Saturday, December 6, 2014

authorship of "A Visit from St. Nicholas"

        The contention was raised this Yuletide that a Major Henry Livingston, not Clement Clarke Moore, wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas." And on what evidence? On the fact that the late Mr. Livingston once used the very same meter in these lines left by him:

        To my dear Brother Beekman I sit down to write,

        Ten minutes past eight, and a very cold night.

*        *        *

        Nonsense! The real author of the verse was a man named Elmer Twitchell 1st, a famous fighter in the Indian wars. This is proved conclusively by these lines found in an old powder horn:

To my darling Aunt Minnie who keeps a stuffed parrot;

It's quarter of seven, with rats in my garret.

Phillips, H. I. "The Sun Dial." The Sun [NY]. December 28, 1944: 13 col 2.

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