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UD Special Collections > Exhibitions > Little Known Histories of Newark, 1758-2008

The Academy

(Portrait of Francis Alison)
Photograph of an original portrait of Rev.
Dr. Francis Alison (1705-1779).
UD Photograph collection.

Presbyterian minister Francis Alison established the New London Academy, a small preparatory and grammar school, in the Province of Pennsylvania, in 1743. The Academy moved to Elkton and then Newark, where it gained a charter as the Academy of Newark in 1769. Though it closed during the Revolution, the stronger post-war Academy received the college charter it had never been able to obtain from the Penn family of Pennsylvania. On February 5, 1833, the General Assembly of Delaware passed an Act to Establish a College in Newark.

Photograph of an original portrait of Rev. Dr. Francis Alison (1705-1779).
UD Photograph collection.

(New Ark College, 1834)
Original drawing of New Ark College, showing Old College, 1834.
UD Photograph collection.

Noting that "this seminary has been open to youth of all denomination without distinction" and that in terms of strains on support from local citizens, "the inhabitants are few in number, frugal and industrious," the petitioners who signed the early document described here authorized Dr. Hugh Williamson and the Reverend Mr. John Ewing to seek aid for the Academy of New Ark, which had moved from New London to its new site in 1765. By the time of the Revolution, three signers of the Declaration of Independence had received their education from Alison's Academy: Thomas McKean, George Read (for Delaware), and James Smith (for Pennsylvania).

Petition to all pious and charitable Christians in Great Britain and Ireland / Trustees of the Academy of New Ark ; Francis Alison, President ; Charles Thomson, Secretary and Treasurer, October 19, 1773. Velum parchment with seal.

Photograph of an original drawing of New Ark College, showing Old College, 1834.
UD Photo collection.

Postcard of Newark Academy and Public Library, built 1769, Newark, Del.
Delaware Postcard collection.

Newark Academy, Delaware. Prof. Edward D. Porter, A.M., Principal . Circular for Academic Year, 1869-1870.
Alexander Wilson papers.
Gift of Mrs. Sara W. Slack

(Circular, Newark Academy, 1869-1870)
Circular for academic year 1869-1870.
Alexander Wilson papers.

In 1834, one year after Newark College was established, student William Clark, whose account book is described here, enrolled. Nearly a century later, in 1932, future Delaware historian John Munroe enrolled.

Account book detailing expenditures during four sessions at Newark Academy, 1834-1836 / William D. Clark.
Account Books and Ledgers collection.

Expenses for Delaware College, fall of 1932.
John Andrew Munroe papers.
Gift of John A. Munroe

(Old College Reflections by Louise Lattomus Dick)

Written by the great-granddaughter of Albert Newton Raub, principal of Newark Academy and president of Delaware College (1888-1896), Old College Memories is historical fiction drawn from the rich family lore of Louise Lattomus Dick, a native of Newark and alumna of the University (Class of 1959). Dick's grandmother, Laura Raub, married James Hossinger and her grand-aunt Mary Raub married Charles B. Evans--both names of prominent Newark citizens. Dick's book captures the intimacy of the town and its college from the late Victorian era through the 1920s.

Old College reflections : a family story / Louise Lattomus Dick. Fort Walton Beach, Fla. : Ark Publishing House, c1997 (1999 printing).

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