Rise and fall of Vermont eugenics

Author/historian Mercedes de Guardiola’s latest work on the Vermont eugenics movement will be published September 28.

A new history book on the dark chapter of Vermont eugenics movement and legislation will be published later this month.

Eugenics is a pseudo- scientific field of selective human breeding that rose to prominence in the early 1900s and was the foundation of Nazi Germany. Vermont was one of many American states to adopt eugenics as the basis for public policies such as family separation, institutionalization, and sterilization that targeted the most vulnerable Vermonters and led to widespread intergenerational damage. In 2021, the state formally apologized for the practice, and the legislature is exploring ongoing responses.

In “Vermont for the Vermonters”: A History of Eugenics in the Green Mountain State, Mercedes de Guardiola examines how the state’s eugenics movement emerged out of the public policies of the nineteenth century and led to state-sanctioned programs of institutionalization, sterilization, family separation, and education aimed at the most vulnerable Vermonters. Exploring the social and political legacy of the movement, de Guardiola brings new scholarship and context to one of Vermont’s darkest chapters.

Advanced praise for “Vermont for the Vermonters”

US Representative Becca Balint: “This book holds up a mirror that all Vermonters should look into. de Guardiola expands our understanding of eugenics from a narrow moment in Vermont history to a broad pattern of ideas, policies, and programs across two centuries. As a former social studies teacher, I know that facing our history is necessary to build an inclusive, diverse, and thriving future for our state. ‘Vermont for the Vermonters’ is essential reading.”

Balint and House Speaker Jill Krowinski, former vice-president of Planned Parenthood, issued a public apology on behalf of the Legislature in 2021. At the same time, both Balint and Krowinski were promoting legal measures to expand and legally protect the expansion of contraception and abortion – both tools of choice for the discredited eugenics movement favored by outspoken eugenicist and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who had a close professional relationship with Henry Perkins, UVM professor and leading eugenicist.

Holly Allen, author of the digital public history, The Vermont Industrial School: A Dumping Ground for Dependent and Delinquent Youth, Middlebury College: “de Guardiola’s history of Vermont eugenics is broad in scope, impressively researched, timely, and perhaps most importantly, respectful of the individuals and communities directly impacted by eugenic policies and practices. In clear and engaging prose, she exposes the individuals, institutions, and organizations that promoted eugenic measures for many decades. Her work is a vital contribution to the history of poverty, race and ethnicity, and intellectual and psychiatric disability in Vermont.”

Vermont State Representative Tom Stevens, Washington-Chittenden Chair, General and Housing Committee: ““Vermont for the Vermonters” is an important historical addition to what we know of the state-sanctioned eugenics policies of the early 20th century. Mercedes de Guardiola’s research shows the investment made by the State of Vermont toward targeting the most vulnerable Vermonters in the name of genealogical purity and out of a desire to limit the economic requirements of caring for Vermont citizens with special needs or those determined to be defective because of race, creed, or color.”

According to her biography, the author earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College with a double major in History and Art History. A leading expert on Vermont’s eugenics movement, including public policies of sterilization, institutionalization and deinstitutionalization, and family separation, she testified before the state legislature during hearings in the 2020s.

Sourced from Vermont Historical Society press statement, Vermont Daily Chronicle archives

Categories: History

16 replies »

  1. Is this a Johnny Banana’s article incognito? I’m rolling on the floor laughing. Eugenics in Vermont isn’t over, It is continuing. A Dartmouth education obviously isn’t enough to produce thoughtful or critical thinking. It is only the terminology that changed. Now, along with abortion, there is the state approved “gender affirming care”; which is sterilization, with another name. And Balint, one of those who apologized for the early eugenics program, is just another incompetent social studies teacher blind to the truth who continues to promote eugenics in a “higher office.”
    God help us.

  2. Eugenics in Vermont is ongoing…this is meant to rewrite history methinks… and virtue signalling at its worst given the cost of the lie which allows overlooking the involvement of our university in eugenics via funding for instate biolabs and experimental vaccines that changes one’s DNA and wreck one’s immune system for life, guaranteeing popluations where they are applied as experiments, to die. I won’t even touch what drugs are being used to to mask health problems and have never cured anyone yet…
    What a bunch of hooey…

  3. If we are holding up mirrors relative to Eugenics, look first at the United Nations, Planned Parenthood and the recently declassified document called the Kissenger Report. This report was developed in collaboration with the United Nations and other entities. I recently read this document, which stated that women from idk idk countoes needed to be allowed to migrate to America for increased opportunity and to be educated. The document stated that outcomes support that working, educated minority women will have less children, as is the trend in Western nations/America. Also, families and people with more disposable income have less children. Even today, the United Nations and Harry Kissenger, a personal friend and Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum collaborator, support the education of women and equity, redistribution of wealth. While I will never argue the benefits of education for people. Their true motive is eugenics, population control.

  4. Such nostalgia, to look in the rear view mirror and hang our heads in shame over these past policies that resulted in the deaths and failure to be born of innocent humans. We must also accept that we have voted for a slate of current eugenics policies promoted by democrats and progressives, going by different names, which also result in the deaths and failure to be born of innocent humans:
    -The completely inadequate prosecution of dangerous and habitual offenders who go on to kill and maim.
    -Our borders, managed by democrats, which are wide open allowing unvetted criminals and dangerous psychotics to pour into our Country, committing mayhem.
    -Vermont’s right-up-to-birth abortion allowance.
    -Allowing minor children to opt for “gender affirmation” hormonal and surgical alteration of their bodies, rendering them infertile.

    • Excellent points. I would like to add that the entity pushing Gender Affirming Care is the United Nations Council on Human Rights. Gender Affirming Care care and will render children unable to reproduce on their own.

      • oh, and I almost forgot…Vermont also has a legal provision to hire a medical professional to help you kill yourself, and the requirements were just relaxed in the last legislative session…

  5. Legislators Balint and Stevens are blind and deaf to their own eugenic belief in the unlimited abortion of human beings…..there will be history books written and the quotes they give in this article today will be met with readers shaking their heads…. and questioning how they could possibly have been so ignorant….

    • You would think that Vermonters who support these social manipulators would already be shaking their heads at how ignorant they all are for supporting them and continually voting for them. They won’t! Ignorance can be fixed with knowledge being born stupid can’t. If a person is so involved in their own ignorance and too lazy to learn the truth, we get a state run by and supported by voters who are too stupid to know they are ignorant. How else can you explain why people vote for politicians who represent an ideology designed to wipe out humanity, kill the unborn, kill the elderly and force dangerous unproven mRNA jabs which have killed and maimed thousands? Ignorance of the masses is all by design to hide the sinister plans for them to dominate and control everyone’s life from birth to death, that is if they are allowed to be born in the first place. Why do people continue to return the same destructive politicians to office? The answer is widespread ignorance and the dumbing down of the last two or three generations through leftist control and indoctrination of our public schools combined with corporate media once known as the free press.

  6. Eugenics is defined as: “The study or practice of attempting to improve the human gene pool by encouraging the reproduction of people considered to have desirable traits and discouraging or preventing the reproduction of people considered to have undesirable traits.”

    Using this definition how can Becca Balint and Jill Krowinski say they are against eugenics? They are deceived and blind to see that while their intentions may be otherwise, they are “practicing eugenics” through many of their beliefs, policies and actions?

    The most blatant example is the ratio of black babies being aborted over all other races. If Balint and Krowinski would choose to be honest, they would acknowledge this as “practicing eugenics.”

    If we do not see every human being as equally valuable and worth protecting from conception to natural death, we enable and contribute to the evil “practice of eugenics.”

    • I don’t believe they are deceived. I believe they know exactly what they are doing

  7. Eugenics lives on in Vermont .It is just called other names . Abortion ,Forced Vaccines,
    Gender surgeries, unhealthy medications.chemicals in our air ,water, food…..

  8. Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, et al. The wealthiest ghouls set up shop in Vermont, spawned their demon seeds, established tax write off non-profits, and bought off politicians to move their nefarious plans forward and provide cover. The Green Mountain State has many evil, dark secrets spanning over 100 years and counting. It may be their reign of terror and evil is coming to the grand finale in grand fashion, as is outlined in the Word of God.

      • I agree. I would rather see public tribunals and perp walks myself. I don’t believe there will be an election considering the installed regime is losing control of their bowels to remain in control. If there is another selection, it won’t be managed by the installed operatives that have run it the past 50 years, just my opinion.

  9. I agree with richlachapelle!

    Let’s have an overwhelming vote amount in 2024 that can’t be manipulated or cheated; even with Vermont’s Corrupt Election System. A vote total that will change the “gene pool” in our Vermont State Government to elect officials who will serve “We the People” NOT themselves.

    Let’s VOTE OUT the insane, non-thinking, immoral, Leftist/Marxist, Regressives like Balint, Krowinski, Sanders and Welch! Wouldn’t that be something to see!

  10. It is a relief to see that I am not the only one who sees that Vermont is now aggressively pursuing eugenics by another name (or names). And the leaders who are first to condemn the sins of the past are leading the charge to institutionalize them today. Every time man assumes the role of God horrors ensue.