The ChristophKeller, Jr. Library is now displaying selections from its large collection of editions of The Night before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863). These 17 festive books celebrate both the heritage of The General Theological Seminary and the approaching holiday season. Moore, the son of Bishop Benjamin Moore, was the benefactor that brought General Seminary to Chelsea through his donation of the family orchard on which the Seminary was built.He was also the Professor of Biblical Languages at GTS from 1821 through 1850.Outside the Seminary, he is much better known as the author of A Visit from St. Nicholas, better known as The Night before Christmas. Written around 1822, the poemfirst appeared anonymously in The Troy Sentinelin 1823. Moore initially denied authorship because he wished to be known for his more serious poetry and his scholarly works, but he eventually acknowledged authorship and the poem began to be published under his name in 1837. In the 1850s, illustrated editions began to appear helping create our modern image of Santa Claus.
Enormously popular from the start,The Night before Christmashas become a Christmas tradition at General Seminary and throughout the world, and it continues to spread the joy of Christmas. Each year it is read aloud to the children of the GTS community at the St. Nicholas party during Advent.