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Clement Clarke Moore

Born July 15, 1779(1779-07-15)
New York City
Died July 10, 1863 (aged 83)
Newport, Rhode Island

Clement Clarke Moore (July 15, 1779 – July 10, 1863) is the credited author of The night Before Christmas (more commonly known today as Twas the Night Before Christmas).

Clement Clarke Moore was most famous in his own day as a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at Columbia College (now Columbia University). At General Theological Seminary he compiled a two volume Hebrew dictionary.

He was the only son of Benjamin Moore, a president of Columbia College and bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and his wife Charity Clarke.[1] Clement Clarke Moore was a graduate of Columbia College (1798), where he earned both his B.A. and his M.A.. In 1821 he was made professor of Biblical learning in the General Theological Seminary in New York, a post that he held until 1850. The ground on which the seminary now stands was his gift.[2]

From 1840 to 1850, he was a board member of The New York Institution for the Blind at 34th Street and 9th Avenue (now The New York Institute for Special Education). He compiled a Hebrew and English Lexicon (1809), and published a collection of poems (1844). Upon his death in 1863 at his summer residence in Newport, Rhode Island, his funeral was held in Trinity Church, Newport, where he had owned a pew. Then his body was interred in the cemetery at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Hudson St., in New York City. On November 29, 1899, his body was reinterred in Trinity Churchyard Cemetery in New York.

Contents

Clement Clarke Moore Park

Clement Clarke Moore Park

The Moore house, Chelsea, at the time a country estate, gave its name to the surrounding neighborhood of Chelsea, Manhattan, and Moore's land in the area is noted today by Clement Clarke Moore Park, located at 10th Avenue and 22nd Street. The playground there opened November 22, 1968, and it was named in memory of Clement Clarke Moore by local law during the following year. The 1995 renovations to Clement Clarke Moore Park included a new perimeter fence, modular play equipment, safety surfacing, pavements and transplanted trees. This park is a well-liked and in-demand playground area used daily by local residents, who also gather there on the last Sunday of Advent for a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.[3]

Much of the neighborhood was once the property of Maj. Thomas Clarke, Clement's maternal grandfather and a retired British veteran of the French and Indian War. Clarke named his house for a hospital in London that served war veterans. "Chelsea" was later inherited by Thomas Clarke's daughter, Charity Clarke Moore, and ultimately by grandson Clement and his family.

Family

As a girl, Moore's mother, Charity Clarke, wrote letters to her English cousins that are preserved at Columbia University and show her disdain for the policies of the English Monarchy and her growing sense of patriotism in pre-revolutionary days.

Clement Clarke Moore's wife, Catharine Elizabeth Taylor, was of English and Dutch descent being a direct descendant of the Van Cortlandt family, once the major landholders in the lower Hudson Valley of New York.

The Moore children have several living descendants including members of the Ogden family. In 1855, one of Clement's daughters, Mary C. Moore Ogden painted "illuminations" to go with her father's celebrated verse.

Slavery

Moore opposed abolition of slavery, and owned several slaves during his lifetime.[4]

Publications

  • Stedman, Edmund Clarence, An American Anthology (Boston, 1900)
  • Observations upon Certain Passages in Mr. [Thomas] Jefferson's Notes on Virginia which Appear to have a Tendency to Subvert Religion, and Establish A False Philosophy (New York, 1804).
  • "A Visit From Saint Nicholas", New York Sentinel on December 23. The original publisher hinted at Moore’s authorship in 1829. Moore was first credited as author by Charles Fenno Hoffman, ed., The New-York Book of Poetry (New York: George Dearborn, 1837)
  • Nickell, Joe. "The Case of the Christmas Poem." Manuscripts, Fall 2002, 54;4:293-308, and Manuscripts, Winter 2003, 55;1:5-15
  • Nissenbaum, Stephen. The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America’s Most Cherished Holiday (New York: Vintage, 1996)
  • Kaller, Seth T. “The Moore Things Change…,” The New-York Journal of American History, Fall 2004

Sources

  • James W. Moore, Rev. John Moore of Newtown, Long Island and some of his Descendants. Easton, PA:Chemical Publishing Company, 1903, 107. Reprints of this out-of-print book are available via Higginson book company.
  • Foster, Donald (2000). Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-6357-9. 
  • Nissenbaum, Stephen (1997). The Battle for Christmas: A Social and Cultural History of Christmas that Shows How It Was Transformed from an Unruly Carnival Season into the Quintessential American Family Holiday. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-41223-9. 

References

  1. ^ A Woman Ready to Fight, New York Newsday, by George DeWan
  2. ^ New International Encyclopedia
  3. ^ New York City Department of Parks & Recreation: Clement Clarke Moore Park
  4. ^ Samuel W. Patterson, The Poet of Christmas Eve: A Life of Clement Clarke Moore, 1779-1863, (New York: Morehouse-Gorman Co, 1956)

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Clement Clarke Moore (July 15, 1779July 10, 1863) was a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at Columbia College (now Columbia University) and at General Theological Seminary; but is best known as the credited author of A Visit From St. Nicholas (more commonly known today as 'Twas the Night Before Christmas).

Sourced

  • 'T was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring,—not even a mouse;
    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
  • "Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
    "On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
    "To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
    "Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
  • But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
    Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

External links

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