Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873

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New Jersey lawyer, politician, and diplomat. In 1838 he was elected to Congress, but because of irregularities in the returns, he and several other winning candidates were not confirmed. The dispute, which became known as the Broad Seal War, was finally settled in their favor by the courts.

From the description of ALsS : Trenton, N.J., to Aaron Ogden Dayton, 1839-1845. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 145506970

Attorney in Trenton, N.J., Governor of New Jersey, 1839-1841, United States Minister to Prussia, 1855-1857.

From the description of Papers, 1744-1873. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122377021

Lawyer, New Jersey governor, U.S. representative and U.S. minister to Prussia. Name used: Peter D. Vroom.

From the description of Papers, 1805-1870. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122525354

Lawyer, U.S. Representative and governor of New Jersey, and diplomat.

From the description of Papers, 1820-1893. (New Jersey Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 70955084

Peter Dumont Vroom's political career began in 1826 when, as a Jacksonian, he served in the New Jersey State General Assembly. He was elected Governor in 1827, and except for 1832, when his reelection bid was defeated, served as Governor through 1835. Vroom resumed his legal practice in Somerville in 1837, but was then appointed by President Van Buren to serve as one of three commissioners to adjust land claims of the Choctaw Indians. He was elected a member of the twenty-sixth Congress in 1839, lost in his reelection bid in 1840, and then moved to Trenton, where he became a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1844. In 1853, Vroom accepted a federal appointment as Minister to Prussia and lived in Berlin until 1857. Upon returning to the United States, he served as a delegate to the peace convention in Washington, D.C. in 1861.

From the description of Peter D. Vroom papers, 1783-1891. (New Jersey Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 54025984

Lawyer, governor of New Jersey, U.S. representative, and U.S. minister to Prussia.

From the description of Papers, 1762-1877. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 28417596

Governor of New Jersey.

From the description of Letter : Trenton, N.J., to J.S. Lyon, Boonton Falls, N.J., 1834 Feb. 17. (Bryn Mawr College). WorldCat record id: 29461723

From the description of Letter signed : Trenton, to Governor Marcy of New York, 1834 Mar. 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270586143

Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867) was an important scientific reformer during the early nineteenth century. From his position as superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, and through leadership roles in the scientific institutions of the time, Bache helped bring American science into alignment with the professional nature of its European counterpart. In addition, Bache fostered the reform of public education in America.

On July 19, 1806 Alexander Dallas Bache was born into one of Philadelphia's elite families. The son of Richard Bache and Sophia Dallas, he was Benjamin Franklin's great-grandson, nephew to George Dallas (vice president under James K. Polk), and grandson to Alexander James Dallas (secretary of the treasury under James Madison). In 1821, Bache was admitted to the United States Military Academy at the age of 15, graduating first in his class four years later. He remained at the Academy for an additional two years to teach mathematics and natural history. While serving as a lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers, working on the construction of Fort Adams in Newport, R.I., he met Nancy Clarke Fowler whom he would later marry.

Bache left the Army in 1828 to begin an academic career, accepting an appointment as professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Although his scientific interests were broad, he had a particular interest in geophyscial research. While in Philadelphia, he constructed a magnetic observatory, and made extensive research into terrestrial magnetism, and during the 1830s he began to be recognized as a leading figure in the city's scientific community. Bache was an active member of the American Philosphical Society and the Franklin Institute, seeking to raise the professional standards of both institutions and urging them to place a stronger emphasis on original research. While at the Franklin Institute from 1830-1835, Bache led a Federally-funded investigation into steam-boiler explosions, the government's first use of technical experts to examine a matter involving public policy.

In 1836 Bache became interested in educational reform when he was asked to help organize the curriculum at Girard College, of which he later served as president. Bache spent two years in Europe visiting over 250 educational institutions. The result of his visit was a 600 page study, Report on Education in Europe, to the Trustees of the Girard College for Orphans published in 1839. Although Bache was unable to apply the report at Girard College because of its delayed opening, it proved useful in overhauling the curriculum of Philadelphia's Central High School, where he was superintendent from 1839-1842, and was widely influential among American educational reformers, helping to introduce the Prussian educational model to the United States.

After meeting many of the leading savants during a European tour, including Alexander von Humboldt, Francois Arago, and Karl Friedrich Gauss, Bache became convinced of the need to professionalize American science. His opportunity to make an impact came in 1843 with the death of Ferdinand Hassler, superindendent of the U.S. Coast Survey. In the years before the Civil War, the Coast Survey supported more scientists then any other institution in the country, and Bache and his colleagues saw the Survey as a means of gaining federal patronage for science. After a campaign by his friends and colleagues, Bache was named as Hassler's replacement. Over the next two decades Bache transformed the Coast Survey into one of the nation's leading scientific institutions, becoming an important patron of science himself in the process . Bache was not just an administrator, but remained personally involved in field work.

Bache also led the reform of American science through his leadership of an elite group known as the "Lazzaroni" or scientific beggars. The goal of the Lazzaroni was to ensure that the nation's leading scientists kept control of the nation's scientific institutions, and they were instrumental in reforming the American Association for the Advancement of Science (of which Bache was president of in 1850). In his remarkably busy schedule, Bache was a member of the Lighthouse Board (1844-1845), superintendent of the Office of Weights and Measures (1844), and a prominent regent for the Smithsonian Institution, where he convinced fellow Lazzaroni Joseph Henry to become its first secretary. Bache also played a leading role in the creation of the National Academy of Sciences, serving as its first president. When the Americn Civil War broke out, Bache focused the Coast Survey to support the war effort, was vice president of the Sanitary Commision, a consultant to the army and navy on battle plans, a superintended for Philadelphia's defence plans, and a member of the Permanent Commission of the navy in charge of evaluating new weapons. Bache died in Newport, R.I. on February 17, 1867.

From the guide to the A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Ticknor, George, 1791-1871. Letter, 1856 Sept. 5, Berlin, to the American minister, Peter Dumont Vroom. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn New Jersey. Militia. Regiment, 2nd. Records, 1814-1815. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. ALsS : Trenton, N.J., to Aaron Ogden Dayton, 1839-1845. Rosenbach Museum & Library
creatorOf Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874. Letter, 1856 April 3 [i.e. May 3], Berlin, to Mr. and Mrs. P.D. Vroom / [Millard] Fillmore. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Stokes, Charles, 1791-1882. Papers, 1796-1854. Rutgers University
referencedIn Wall, Garret D. (Garret Dorset), 1783-1850. Papers, 1785-1870 (bulk 1807-1850). Rutgers University
creatorOf Bakewell, Thomas H., fl. 1843,. Miscellaneous Virginia letters, 1815-1902. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Aaron, Samuel, 1800-1865. Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1664-1956. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. Papers, 1820-1893. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Library Of Congress, Manuscript Division. William Chauncey Langdon Papers.
referencedIn Parke, C. R., 1823-. Letters, 1858, 1865. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
referencedIn Hitchcock, Ethan Allen, 1798-1870. Ethan Allen Hitchcock papers, 1837-1839. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Bradley, Joseph P., 1813-1892. Joseph P. Bradley papers, 1836-1943. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Cummins, George W. (George Wyckoff), b. 1865. Collection, 1762-1893. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Bartles, Charles, 1801-1883. Papers, 1775-1882. Rutgers University
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. Papers, 1744-1873. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn The Delaware and Raritan Canal and Camden and Amboy Railroad and Transportation Companies, vs. the Camden and Atlantic Railroad Company, and the Raritan and Delaware Bay Railroad Company, 1863 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn Cobb, Howell, 1815-1868. Letter : [Washington, D.C.], to P. D. Vroom, Trenton, N.J., 1857 Dec. 1. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Parker family. Papers, 1680-1936. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. Papers, 1805-1870. Rutgers University
referencedIn Walton, Pierson M. Pierson M. Walton, Civil War soldier affidavit, 1863. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Bache, A. D. (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867. Papers, 1835-1864. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Jackson, John Peter, 1805-1861. John P. Jackson papers, 1821-1887 1830-1860. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Southard Hay autograph collection, 1750-1885 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Ewing family (Trenton, N. J.). Ewing family papers, 1792-1885 1830-1853. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. Papers, 1762-1877. Rutgers University
referencedIn Hopper, John, 1814-1897. Letters sent, 1830-1835 (inclusive). Rutgers University
referencedIn Hay, Southard, 1875-1951,. Southard Hay autograph collection, 1750-1885 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Wyckoff, John M. Chandler's ledger, 1834-1845 (bulk 1835-1839). Rutgers University
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. Letter signed : Trenton, to Governor Marcy of New York, 1834 Mar. 10. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Philhower, Charles A. (Charles Alpaugh), 1878-1962,. Charles A. Philhower collection, 16-- - 19--. Rutgers University
creatorOf Lane, Wheaton J.,. Collection of historical correspondence, 1796-1897. Rutgers University
referencedIn Green, Robert S. (Robert Stockton), 1831-1895. Papers, 1863-1888. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Parker, James, 1776-1868. New Jersey collection, 1648-1917 (bulk 1800-1900). Princeton University Library
creatorOf A. D. Bache Collection, 1833-1873 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Bradley, Joseph P., 1813-1892. Papers, 1836-1937. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Cobb, Howell, 1815-1868. Letter : [Washington, D.C.], to P.D. Vroom, Trenton, N.J., 1857 Dec. 1. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Stryker, Peter I., 1766-1859. Papers, 1763-1895 (inclusive). Rutgers University
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. Peter D. Vroom papers, 1783-1891. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Boggs family. Boggs family papers, 1737-1950. New Jersey Historical Society Library
creatorOf Vroom, Peter Dumont, 1791-1873. Letter : Trenton, N.J., to J.S. Lyon, Boonton Falls, N.J., 1834 Feb. 17. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
creatorOf Hubbard, Henry, 1784-1857. Letter, 1857 Jan. 12, Charlestown, N.H., to Peter D. Vroom, NJ Legation, Berlin. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895. Charles Lanman Manuscripts Relating to New Jersey, 1858-1868. Newark Public Library, Main Library
creatorOf Dickerson, Mahlon, 1770-1853. Mahlon Dickerson and Philemon Dickerson papers, 1774-1922 1830-1850. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Boggs family. Papers, 1737-1942. New Jersey Historical Society Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
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associatedWith Barnes, H. B. (Henry Broughton) person
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correspondedWith Bell, Augustus W. person
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associatedWith Boggs family. family
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associatedWith Brewster, Sir David person
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correspondedWith Jackson, John Peter, 1805-1861 person
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associatedWith Marcy, William L. (William Learned), 1786-1857, person
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correspondedWith Parker, Joel, 1816-1888 person
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correspondedWith Potts, Stacy G. (Stacy Gardner), 1799-1865 person
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correspondedWith Randolph, Joseph F. (Joseph Fitz), 1843-1932 person
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correspondedWith Robeson, George M. (George Maxwell), 1829-1897 person
associatedWith Ruggles, Samuel B., (Samuel Bulkley), 1800-1881 person
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correspondedWith Sherrerd, John M. (John Maxwell), 1794-1871 person
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associatedWith Vroom, Garret D. W. (Garret Dorset Wall), 1843-1914. person
correspondedWith Vroom, James person
correspondedWith Vroom, John P., d. 1865 person
associatedWith Vroom, Peter D. (Peter Dumont), 1745-1831. person
correspondedWith Wall, Garret D. (Garret Dorset), 1783-1850 person
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correspondedWith Williamson, Isaac H. (Isaac Halsted), 1767-1844 person
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associatedWith Wycoff, John M. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Jersey
Hillsborough (N.J.)
New Jersey
United States
New Jersey--Trenton
Prussia (Germany)
Warren County (N.J.)
United States
Hackettstown (N.J.)
Trenton (N.J.)
New Jersey--Belvidere
Flemington (N.J.)
Trenton (N.J.)
New Jersey
Somerville (N.J.)
Schooleys Mountain (N.J.)
New Jersey
Hackettstown (N.J.)
New Jersey
Belvidere (N.J.)
New Jersey
Somerville (N.J.)
New Jersey
Flemington (N.J.)
Prussia (Kingdom)
United States
Real Estate Business
Universities and colleges
Antebellum Politics
National Academy of Sciences
Latin language--Glossaries, vocabularies, etc
Geological Survey of the State of New Jersey
United States Coast Survey
Cooper Union
Natural history
Practice of law
Recommendations For Positions
Early National Politics
Diplomatic and consular service, American
Science and technology
Girard College
Law offices
Lawyers--New Jersey
Legislators--United States
Politicians--New Jersey
Ambassadors--United States
Governors--New Jersey
Diplomats--United States


Birth 1791-12-12

Death 1873-11-18


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