Moore, Andrew Charles

December 27, 1866–September 17, 1928

The South Caroliniana Library in Columbia has an unpublished manuscript on the evolution/creationism controversy written by Moore. Apparently written in 1923, about two years before the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, and near the peak of the antievolution movement that erupted after World War I, Moore’s analytical examination of assertions made by antievolutionists has remained relevant long after his death.

Biologist, educator, church leader. Born on December 27, 1866, at his family home, Fredonia, near Moore in Spartanburg District, Moore was the son of Thomas John Moore and Mary Elizabeth Anderson. He attended the Reidville Male Academy and entered South Carolina College in 1883, earning an A.B. (with honors) in 1887. He married Vivian May of Hale County, Alabama, on September 20, 1900. After serving eleven years as a public school administrator in South Carolina and Alabama, Moore began graduate studies at the University of Chicago in 1898. He was appointed assistant professor of biology, geology, and mineralogy at South Carolina College in 1900 and was promoted to full professor in 1903. Three years later, when South Carolina College became the University of South Carolina, Moore became head of the newly created Department of Biology, a position he held until his death in 1928. He served for some years as dean of the university and on two occasions as acting president. From 1902 until his death, Moore was a member (chairman after 1906) of Columbia’s Board of School Commissioners. In 1909 Wofford College awarded him an LL.D.

Moore completed most of the work for his doctorate at the University of Chicago but did not finish his dissertation, part of which was published in the Botanical Gazette. While at Chicago, Moore studied the development of the embryo sac of the plant Lilium philadelphicum but never published his results. A prepared slide bearing a label in Moore’s handwriting, which states “Lilium Philadel . . . 1st meiosis 2nd meiosis ACM Feb ’99,” indicates a use of the term “meiosis” well before its historically recognized origin and publication. Moore never used “meiosis” in a publication; consequently, his important contribution to the vocabulary of biology was overlooked until its true authorship was pointed out in 1984.

The South Caroliniana Library in Columbia has an unpublished manuscript on the evolution/creationism controversy written by Moore. Apparently written in 1923, about two years before the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, and near the peak of the antievolution movement that erupted after World War I, Moore’s analytical examination of assertions made by antievolutionists has remained relevant long after his death. Moore read his manuscript “Evolution Once More” before the Kosmos Club, a town-and-gown organization in Columbia, of which he was a charter member and president in 1905–1906. In his treatise Moore exhibited a modern point of view and a mind open to the discoveries of science, which was perhaps surprising when considering his long years of service as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in both Birmingham and Columbia.

The herbarium in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, initially developed by Moore, and a residence hall and garden on the campus of the university bear Moore’s name, as does an elementary school in Columbia. Moore died on September 17, 1928, and was buried in the cemetery of the old Nazareth Church near Spartanburg.

Anderson, William D., Jr. “Andrew C. Moore’s ‘Evolution Once More’: The Evolution-Creationism Controversy from an Early 1920s Perspective.” Bulletin [Alabama Museum of Natural History] 22 (November 30, 2002): iii–iv, 1–35.

Herr, J. M., Jr. “A Brief Sketch of the Life and Botanical Work of A. C. Moore.” American Journal of Botany 71 (May 1984, part 2): 106–7.

Hollis, Daniel Walker. University of South Carolina. 2 vols. Columbia: Uni-

versity of South Carolina Press, 1951–1956.

Moore, Andrew C. “The Mitoses in the Spore Mother-Cell of Pallavicinia.Botanical Gazette 36 (October–November 1903): 384–88.

–––. Papers. South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

–––. “Sporogenesis in Pallavicinia.Botanical Gazette 40 (August 1905): 81–96. Sanders, Albert E., and William D. Anderson, Jr. Natural History Investigations in South Carolina from Colonial Times to the Present. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Moore, Andrew Charles
  • Coverage December 27, 1866–September 17, 1928
  • Author
  • Keywords Biologist, educator, church leader, when South Carolina College became the University of South Carolina, Moore became head of the newly created Department of Biology, member (chairman after 1906) of Columbia’s Board of School Commissioners, herbarium in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, initially developed by Moore, and a residence hall and garden on the campus of the university bear Moore’s name, as does an elementary school in Columbia
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date October 25, 2020
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 20, 2017
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