Upstate New York Has A Fascinating Festive Connection To This Christmas Poem
Did you know the classic Christmas poem "Twas The Night Before Christmas" has it's origins to an Upstate New York newspaper?
"A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"), has long been credited to Clement Clarke Moore. Moore was a wealthy New York City language professor and Bible scholar. He wrote the poem for his children, and it was originally published in the Troy Sentinel, on December 23rd 1823:
It appeared without attribution and continued to do so for the next fourteen years as it made its swift and merry way, like Santa's sleigh, all around the world."
You can read the original version online here.
The poem has been called "arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American." It's cultural impact is still felt today. How you ask? It's credited as largely responsible for the modern conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today.
Before the poem gained wide popularity, American ideas had varied considerably about Saint Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors. A Visit from St. Nicholas eventually was set to music and has been recorded by many artists."
Four hand-written copies of the poem are known to exist and three are in museums currently. One of those copies can be found at the New-York Historical Society library. The fourth copy, written out and signed by Clement Clarke Moore as a gift to a friend in 1860, was sold by one private collector to another in December 2006. It was purchased for $280,000 by an unnamed "chief executive officer of a media company" who resides in New York City.
If it wasn't for the Albany region and Upstate New York, who knows what we would read each and every Christmas Eve night.
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