Edward Dickinson

U.S. Congressperson

1803 – 1874


Who was Edward Dickinson?

Edward Dickinson was an American politician from Massachusetts. He is best known as the father of the poet Emily Dickinson; their family home in Amherst, the Dickinson Homestead, is now a museum dedicated to her.

Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he attended public schools and the Amherst Academy. He graduated from Yale College in 1823 and studied at Northampton Law School in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Amherst in 1826. On May 6, 1828 he married Emily Norcross Dickinson; they had three children, William Austin, Emily Elizabeth, and Lavinia Norcross.

Dickinson served as treasurer of Amherst College from 1835 until 1837. He was then elected a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives 1838–1839, served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1842–1843, and was a member of the Governor's Council 1846–1847. He then was elected as a Whig to the United States Congress 1853-1855, declined to be a candidate for the Republican nomination of Lieutenant Governor in 1861, and was again elected a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1873. Dickinson died in Boston on June 16, 1874 and is buried in Amherst's West Cemetery.

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Jan 1, 1803
  • Amherst College
Lived in
  • Amherst
Jun 16, 1874

on July 23, 2013


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