Lavinia and Mary Livingston Haugan

Family Connections

Weight to give Claims

1Mar 22, 1917LLH. y Father and Aunt Susan said grandfather wrote it.
2Mar 12, 1917LLH. y I always believed. Jeanni Gurney told us governess story.

Lavinia Livingston Haugan claim - 1917 - 2nd hand

6436 Hillegass Ave.
March 22nd/17

Dear Cousin Will

I received your letter a few days ago and intended to answer immediately but "time passes" so fast. I am sorry I have nothing definite to say about "The night before Christmas." My father said his father wrote it, and we children believed it. Emphatically and were proud of it.

Aunt Susan Gurney also told me that Grandfather Livingston wrote it, she ought to know, being right there in the house and seeing her father every day. Grandfather was an artist in many ways, was of an artistic temperament I have always understood.

Several years ago I read an article in a New York paper that the author of the famous lines was a Rev. C.C. Moore and that he had lived in Newtown Long Island and that he wrote a good deal of poetry but that the "Visit from St. Nicholas" ws the only effusion that had a world wide reputation.

Lately, I saw another article of about the same import. I am sorry that there is a rival claimant to the honor, (both of whom I am sure are enjoying now a blissful immortality and are not worrying)

I have seen the poem many times in print but I have never seen grandfather's name signed to it. I wish I had. I hope you will straighten things out and if you do I would like to hear the result. Now, I am thoroughly interested. It is not a very long ago since it was written, and since it is in your hands, you will get all the information that is to be had as you will, if anyone can.

We are all well. Helen has two little daughters one seven and one under two. If war is declared Mr Macfarlane says he will join the Navy. He has his credentials for 1st Engineer but Helen says she will not allow him to go. I pray the dear Lord there will be no war. I hard and saw enough during our civil war.

Helen joins me in sending love to you and family
Ever your affectionate Cousin
Lavinia L. Haugen

Mary Livingston Haugan claim - 1917 - 2nd hand

Mrs. M.A. Haugan
6436 Hillegass Ave.
Oakland California

Sister is busy with her daughter Helen, who has two lovely little children. They are all well & think nothing xx xx Calif.

Preiet Notch
New Jersey

Dear Cousin Will,

Your welcome letter was received, and I was very pleased to hear from you, so glad to know you are all well. I often think of you and Cousin Emma and your dear little children - and wish it were so I could see you all - but now these days I very seldom go to the City- And when I do, the day is far too short to accomplish all I want to before it is time to think of returning home. I like to return home, about five, six as to get rested and ready to meet my husband. I am very glad to hear you visited Cleveland and when you write to any one of them remember me most kindly to them.

You speak of the "Night before Christmas." I have always had reason to believe grandfather Livingston wrote it, and when Cousin Jeanni Gurney was here, a year or so ago, she told a story that seemed very conclusive. Her mother (Aunt Susan) told her Grandfather was in the habit of writing all kinds of verses at different times & reading them to his family. So one time he read the verses to them, "The Night before Xmas." All were much pleased with the pleasant rhyme, & laughted. It so happened that a governess of Clement C. Moore, who lived quite near them as neighbors, had just come in on an errand, was invited to stop & hear the verses. She was much pleased and said "Cannot I take them to show to Mr. Moore. He is so fond of poetry." They said "Why yes." She took them , & when home, went to the study of Mr. Moore, he happened to be out, & she put them on his desk & never thought of them again. In that way they got put among his papers & not until years after, when he died, all the poems he had written, the family collected together, and had them printed in a book. Among them was "The Night before Xmas." The Livingstons were surprised to find it had accidentally gotten among Mr. Moore's papers & printed. Mr. Moore not being alive to contradict it. But I think all of Grandfather's children were convinced that was the same piece that had been read to them. That is all I know, and if I ever hear of anything further about it, I will write & let you know.

With love to Cousin Emma & the dear Children. Your ever affectionate Cousin

Mary Livingston Hewins
March 12th, 1917

Family Connections
Henry Livingston, Jr. (1748-1828) + Jane McLean Patterson (1769-1838)
Sidney Montgomery Livingston (1796-1856) + Joannah Maria Holthuysen (1804-1862)
Lavinia Livingston (aft1829-1856) + Unknown Haugen (1804-xx)

Weight to give Claims 2nd Hand
Heard from her father, Sidney, and her Aunt Susan that Henry wrote the poem.

Sidney was 32 years old when his father, Henry died. Henry's daughter could have been as old as 26 years old when her father died, and 32 years old when her mother died.

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