Mary Livingston Haugan claim - 1917
- 2nd hand
Mrs. M.A. Haugan
6436 Hillegass Ave.
Sister is busy with her daughter Helen, who has two lovely little children. They are all well & think nothing
xx xx Calif.
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