Jeanne Denig
WS Thomas



The Bellevue-Stratford
March 12 - 1917

Dear Cousin:-

Your letter to Commodore Denig finds us here in Philadelphia whither we have come to see our son Robert Livingston who is on duty at the Navy Yard.

The paper you gave me in New York is now in Sandusky & when I go there I will send you the date you ask for.

Rob has a number of letters written by our great grandfather Livingston to my grandfather Charles Paterson Livingston.

A few years ago I was much interested in trying to prove that the Night Before Christmas was written by Henry Livingston. I had letters from my mother, your father, & all the others of that generation. All bore testimony to the pleasant tradition & belief that their grandfather had written the verses. But where is the proof?

I hope you will find it! My mother said that her grandfather used the "Dunder & Blitzen" as familiarly as some other people say "Great Scott!" etc etc etc! But alas! It is all hear-say and say-so - no proof.

I was taught to believe that my great grandfather Livingston wrote it. I have taught the same to my children & now my grandchildren believe it.

Pelletreau says it was written in 1822. Grandmother Livingston said she knew the poem before that date. She was born in 1800.

Thomas Collection


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