Office of the President (Daniel Clark Sanders) Records
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of early records of the University of Vermont, including accounts, subscriptions, correspondence to individuals and members of the Corporation. There are, in addition to original documents, photocopies, transcripts, and photostats of documents relating to Sanders and to the university in other repositories, including the Vermont State Archives and Harvard University Archives. Correspondents include Royall Tyler, early Vermont Supreme Court judge and member of the corporation; Dr. John Pomeroy, one of the founders of the medical school; Ozias Buell and Isaac Tichenor; and John Johnson, early Vermont Surveyor General and builder of the original College Edifice, 1802; the second Old Mill, 1825-1829; the first medical college, now Pomeroy Hall, 1828; and Johnson House, 1804.
There are a number of Sanders' sermons, writings, and addresses, including an 1812 autobiography and the manuscript for his "History of the Indian Wars," circa 1812.
A small amount of Sanders personal and family papers include history from family bibles; his day book from 1812-1850; records from his parish in Medfield, Massachusetts, 1815-1851; and a daily diary of temperature records in Medfield, 1834-1851.
Collection is open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist.
Daniel Clark Sanders (1768-1850) was the first President of the University of Vermont, 1800-1814. Born in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Sande
rs graduated from Harvard University in 1788 and was ordained in 1790. Sanders served as pastor to the Vergennes, VT, Congregational Church from 1792-1799, when he resigned as preacher to take a position at the Congregational Church in Burlington, VT. His avowed reason for moving to Burlington was that he wanted “to get into operation the University of Vermont.” In October of 1799, the corporation of the university voted that he be given use of the newly-built house on the campus, the first building constructed for the university. He became UVM's first president in 1800. During his tenure, the university grew from four students in the first graduating class of 1804 to a total of more than 120 students over the course of his fourteen years in office. For the first seven years, Sanders served not only as president but was the sole member of the faculty. He was joined within five years by three more faculty members, James Dean, the playwright and Vermont Supreme Court justice Royall Tyler, and Rev. Jason Chamberlin. The first “College Edifice,” a forerunner of the present Old Mill, was completed in 1806. The college had financial problems during these early years, due in part to national events such as the Embargo Act of 1807 and the War of 1812. In 1810, the charter was revised to bring in eighteen trustees elected by the Vermont General Assembly, a move that did not lead to increased assistance from the state, however. The war forced the university to close in 1814, as the headquarters of the northern department of the U.S. Army, stationed in Burlington, commandeered the college building as a barracks.
During his tenure at the university, Sanders continued to publish and preach sermons, and was awarded an honorary doctorate of divinity by his alma mater, Harvard, in 1807. His best-known scholarly work was "A History of the Indian Wars," published in 1812. After his resignation in 1814, Sanders returned to Massachusetts to become pastor of the Medfield Congregational Church until 1829. He served in the Massachusetts legislature as well.
Sources consulted in the preparation of this note and others in Record Group 2 include:
Daniels, Robert V. editor. The University of Vermont : The First Two Hundred Years Hanover, NH : University of Vermont : Distributed by University Press of New England, 1991.
Lindsay, Julian Ira. Tradition Looks Forward; the University of Vermont: a history, 1791-1904. Burlington [University of Vermont and State Agricultural College] 1954.
Marshall, Jeffrey. Universitas Viridis Montis, 1791-1991: An Exhibition of documents and artifacts telling the story of the University of Vermont. Burlington, Vt.: University of Vermont, 1991.
Smallwood, Frank. The University of Vermont Presidents: Two Centuries of Leadership. Burlington, Vt.: University of Vermont, 1997.
0.834 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Language of Materials
Daniel Clark Sanders (1768-1850) was the first President of the University of Vermont, 1800-1814. The collection consists of early records of the University of Vermont, including accounts, subscriptions, correspondence to individuals and members of the Corporation.
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