The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 164
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
practice of astronomy became largely lost to all but his collateral descen-
dants who continued to own and farm the land that Moore and his rela-
tives settled in the 185os. That he detected the star, recognized it as un-
usual, quickly reported it, and followed it for weeks, show that he was
skillful. Who was Moore? How did he become an astronomer? Why was
his observation of S And important?'
Most of the information that remains about Henry Moore comes from
his elder brother, Charles. When Charles was twenty-eight he began a di-
ary that he maintained from 1851 to 1901, the year he died. He created
a narrative history of the Moore family's migration from Tennessee to
Texas, his view of the Civil War, and farm life in northeast Texas through
the end of the century. Since Charles and Henry worked as lifelong part-
ners, there are frequent references to Henry in the diary. Additionally,
the family wrote many letters to each other and friends. About 1930 this
material was discovered by Charles's granddaughter in a building on the
homestead. A microfilm copy of the diary along with original letters are
maintained at the Archives of the University of North Texas. The diaries
are historically significant for the insight they offer into farm life in Texas
during the last half of the nineteenth century. Rebecca Danvers analyzed
these documents in her dissertation, "The Charles B. Moore Collection:
Interpretation and Annotation."2
Forty-five of Henry's letters and postcards, with dates from 1844 to
1893, are contained in the collection. Most of these are addressed to
Charles and were written during periods when the brothers were separat-
ed. In dwelling upon everyday subjects such as agriculture, rainfall, hunt-
ing, politics, religion, money, and family, they disclose Moore's character.
He comes across as intelligent, humorous, and hardworking. The letters
also describe astronomical events and observations. In the aggregate,
these statements indicate the seriousness of Moore's interest in astrono-
my, an interest that grew as time passed. His brother shared this interest,
but with less zeal. Charles's diary has occasional entries about comets,
eclipses, and views through Henry's telescope. In addition to the material
at the University of North Texas, a small but significant group of Moore's
letters is maintained in Special Collections of the Jean and Alexander
Heard Library at Vanderbilt University. Addressed to Edward Emerson
'G6rard de Vaucouleurs and Harold G. CorwinJr., "S Andromedae: A Centennial Review," As-
trophyszcalJournal, 295 (Aug., 1985), 288, 290 [observations]; E. E. Barnard, "The New Star in the
Nebula of Andromeda," Szdereal Messenger, 4 (Oct, 1885), 242 [discovery]; David S. Evans and
Donald W. Olson, "Early Astronomy in Texas," Southwestern Hstoncal Quarterly, 93 (Apr, 199o),
z Rebecca W. Danvers, "The Charles B. Moore Collection: Interpretation and Annotation"
(Ph.D. diss., University of Texas at Dallas, 1985; cited hereafter as "C. B. Moore Collection") [di-
ary]; Claude Frazier to James Bryan, Aug. 17, 2002, interview (notes in possession of author)
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/208/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.