the Declaration of Independence, he would say: “My Conduct this Day, I expect will give the finishing Blow to my once too great and (my integrity considered) now too diminished Popularity.”

Modern reactions to Dickinson’s decision are preordained: How could this man not stand with the great Adams, the great Jefferson, and the other greats at that moment we mark every year with flags and fireworks? We shall examine the matter in its right sequence.

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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
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Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Joanne Ward
Website »

More information

Wilmington Community Orchestra Auditions This accomplished amateur ensemble, led by Music Director Tiffany Lu, performs music from the standard symphonic and concerto repertoire. Featured soloists...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Tiffany Lu
Website »

More information

Small Wonder Jazz Singers Auditions Led by Martin Lassman, the Small Wonder Jazz Singers offers the community a wonderful opportunity to sing jazz/pop music in a smaller group setting!  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Martin Lassman
Website »

More information

After an evening Yuletide tour, relax and celebrate the season with live jazz and a glass of wine in the festive atmosphere of Winterthur’s Galleries Reception Atrium. Cash wine and beer bar;...

Cost: 0 - $15

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 180-044-83883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

Zen Meditation Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: UUFN
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

Richard Cleaver creates elaborate figurative sculptures full of hidden compartments to capture the lives and secrets of historical figures and personal acquaintances. Cleaver received his bachelor...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, collaborators Troy Richards and Knut Hybinette will develop a pop-up virtual reality (VR)...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Founded in 1971, the Harmony Weavers Guild is dedicated to the making of cloth—a process involving time-consuming techniques. Created by hand, the works of art highlight attention to design...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

While African Americans have long shared the goals of improving their lives and combating injustice, there have been many different visions and strategies used to achieve them. Those often...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 South College Ave.
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Laura McMillan New Works ~ Paintings, Painted Furniture & Oddities Laura enjoys working in a variety of media on many surfaces from pastels on paper, to oil and acrylic on canvas or...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Every Thursday, 9:00 am, Brown Learning Center Try practicing yoga in a beautiful garden setting, strengthening your body and spirit. Our yoga class is open to all levels. We will practice slow,...

Cost: Drop-in rate of $10.

Where:
Brown Center, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Drop in on Nature is an emergent program based all outdoor/all weather and is child led. We encourage children to explore, play and create a child led flow in a natural environment. This process...

Cost: TLC members  $10 with adult TLC members $20 Drop-off Non-members $20 with adult

Where:
The Annex
501 Chandler Mill Road
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County
Telephone: 610-347-0347
Contact Name: Stacey Gummey
Website »

More information

Discover one of the Brandywine Valley's most spectacular holiday showcases! Tour Henry Francis du Pont's dazzling former home decorated in holiday style. Enjoy visions of holidays past and...

Cost: Check the Winterthur website for updates, winterthur.org.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

The new Winterthur exhibition series Eye on the Iconic, will debut October 20, 2017, with Royal Splendor: The Coronation Gown from The Crown, featuring the replica coronation gown worn in episode...

Cost: See www.winterthur.org for ticket information

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

Take delight in the little things! Discover cupboards, cabinets, and entire rooms filled with treasures in miniature on this special tour. Floors 3, 7 & 8, Adult [age 8 and above ]; 1 hr. Please...

Cost: Please visit: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1048

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

The exhibition will examine artwork, couture, silver, sporting memorabilia, wine, musical instruments, antiquities, and stamps along with ceramics, furniture, and folk art. This broad selection of...

Cost: $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Imagine the stories clothes from war could tell—about the people who wore them, the period’s fashion and lifestyle, and the war itself. That is the focus of the “Fashion on All Fronts:...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

Join us in our newly transformed venue for our re-imagined Thanksgiving Day Buffet on Nov. 23, 2017, from noon–6 p.m., with last seating at 5:30 p.m. The price is $49.95 for adults, $19.95...

Cost: $49.95 for adults

Where:
Hilton Wilmington/Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »


Website »

More information

The human face conveys an array of emotions, but it also serves as a site of history, struggle, drama and inspiration. In the Mechanical Hall exhibition, “Faces in Black and White: Photography...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Stone carving style is influenced by many factors, such as tradition, available tools and material. The “Contemporary Chinese Carvings: Classic Concepts” exhibition highlights 20th century...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Penny Hall
255 Academy St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Delaware Women’s Chorus Auditions Led by Music Director Joanne Ward, this ensemble is an artistic and nurturing experience for women who love to sing and have some choral background. Explore and...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Joanne Ward
Website »

More information

Wilmington Community Orchestra Auditions This accomplished amateur ensemble, led by Music Director Tiffany Lu, performs music from the standard symphonic and concerto repertoire. Featured soloists...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Tiffany Lu
Website »

More information

Small Wonder Jazz Singers Auditions Led by Martin Lassman, the Small Wonder Jazz Singers offers the community a wonderful opportunity to sing jazz/pop music in a smaller group setting!  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Martin Lassman
Website »

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, collaborators Troy Richards and Knut Hybinette will develop a pop-up virtual reality (VR)...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Founded in 1971, the Harmony Weavers Guild is dedicated to the making of cloth—a process involving time-consuming techniques. Created by hand, the works of art highlight attention to design...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Richard Cleaver creates elaborate figurative sculptures full of hidden compartments to capture the lives and secrets of historical figures and personal acquaintances. Cleaver received his bachelor...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

While African Americans have long shared the goals of improving their lives and combating injustice, there have been many different visions and strategies used to achieve them. Those often...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 South College Ave.
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Shop the best local arts, goods, and services on the largest shopping weekend of the year! Why shop the big box stores when you can support local artists and businesses, all while sipping free...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Starboard
2009 Coastal Hwy
Dewey Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Sponsor: Dewey Artist Collaboration
Contact Name: Leah Beach
Website »

More information

Laura McMillan New Works ~ Paintings, Painted Furniture & Oddities Laura enjoys working in a variety of media on many surfaces from pastels on paper, to oil and acrylic on canvas or...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

The exhibition will examine artwork, couture, silver, sporting memorabilia, wine, musical instruments, antiquities, and stamps along with ceramics, furniture, and folk art. This broad selection of...

Cost: $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Bring your family and out-of-town guests to enjoy activities, crafts, and games. Sample historic holiday dishes inspired by nineteenth-century recipes from “The Hagley Cookbook,” play...

Cost: Adults $14, Senior and students $10, Children 6-14 $5, children 5 and under and

Where:
200 Hagley Creek Rd,
Visitors Center entrance
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

Take delight in the little things! Discover cupboards, cabinets, and entire rooms filled with treasures in miniature on this special tour. Floors 3, 7 & 8, Adult [age 8 and above ]; 1 hr. Please...

Cost: Please visit: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1048

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

Discover one of the Brandywine Valley's most spectacular holiday showcases! Tour Henry Francis du Pont's dazzling former home decorated in holiday style. Enjoy visions of holidays past and...

Cost: Check the Winterthur website for updates, winterthur.org.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

The new Winterthur exhibition series Eye on the Iconic, will debut October 20, 2017, with Royal Splendor: The Coronation Gown from The Crown, featuring the replica coronation gown worn in episode...

Cost: See www.winterthur.org for ticket information

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

The 1803 du Pont family ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, will feature holiday decorations and interpretation on the French traditions of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Day and the celebration...

Cost: Adults $14, Senior and students $10, Children 6-14 $5, children 5 and under and

Where:
200 Hagley Creek Rd,
Visitors Center entrance
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

Imagine the stories clothes from war could tell—about the people who wore them, the period’s fashion and lifestyle, and the war itself. That is the focus of the “Fashion on All Fronts:...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

The human face conveys an array of emotions, but it also serves as a site of history, struggle, drama and inspiration. In the Mechanical Hall exhibition, “Faces in Black and White: Photography...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Stone carving style is influenced by many factors, such as tradition, available tools and material. The “Contemporary Chinese Carvings: Classic Concepts” exhibition highlights 20th century...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Penny Hall
255 Academy St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Small Wonder Jazz Singers Auditions Led by Martin Lassman, the Small Wonder Jazz Singers offers the community a wonderful opportunity to sing jazz/pop music in a smaller group setting!  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Martin Lassman
Website »

More information

Delaware Women’s Chorus Auditions Led by Music Director Joanne Ward, this ensemble is an artistic and nurturing experience for women who love to sing and have some choral background. Explore and...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Joanne Ward
Website »

More information

Wilmington Community Orchestra Auditions This accomplished amateur ensemble, led by Music Director Tiffany Lu, performs music from the standard symphonic and concerto repertoire. Featured soloists...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Tiffany Lu
Website »

More information

Tutto Fresco has live entertainment every Friday night from 6:30–9:30 p.m. Call for details. http://tuttofrescode.com/

Where:
Tutto Fresco
514 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE  19809
View map »

More information

Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, collaborators Troy Richards and Knut Hybinette will develop a pop-up virtual reality (VR)...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Founded in 1971, the Harmony Weavers Guild is dedicated to the making of cloth—a process involving time-consuming techniques. Created by hand, the works of art highlight attention to design...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Richard Cleaver creates elaborate figurative sculptures full of hidden compartments to capture the lives and secrets of historical figures and personal acquaintances. Cleaver received his bachelor...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Shop the best local arts, goods, and services on the largest shopping weekend of the year! Why shop the big box stores when you can support local artists and businesses, all while sipping free...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Starboard
2009 Coastal Hwy
Dewey Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Sponsor: Dewey Artist Collaboration
Contact Name: Leah Beach
Website »

More information

Laura McMillan New Works ~ Paintings, Painted Furniture & Oddities Laura enjoys working in a variety of media on many surfaces from pastels on paper, to oil and acrylic on canvas or...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Are you interested in learning more about what volunteer opportunities the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation has to offer? Consider attending our Volunteer Open House at our shipyard in Wilmington, DE from...

Cost:

Where:
Kalmar Nyckel Foundation
1124 E 7th St
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring your family and out-of-town guests to enjoy activities, crafts, and games. Sample historic holiday dishes inspired by nineteenth-century recipes from “The Hagley Cookbook,” play...

Cost: Adults $14, Senior and students $10, Children 6-14 $5, children 5 and under and

Where:
200 Hagley Creek Rd,
Visitors Center entrance
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

Discover one of the Brandywine Valley's most spectacular holiday showcases! Tour Henry Francis du Pont's dazzling former home decorated in holiday style. Enjoy visions of holidays past and...

Cost: Check the Winterthur website for updates, winterthur.org.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

The 1803 du Pont family ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills, will feature holiday decorations and interpretation on the French traditions of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Day and the celebration...

Cost: Adults $14, Senior and students $10, Children 6-14 $5, children 5 and under and

Where:
200 Hagley Creek Rd,
Visitors Center entrance
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »

More information

The exhibition will examine artwork, couture, silver, sporting memorabilia, wine, musical instruments, antiquities, and stamps along with ceramics, furniture, and folk art. This broad selection of...

Cost: $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Take delight in the little things! Discover cupboards, cabinets, and entire rooms filled with treasures in miniature on this special tour. Floors 3, 7 & 8, Adult [age 8 and above ]; 1 hr. Please...

Cost: Please visit: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1048

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

The new Winterthur exhibition series Eye on the Iconic, will debut October 20, 2017, with Royal Splendor: The Coronation Gown from The Crown, featuring the replica coronation gown worn in episode...

Cost: See www.winterthur.org for ticket information

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

Imagine the stories clothes from war could tell—about the people who wore them, the period’s fashion and lifestyle, and the war itself. That is the focus of the “Fashion on All Fronts:...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Come join us in celebrating the mission work of the American Heart Association while raising funds to end cardiovascular disease. There will be a live and silent auction, served dinner with wine,...

Cost: $175.00

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
Justinson Street
Wilmington , DE
View map »


Telephone: 302-286-5704
Contact Name: Denise Griffin
Website »

More information

Why stand in line at the mall and wait to see Santa, when you can ride our train and have Santa come to you? The Jolly Old Elf himself rides the train and greets everyone on board, and gives all...

Cost: Adults: $19; Seniors (60+): $18; Children (2-12): $17; Children Under 2: Free

Where:
Greenbank Station
2201 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: 302-998-1930
Website »

More information

Take a guided walk through the Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes, every Saturday and Sunday at 11:30am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Village of Centreville kickstarts the holiday season with Santa Claus, tree decorating and business specials CENTREVILLE, DE—The Centreville Civic Association (CCA) presents the first...

Cost: Free

Where:
Village of Centreville
, DE  19807


Sponsor: MacElree Harvey, Ltd. Centreville Veterinary Hospital
Telephone: 267-221-8805
Contact Name: Catherine Nessa
Website »

More information

Stone carving style is influenced by many factors, such as tradition, available tools and material. The “Contemporary Chinese Carvings: Classic Concepts” exhibition highlights 20th century...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Penny Hall
255 Academy St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

The human face conveys an array of emotions, but it also serves as a site of history, struggle, drama and inspiration. In the Mechanical Hall exhibition, “Faces in Black and White: Photography...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

Delaware Women’s Chorus Auditions Led by Music Director Joanne Ward, this ensemble is an artistic and nurturing experience for women who love to sing and have some choral background. Explore and...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Joanne Ward
Website »

More information

Wilmington Community Orchestra Auditions This accomplished amateur ensemble, led by Music Director Tiffany Lu, performs music from the standard symphonic and concerto repertoire. Featured soloists...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Tiffany Lu
Website »

More information

Small Wonder Jazz Singers Auditions Led by Martin Lassman, the Small Wonder Jazz Singers offers the community a wonderful opportunity to sing jazz/pop music in a smaller group setting!  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Music School of Delaware, Wilmington Branch
4101 Washington Street
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-762-1132
Contact Name: Martin Lassman
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society is proud to present the Metropolitan Opera’s live broadcast of Thomas Adès’s harrowing tale, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, on Saturday, November 25 at 1:00 PM and...

Cost: $15 - $25

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Inspired by the Delaware Art Museum’s Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, collaborators Troy Richards and Knut Hybinette will develop a pop-up virtual reality (VR)...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Richard Cleaver creates elaborate figurative sculptures full of hidden compartments to capture the lives and secrets of historical figures and personal acquaintances. Cleaver received his bachelor...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Founded in 1971, the Harmony Weavers Guild is dedicated to the making of cloth—a process involving time-consuming techniques. Created by hand, the works of art highlight attention to design...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The first major retrospective exhibition of John Sloan’s work since 1988, An American Journey explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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