Dec 18, 2013
By Jane Brown
A nearly 200 year old controversy over who wrote The Night Before Christmas may finally be settled at a mock trial in Upstate New York tonight. Local lawyer Jack Casey will argue the side of Henry Livingston Junior, whose descendants claim the farmer from Troy, New York was the real author of the poem. Casey says a wealthy scholar was incorrectly credited with writing the holiday classic when he included it in a collection of poems dedicated to his children. “Clement Clarke Moore only affirmatively claimed authorship of this poem after he knew the coast was clear, and by then Henry Livingston had been dead some 16 years.”
The Night Before Christmas was originally called A Visit from St. Nicholas. It was first published anonymously in Upstate New York’s The Sentinel newspaper on December 23rd, 1823.