Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clement C. Moore " Did You Know?"

In looking at many different Christmas sites reguarding the Christmas Holidays and traditions reminded me of one of my favorite Christmas Authors , Clement Moore. I found so many different  things I did not know about him. I thought I would share my finding here with everyone.

As you may remember he wrote the poem " A Visit From St. Nick" This was  one of my girls favorites that I had to read to them every year. I still enjoy reading it over during the Holidays.

But did you know???? 

Clement Moore was born July 15, 1779.  He was a very wealthy man, one of the most wealthy in New York. He was also very well educated. He was a graduate of Columbia College (1798), where he earned both his B.A.. and his M.A.. In 1820 , he helped Trinity Church organize a new parrish church, St. Lukes in the Fields and the following year he was made professor of Biblical learning at the General Theological Seminary in New York, a position he helds until 1850. The ground of the saeninary were a gift from him to them.

Moore opposed the ablition of slavery and owned many slaves during his lifetime.

Moore's estate, Chelsea, was one of the largest on the west side of Manhatten Island. above Houston Street , where the developed city ended. It was the property of Maj. Thomas Clark, Clement's maternal grandfather. The house was named for a hospital in London which served Veterans of War. It was inherited by Maj. Clark's daughter  Charity, mother of Clement.

Clement Clarke Moore married Catharine Elizabeth Taylor (19) in 1813. He was 34 at the time of his marriage. Catharine died in 1830.
This is the story as to the writting of the poem.
On Christmas Eve 1822, Reverend Clement Moore’s wife was roasting turkeys for distribution to the poor of the local parish, a yearly tradition discovered that she was short one turkey, she asked Moore to venture into the snowy streets to obtain another. He called for his sleigh and coachman, and drove “downtown” to Jefferson Market, which is now the Bowery section of New York City, to buy the needed turkey. Moore composed the poem while riding in his sleigh; his ears obviously full of the jingle of sleigh bells. He returned with the turkey and the new Christmas poem. After dinner that evening, Moore read the new verses to his family, to the evident delight of his children. Some months afterwards, Moore’s children told a visiting friend of their father’s wonderful Christmas verses. A Miss Butler copied the poem into her album and the next December, probably unaware of Moore’s intention to keep his poem private, she sent a copy to the Troy Sentinel. It was published there anonymously on December 23, 1823, under the editor’s title " A Visit From St. Nicholas". Moore’s authorship remained a secret until 1837,. when he allowed his name to be used when the poem was anthologized in " The New York Book of Poetry". Later, it was included in Moore’s "Poems" (New York. 1844).
Clement Moore passed away July 10, 1863 at his summer home in New Port, Rhode Island  just a few days shy of his 84th birthday, and is burried in Trinity Church Cemetary in Manhatten, New York.
 Here is the most favorite Christmas Poem of small Children. 
'Twas 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
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

I hope that you have enjoyed this  bit of information.



  1. Interesting!

    I enjoy informative posts like this.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love this poem and the history of how it came to be was interesting, and to go for so many years of secrecy about his authorship is amazing! Nice post! Have a great week!

  3. Nice to meet you, Karan. So is it "Christmas all year long" at your house?

    Fun information in your post above. Thank you for sharing. ...Marsha

  4. Santa just dashed across my page! How brilliant!!

    I just wanted to pop by and say hi. So glad I read this great post too.

    100 days to go...yippeee!

    Best wishes,

  5. Hi Karan,
    Thanks for visiting my blog today. This post was so interesting, as I love anything about history and/or genealogy. I was born and raised in NYC, and I never knew anything about the life of Clement Clarke Moore, except that he wrote the famous poem. Have a lovely day!