Adam Lee Moore is resting in the historic Downieville Cemetery

GPS***N39' 34.054 W120' 49.521*** elev. 3100'

ADAM  LEE  MOORE
MINER
MAY 5,1847   NOV. 13,1946
HE LOVED SIERRA COUNTY
N.G.H. OF A. & H. O. OF
E CLAMPUS VITUS

[ Noble Grand Humbug of Ancient & Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus ]


Downieville Clamper Park Memorial Plaque Wording
- TO REMEMBER -
ADAM LEE MOORE
MINER, BORN MAY 5, 1847
DIED NOV. 13, 1946. NGH
BALAAH LODGE NO. 107304
CLAMPATRIARCH YERBA
BUENA LODGE NO. 1  ANCIENT
AND HONORABLE ORDER OF
- E CLAMPUS VITUS - 


Articles I have gathered about Adam Lee Moore - Clampatriarch -
 
This article will concern itself with Adam Lee Moore, the link of the old E Clampus with the new, and his recollections of the life and times of Clampers in the Sierra City area. G. Ezra Dane, of whom we heard last time, wrote a sketch of Adam Lee Moore. We borrow from it freely here:
 
Adam Lee Moore was born May 5, 1847 at Rahway, New Jersey. In 1862, aged 15, he shipped out on a whaler from New London and spent the winter of ‘62-‘63 frozen in at Hudson Bay. His youthful wanderings ended in 1867 when he landed in San Francisco and went up to Sierra County in search of gold. Arriving at Downieville, he was cordially (and thoroughly) “taken in” by the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, rollicking burlesque brotherhood of the gold rush days.
From Downieville, he pushed on to Sierra City, which became his home and the base of his mining activities for many years. There, in 1879, he married Jennie Larrieu and there they raised their children. But he always had time for transaction of the important monkey business with which the Clampers concerned themselves. Transferring his allegiance to the Sierra City Chapter, “Balaam Lodge No. 107,304,” he filled the honorable office of Royal Platrix and finally rose to the supreme dignity of Noble Grand Humbug, which he occupied until the roisterous order faded and died with the free and easy spirit of the gold Rush days that had fostered its existence.
Mr. Moore and his family moved to San Francisco and there, years later, he was surprised to learn that a group of choice spirits had revived the old order of ECV as a vehicle for pursuing their common interest in California history. He made himself known to them as the last surviving Noble Grand Humbug of the old dispensation and was acclaimed the Grand Clampatriarch of the new one.
On Wednesday, May 5, 1937, in San Francisco, the Bay City Clampers met to honor Clampatriarch Moore on the occasion of his 90th birthday, and presented him with a curiously carved staff in token of their affection and of his supreme authority.
From some of his writings of his reminiscences of E Clampus Vitus, we can learn of the boisterous and thorough initiations to which new members were subjected. Of his own initiation he writes:
 
“I answered the usual questions in the anteroom, the portals were thrown open, and I was conducted to the coffin where they placed my hand on the skeleton and took the blindfold off of my eyes, and there I took the obligation; they then elevated me, for I had said that I believed in the elevation of man; and I took it in good part and with the exception of the brand enjoyed the evening, for they made it short for me as there were two more that night. One of the two got smart and would be tough, so what they did to him I do not think he will ever forget; they rode him over the rocky roads to Dublin till he begged them to quit. This is done with a wheelbarrow with a large wet sponge in it. The candidate is seated, while the by-laws are read to him; then there is a ladder on the floor, rungs down, and the wheelbarrow is run over it, a man at each handle, the C.P. on one side and the C.M. on the other, to see that the candidate is seated comfortably. Then they elevated him, first with the tackle, and then in the canvas, and they sure threw him up. At last he said, ‘Boys, if you will quit I treat,’ so they passed the Staff of Relief. It was about four o’clock in the morning, and we kept it up till after breakfast, and we kept singing our closing ode, We’ll take a drink with you, dear Brother.”
 
Adam Lee Moore writes of the initiation of a famous writer:
 
“(Another) meeting I attended was of Sierra Valley Lodge, ‘The Badger.’ They were the roughest order in my time. They always said, ‘Throw wide the portals and let the S.B. enter.’ The night I was there Ned Buntline attended and we sure had a time, as he was smart - having traveled a great deal. He was the writer at that time of most of the dime novels. They asked him a lot of questions and he had an answer for every one. They asked him, ‘In your travels did you ever meet any of the persons known as C.S.?’ and he answered right away, ‘Not till I came in this hall.’ Well the boys were just delighted with him, and there was very little rough stuff, and when they sang the closing ode it was, You’ll take a drink with us, dear Brother.”
 
Adam Lee Moore was truly a remarkable man, not only for his memory and his desire to see that ECV got restarted off on the right foot, but for his longevity. Adam died on November 13, 1946, just 6 months shy of his 100th birthday.
 
Submitted by Tom Barry, XSNGH Dec 2003
***************
 
 
The organization [ECV] all but died out around the turn of the century, but was revitalized in 1931 by a San Francisco historian by the name of Carl Wheat, along with his friends George Ezra Dane and Leon 0. Whitsell. (Dane, who most often wrote his signature as "G. Ezra Dane," often claimed the "G" stood for "GeeHosaphat." According to Wheat, the "O" in Whitsell's name was for "Obstreperous.") Wheat had found many references to ECV in his historical research, and thought it would be a fitting vehicle for the commemoration and preservation of a segment of California and U.S. History he feared was being lost. He also thought it just might be fun...
While in the process of revivifying ECV, the San Francisco crew were contacted by Adam Lee Moore, of Downieville and Sierra (pronounce "Sigh-air-ah" by the locals...) City. Brother Moore was the last known survivor of the old ECV, and passed on to Wheat and company all he remembered of the rites, rituals, traditions, and legends of E Clampus Vitus, providing an invaluable link to the past.
 
Skunks' Misery Redux, An Unauthorized, Unacknowledged Offshoot of Yerba Buena Number One,
Capitulus Redivivus, E Clampus Vitus Clamp Year 6000
***************
 
 
Carl Wheat "discovered" a Clamper of the old order, who aided the revival immensely.Adam Lee Moore was the last N.G.H. of Balaam Lodge in Sierra City. Adam always referred to it as "Sigh-era." He was the link, in Wheat's words, in the "Apostolic succession from the Clampatriarchs of old." Moore had an excellent memory and recalled the words of the old initiation ritual.

Moore had been a red-shirted miner and stage coach driver among other things, lived to be 99, and was quite a person. I had the pleasure of driving with Adam Moore, his wife, and Lee Stopple from San Francisco to Downieville on May 31, 1941. We were delivering a new charter for a meeting of the Chapter and initiation to be held that night. I was a lot younger then and more easily shocked, and I know I was shocked when the PBCs [Poor Blind Candidates] came down the main street of the town, with people lining the sidewalks, holding torches and chanting a dirge: "Poor sons of bitches, E Clampus Vitus, poor sons of bitches." Tired after the drive and initiation, I said to Adam, "I'm going to bed." I'll never forget his answer, and he had just turned 94 at the time, "Ain't yah going to dance?" And he went!

In May 1932, the "Chapter Redivivus" made its first pilgrimage to the gold country, first to Camptonville, then on to Downieville and Sierra City. Carl Wheat became the first Noble Grand Humbug.
 
Presented by Dr. Albert Shumate, M.D., ECV author of numerous books on San Francisco history, and a Humbug of Sublime, Noble, and Grand proportions.
June 25, 1991
***************