Gertrude Thomas
Witness Letters



Oct 23d (12

The Darling Duck writes to the Darling Dove.

Precious Helen

Since you are undergoing a fit of excitement over "The Night Before Christmas" I wish that I had so many good things to tell you that your mind could be settled at once, and grandfather's right to the Authorship established without a doubt. I have always heard that the poem was published in the Po'k. Eagle, and no doubt that is perfectly true.

If Cousin Jeannie Hubbard could have kept the one previous paper which her father had, the matter of date could have been positively settled. I have heard mother say that there were just two years between all the children of her father's family, Uncle Charles being the oldest. Mother was born in the last of the year 1800 - her birthday was in November or December. So Uncle Edwin must have been born in 1798, Uncle Sidney in 1796, and Uncle Charles in 1794. Uncle Charles - according to his daughter, Cousin Jennie Hubbard - remembered perfectly when his father brought up the freshly written paper from his Sanctum, with the ink still wet upon it, and read it aloud to his family. Now if the poem was written in 1800, Uncle Charles was only six years old, and we can hardly trust to the memory of so young a youngster. But allowing him to have been eight then it was published in 1802.

None of the other children remembered anything about it. So of course they were all very young. Now Sweetest and best this is all that I can tell. Which is not much - but the dates may be of some help.

I hope our darling's cold was broken up by the castor oil and that he is his own bright happy little Self again.

The rogue! To gulp down his two oysters without taking them out of their shells! I should think that Betty more Brown would have complained loudly - but am very glad if she did not. Oh how I long to see that Adorable Fascinator - bless his precious heart - it is too bad that we must live so far away. You didn't say one word about yourself dearie. I trust that everything is progressing satisfactorially and that Dr. Taylor is looking after you with the greatest care.

We have just heard that Mother and Margie are coming here on Friday, to spend Sat. & perhaps Sunday. How we will talk! (Now go to extra half sheet)

Existing Helens.
Helen Montgomery Krasicki, daughter of Mary Willis Goodrich and Edward Livingston Montgomery. The letter is most likely to this Helen because her mother was passionately interested in the question of Henry's authorship, and her mother and both aunts were in touch with Gertrude on this topic.

Helen Haugan, dau of Lavinia Livingston the dau of Sidney, and 1st cousin of Gertrude
Helen Electra Thomas, dau of John Thomas son of Jane, and niece of Gertrude

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