Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Clement Clarke Moore
Clement Clarke Moore, (July 15, 1779 - July 10, 1863), was a professor at New York City's General Theological Seminary (built on land donated by his father) who, in an 1836 reprint of A Visit From St. Nicholas, was first credited as the author of the poem, and later included it in an anthology of his work. The poem appeared anonymously in the Troy, New York Sentinel on December 23, 1823, and was reprinted frequently thereafter, with no attribution until Moore's name was added to it. Moore's authorship of it has been questioned, the alternative author being Henry Livingston Jr., whose other light verse certainly resembles the famous poem.
Later in life, however, Moore was in the habit of writing out fair copies of the poem when asked to do so, and facsimiles have been published twice. One copy, dated March 24, 1856, exists in facsimile at the Harris Collection, John Hay Library, Brown University. Clement Moore wrote out one fair copy in 1862 for the New York Historical Society, which published a facsimile. The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York, also has an original written in Clement Moore's hand.
Clement C. Moore was more famous in his own day as a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at General Theological Seminary, who compiled a two volume Hebrew dictionary. He was the only son of Benjamin Moore, a president of Columbia College and bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York. He was a graduate of Columbia College (and M.A. in 1801). From 1840 to 1850, he was a board member of The New York Institution for the Blind on 34th Street and 9th Avenue (now The New York Institute for Special Education ). On his passing in 1863, he was interred in the Trinity Churchyard Cemetery. The Moore house "Chelsea", at the time a country estate, gave its name to the neighborhood of Chelsea, Manhattan.
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