Manuscript, Letter from Edmund Dickinson, Valley Forge to Lucy Dickinson, Williamsburg, May 9, 1778
Edmund Dickinson was a cabinetmaker in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was born in Norfolk, and although it is unclear when he moved to Williamsburg, he was listed as an employee of Anthony Hay in 1764. Hay operated a shop on Nicholson Street [Block 28, Building 72] that passed into the hands of Dickinson in 1771. Dickinson made furniture for prominent Virginians such as Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, and he advertised in The Virginia Gazette on several occasions.
He was elected captain of recruits from the District of York on February 4, 1776. He served in the 1st Virginia Regiment, reaching the rank of major in October 1777. He camped with the army at Valley Forge and died at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. On May 9, 1778, in the only document in Dickinson’s hand that survives, he wrote to his sister Lucy in Williamsburg.
George Washington specifically mentioned Dickinson's death in his personal correspondence. In a letter to Governor Patrick Henry on July 4, 1778, General Washington stated that the loss of Major Dickinson "ought much to be regretted by his friends and Countrymen as he possessed every qualification to render him eminent in the Military line."