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painting by

CHARLES LOUIS HEYDE


The Most Healthy Place On Earth

"The least knowledge of its weal situation, the elevation of the site, the growth of its soil all demonstrate it to be a salubrious spot. It is distant from the Lake one Mile. There are not stagnated waters in its vicinity, no cold, dead low lands, nearer than the Lake and even there, no more than half dozen Acres. And even these are covered with beautiful green grass waving to the winds, thro’ which meanders a stream of running water which is supposed to move with more rapidity than Otter Creek itself. In the earliest stages of settlement, fever and agues have not prevailed except at the distance of one mile. For years they have ceased even there. For a year past there has not been a single instance recollected in the Vicinity of the College, among the Inhabitants of the town. But one inhabitant even at the Bay, the distance of half a mile, has had a settled fever and he is accustomed to voyages on the waters of the Lake. Of all the students for nearly a year past, there has not been one single instance of sickness. The sickness which prevailed has been except the instance mentioned, exclusively of the feminine description and has tended very much to the population of the state, — so far from being mortal has been vivifying indeed and such as every good government must rejoice to see prevail. In short, we should have believed it the most healthy place on earth by actual experience; and have heard only to the contrary 35 miles to the Southward."

From “The Statement of 1800,” in which UVM President Daniel Clarke Sanders described his fledgling university’s progress and advantages, making a case that the state legislature should not spread resources thin by granting college charters to other Vermont towns, particularly that one “35 miles to the southward.” Source: Tradition Looks Forward: University of Vermont, 1791-1904, by Julian Ira Lindsay.