MOORE, Clement Clarke, Professor [1779-1863] -- American biblical scholar & author
Well-known New York City resident in his day, but is today remembered only for what he dismissed as "a trifle": the beloved Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas, a/k/a 'Twas The night before Christmas, from its first line. Indeed, had it not been for a Moore relative spiriting a copy upstate to the Troy, NY, Sentinel, where it was published anonymously the following year, this great poem may have lain in easy obscurity.
The ballad became a perennial favorite, but it was several years before Moore admitted authorship.
Moore's father, Benjamin Moore, was an ordained Episcopal priest, later Bishop of New York, and was a loyalist during the Revolutionary War; A professor at Columbia University, he later became President of that institution.
Clement Moore was born in New York City and was a resident there for most of his life. He eventually retired to Newport, RI, and died there.
He was a Biblical Hebrew scholar and Professor of Classics at General Theological Seminary, NYC, which he founded. One of his books was A Compendious Lexicon of the Hebrew Language. (It sounds really "compendious", doesn't it?) In 1807 he discovered Lorenzo da Ponte, the librettist of three of Mozart's greatest operas, in a New York City bookstore, and was instrumental in launching da Ponte's new career as a teacher of Italian language and literature.
Clement Moore was the savior of New York's Greenwich Village. He wrote a 60-page pamphlet — anonymously — that argued against extending the orthogonal grid of streets into the village. His arguments were persuasive and the grid stopped at 6th Avenue and at 14th Street. He eventually admitted authorship of the pamphlet.
Clement wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas for his children in 1822,
supposedly on an excursion by sleigh into Greenwich Village to buy the
family's Christmas turkey. This spirited ballad has, more than anything
else, been formative of our modern concept of the secular aspects of Christmas.
|He meets Lorenzo da Ponte in a bookstore|
|Moore writes AVFSN, and recites it for his children|
|The poem is published anonymously in the Troy [NY] Sentinal|
|AVFSN published in an anthology, credits Moore|
|Moore publishes a volume of his work, includes AVFSN|
Bookmarks (off-site links)
- A Visit From St. Nicholas
How it came to be written
- 27. A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. Stedman, Edmund Clarence, ed. 1900. An American Anthology, 1787-1900
- A visit from St. Nick by Clement Clark Moore (T'was the Night Before Christmas) By Clement Clarke Moore
- Thomas Nast Nast's cartoons, based on AVFSN, are the basis of our concept of "Santa Claus"
- The legend
Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle
- The Origin of Santa Claus and the Christian Response to Him Pastor Richard P. Bucher discusses the origins of the legends
- Clement Clarke Moore: The Reluctant Mythmaker From David Emery - your About.com Guide to: Urban Legends and Folklore
- Bozeman's Juelie McLean's Olde World Santas - Brief History of Santa
- Christmas on the Net - The Many Faces of Santa
- How St. Nick came to be Santa [ARCHIVE]
- Commercial Books and such
- The parodies
AVFSN may be the most parodied poem in the English Language!
- Parodies of 'The Night Before Christmas' by David Emery - your About.com Guide to: Urban Legends and Folklore
- A Lovecraft Christmas
- A Tardis Christmas
- A Wisit from St. Nicholas AVFSN Scandinavian style
- Portland, Indiana, Gas Engine and Tractor Show
- Taz The Tazmanian Devil?
- The Night Before Christmas Poem and its Parodies with an extensive bibliography
- Clement Moore MS facsimile? A topic on a Stanford U. forum; tracking down a Manuscript of AVFSN in Moore's own hand
- Eight Tiny What?, Alaska Science Forum Trivium: Caribou and reindeer are the same species.
- A Christmas to Remember: A Visit From St. Nicholas - Autograph Collector, January 2000 Autograph manuscripts of AVFSN [ARCHIVE]
- The authorship controversy
Don Foster has advanced a theory that Visit was penned by one Henry Livingston, Jr. [1748-1828]. Poppycock, I say!
- Literary Sleuth Casts Doubt on the Authorship of an Iconic Christmas Poem Don Foster, an English professor at Vassar College and a scholar of authorial attribution, accuses Moore of committing literary fraud.
- Henry Livingston, Jr., Author of "A Visit From St. Nicholas" "THE QUEST TO PROVE HENRY'S AUTHORSHIP" (I'd be happier if it had something to do with finding the truth of the matter instead of pursuing an agenda.)
- Common-place: There Arose Such a Clatter A refutation of Foster's arguments.
- Urban Legends Reference Pages: Holidays (The Donner Party's Over) Tries to make a case out of the choice of names "Donner and Blitzen".
- 'Twas the Night Before Christmas - by Clement Clarke Moore A recitiation, with notes on Moore and his poem at the bottom.
- The Naming of the Deer, or, Why Clement Moor, with the Collaboration of St. Nicholas, Gave Those Odd Names to the Eight Deer [ARCHIVE]
- Monuments, memorials, tributes
- A visit from St. Nick by Clement Clark Moore (T'was the Night Before Christmas) On the site of the New York Institute for Special Education. Moore was on their Board for 10 years.
- C.L. Moore From the Hunting Library Press
- Moore, Clement Clarke on Encyclopedia.com Rather brief!
- Newsday.com - Legacy: Clement Clarke Moore's Classic Poem
- Clement C. Moore
- Lorenzo Da Ponte
- Search engines, etc.