John Dickins, an American clergyman, born in London, Aug. 24,1747, died in Philadelphia, Sept. 27, 1798. He studied at Eton, emigrated to America before the revolution, and was one of the prominent founders of the Methodist Episcopal church in America, suggesting, the name which was adopted. From 1776 to 1782 he preached in Virginia and North Carolina. As early as 1780 he suggested to Bishop Asbury the plan of Cokesbury college, at N. Abingdon, Md., the first Methodist academic institution in America. In 1783 he took charge of the John street church, New York, and was the first American preacher to receive Thomas Coke and approve his scheme for organizing the denomination. In 1789 he was stationed in Philadelphia, and there established the "Methodist Book Concern11 (afterward removed to New York), commencing it with $600 lent by himself to the church, and continuing in charge of it till his death. - His son, Asbury Dickins, born July 29, 1780, was in 1801 associated with Joseph Dennie in founding the "Port Folio" at Philadelphia. He was first clerk in the United States treasury department from 1816 to 1833, and in the state department from 1833 to 1836, when he was elected secretary of the United States senate, which office he held till July 16, 1861. While in the treasury and state departments he was often acting secretary, and wrote many important state papers.

He died in Washington, Oct. 23, 1861.