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Topic: Keely Chronology Stack
Section: Mrs. Bloomfield-Moore Dead
Table of Contents to this Topic


LONDON, Jan. 5, 1899. - Mrs. Bloomfield Moore of Philadelphia, who was largely interested in the Keely Motor Company, died at her house in Great Stanhope Street, here, early this morning. Although the doctors name heart disease as the cause of her death, her friends agree that Mrs. Moore really died of a broken heart, due to her grief over the death of Mr. Keely.

Mr. Henry Dam, a well-known scientific writer and her literary executor, says: "I knew that when Mr. Keely died she would not live long. Her whole life was centred in his work, to the exclusion of all other interests and hopes. She had the most profound and touching faith that neither Mr. Keely nor herself could die until the invention had succeeded. After receiving the cabled announcement of Mr. Keely's death she began to sink rapidly. Her ailment seemed more mental than physical."

When Mrs. Bloomfield Moore came to London, she was presented at Court and figured in fashionable society. In later years her whole time was devoted to endeavoring to interest influential people, especially scientists, in Mr. Keely and his motor. While she made few converts her faith and enthusiasm won many friends. She was considered to have a remarkable amount of scientific information, for a woman, as evidenced by her book on Mr. Keely's projects, written five years ago.

She coresponded with hundreds of scientists in all parts of the world and gained a reputation with the public for eccentricity. Occasionally she would give shares of stock to some one who had done her a service, saying: "This has no marked value at present, but some time it will be worth thousands."

Of late years she had been worried by money matters. Her income decreased, and she became very bitter against the trustees of the estate from which it was derived, accusing them of trying to defraud her. She recently asked Mr. Dam to go to the United States and to write from Mr. Keely's lips the story of his life work, and she offered to pay Mr. Hiran Maxim's expenses if he would go to America, consult Mr. Keely, and become the custodian of the latter's secret. She leaves immense files of writing concerning the motor, including a hundred letters to herself from Mr. Keely.

As a writer of fiction and poetry Mrs. Clara Jessup Moore established a creditable reputation more than a quarter of a century ago. As an intelligent, shrewd, and liberal collector of art objects, she in recent years was widely known on two continents. Socially she constituted a picturesque figure, partly because of her eccentricities of manner, partly because of her strong-willed disposition to manage her own affairs, and partly because of her activities in certain fields of charitable work. Her many years' devotion to the cause of the Keely motor, in which she was financially interested almost from its inception, was one of the episodes of her life which brought her most prominently before the public.

Although a resident of London for several years before her death, Mrs. Moore was from Philadelphia, and as Miss Clara Jessup she was a belle in society there half a century ago. She was born in Philadelphia Feb. 16, 1824. Her father, Augustus E. Jessup, was the scientist of Major Stephen H. Long's Yellowstone expedition of 1816. Her mother was a Moseley of Moseley Hall, in England. She was educated in New Haven, Conn., and on Oct. 27, 1842, married Bloomfield H. Moore of Philadelphia. The Moore family is connected with the Ridgways and other well-known Philadelphia families. Mrs. Moore was an aunt by marriage of Ridgway Moore. Soon after their marriage Bloomfield Moore associated himself with his wife's father, an extensive manufacturer of paper, under the firm name of Jessup & Moore. This concern is still in existence. Mrs. Moore's son Clarence B. being President of the company.

During the early part of her married life Mrs. Moore occupied herself industriously with literary and philanthropic labors. Her first book, "The Diamond Cross," was published in 1857. Soon after the civil war began she established the Woman's Pennsylvania Branch of the United States Sanitary Commission, and the special relief committee for hospital work. She, furthermore, projected and aided in founding the Union Temporary Home for Children in Philadelphia. She developed a literary tendency while in school, and some of her early stories were successful in competition for prizes. She wrote a first under the pen name of Mrs. Clara Moreton. Mr. Moore died in 1878, leaving a fortune to his wife and their children, one son and two daughters. Mrs. Moore also inherited a large fortune from her parents.

About 1880 Mrs. Moore, in memory of her husband, established the Bloomfield Moore art collection in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, and in later years she contributed liberally toward the enlargement and maintenance of that fine collection.

Mrs. Moore became acquainted with Mr. Keely about 1881 through her interest in scientific matters, and deriving from him an enthusiastic confidence in the ultimate success of the "motor," she remained Mr. Keely's friend and patron up to the time of his death. She gave the inventor from $250 to $300 a month for his personal use throughout their long acquaintance in order that he might devote his entire time and energies to the perfection of his motor.

For more than ten years Mrs. Moore had been a resident of London, England. Her house at 12 Great Stanhope Street, Mayfair, contained an uncommonly large and valuable collection of oil paintings and other art objects. She was on very friendly terms with Disraeli, and acting on his advice she began several years ago to invest money in the works of the best living artists. Most of the picture in her collection are now worth many times the amount she paid for them. A warm friendship existed between Mrs. Moore and the Brownings, both Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Mrs. Moore's London house was a favorite rendezvous for well-known literary persons.

Mr. Bloomfield H. Moore left an estate valued at upward of $5,000,000, and permitted Mrs. Moore to use her own discretion in making a distribution of the estate to the three children. The son, Clarence B. Moore, was dissatisfied with the portion allotted him, and brought the matter into court, in which he averred that the eccentricity of his mother had deprived him of his full share of his father's estate. The litigation was carried through the courts for quite a while, and an amicable settlement was finally reached. Both daughters of Mrs. Moore married noblemen. Miss Ella Carlton Moore married the Count Carl Gustave von Rosen, now First Chamberlain and Master of Ceremonies at the Court of Stockholm, Sweden. This couple have four children. Miss Mary Moore married the Baron Carl von Bildt of Stockholm, formerly Secretary of the Swedish Legation in Washington, in 1890 Baron von Bildt was Premier of Sweden.

Besides the "Diamond Cross," Mrs. Moore's published works include "Mabel's Mission," "Master Jacky's Holiday," "Poems and Stories," "On Dangerous Ground," "Sensible Etiquette," "Gondaline's Lesson," "Slander and Gossip," and "The Warden's Tale and Other Poems, New and Old."
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