Moore, Clement Clarke

Moore, Clement Clarke, 1779–1863, American educator and poet, b. New York City, grad. Columbia, 1798. A biblical scholar, he was professor of Asian and Greek literature at the Episcopal General Theological Seminary, erected in New York City on land that he had donated. He is remembered for the well-known poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” which begins “ 'Twas the night before Christmas”; it was first published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel in 1823. Recent computer-aided scholarship has cast considerable doubt on Moore's authorship of the poem.

See biography by S. W. Patterson (1956); S. Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas (1996); D. Foster, Author Unknown (2000).

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