Twas the Night Before Christmas
On December 25, 1822, Clement C. Moore, a professor of literature at
a theological seminary in New York, read A Visit from Saint
to a gathering of family and friends. A year later, it was printed in the
Troy Sentinel. His poetic description of Saint Nicholas became the norm
for a host of illustrators.
Since 1823, the poem has been reprinted many times and is arguably the
most popular and recognized description of Christmas.
Cover of A visit from St.
Nicholas ... Boston: Published by Estes and Lauriat,
Illustration by F.O.C. Darley from A visit from
St. Nicholas ... Boston: Published by Estes and Lauriat,
Moore's authorship of this poem has been debated. In his recent book
Author Unknown, Don Foster presents evidence pointing to
Livingston, Jr., as the author of
A Visit from Saint Nicholas.
For more information on Henry Livingston see
the website describing the
prove Livingston's authorship of A Visit from Saint
The January 2001 issue of Common-place
has an article by Stephen Nissenbaum on this subject.
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Last updated December 18, 2000