On July 4th, 1801, in observance of Independence Day, some number of men from Somerset County gathered in Somerville to celebrate. Among them was Colonel Peter D. Vroom of Hillsborough and his nine-year-old son of the same name. The festivities of the day included public speeches - including one on the discovery of America given by the son of J.R. Hardenburgh, Esq. and one on the death of George Washington by young Peter.
|Plan of Somerville showing the location of the Academy.|
From the 1850 map of Somerset County
"[On] the eighteenth of July, at another meeting, a constitution was adopted, which provided for the erection of a building and the organization of an association aiding in its support and patronage. The preamble recites that 'whereas, an attempt made by the inhabitants of Somerville and vicinity, to raise by subscription in shares of ten dollars each, a sum sufficient to erect a suitable building for a classical school, had succeeded so far as to warrant the commencement of such building; that, therefore, it had become necessary to form a constitution for the government of the said association. The first article fixes its name as "The Proprietors of the Academy of Somerville", and defines it as an institution expressly set apart for the instruction of youth in the learned languages, the English, the arts and sciences, and public speaking.'"
|Newspaper ads for the Somerville Academy from 1811, 1824, and 1833.|