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Sat, 09.01.1866

Lewis Baxter Moore, Educator, and Minister born

Lewis Baxter Moore

*Lewis Baxter Moore was born on this date in 1866. He was a Black educator, minister, and administrator.

Born in Huntsville, Alabama Moore received his B.A. in 1889 and his M.A. in 1893 from Fisk University in Nashville. Lewis Baxter Moore's first wife was Sadie Elizabeth Tanner, a sister of the artist Henry O. Tanner and the maternal aunt for whom Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander.  Three years later he earned one of the first doctorates awarded to a black person in the United States at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation was entitled "The Stage in Sophocles."

After his graduate work at Penn, Dr. Moore went on to teach Latin, pedagogy, psychology, philosophy, and education at Howard University where he served for many years as the Dean of Howard's Teachers' College.  At Howard University, Dr. Moore founded the Teachers’ College in 1899 and served as its dean continuously from 1899 until his resignation in 1920. Under his leadership, the college enjoyed great success. By 1915 221 of the 279 Normal School graduates held teaching positions across the U.S. and 125 A.M. degrees had been conferred. In 1912 he was among the candidates nominated for president of Howard University.  After becoming an ordained minister, the Rev. Dr. Moore spent the last three years of his life in Philadelphia as the pastor of the Faith Presbyterian Church in Germantown.   

Moore was the first person of African descent to earn a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. In the same year, he joined the American Philological Association, maintaining membership from 1896 to 1907. During those years, he was instrumental in establishing the first colored branch of the Y.M.C.A. in Philadelphia. Throughout his career, Dean Moore lectured widely and even taught at the summer school for teachers operated by Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, OH, in 1915. He was also deeply involved in U.S. efforts during World War I.

In 1919 having been granted 3 months leave of absence, Dean Moore took an educational tour of the south and retired soon after. He then returned to the pulpit leading the Faith Presbyterian Church in Germantown, PA. His efforts to erect a new building, which opened in July 1927, were said to have contributed to his death. Lewis Baxter Moore died on December 12, 1928, at aged 62.

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