"We know not to whom we are indebted for the following description of that unwearied patron of children..."

a visit from st nick troy sentinel clipping top

Tonight at the Rensselaer County Courthouse, there will be a trial -- with real attorneys, a judge, witnesses and everything -- to determine who actually authored the now-famous poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," Clement C. Moore or Henry Livingston Jr (as mentioned). It starts at 6 pm and it should be a good time. (The event's been getting national coverage.)

As you know, the local link for this story of "Sante Claus" and "Dunder and Blixem" is that it first appeared in the Troy Sentinel on December 23, 1823. (See plaque in downtown Troy.) Thanks to Gramercy Communications, which had the archives of the Sentinel digitized, and trial organizer Duncan Crary (who else), the page from that issue of the Sentinel is online (a big pdf).

It's interesting to read the poem in context -- it's sandwiched between an article about honey and some wedding announcements. And the intro to the story hints to the controversy that would eventually arise over the poem's authorship.

Anyway, we thought it'd be fun to post the poem as it originally appeared on the page, like a newspaper clipping. It's after the jump. Almost two centuries later it's still a fun read.

a visit from st nick troy sentinel clipping

image via Gramercy Communications


Hope everyone can make it to the big holiday courtroom showdown. We will open the courtroom doors as close to 5:30 as possible. Trial starts promptly at 6 p.m.

You can get into the courtroom lobby earlier. Please feel free to explore the amazing lobby/hall whatever in the south building.

Please EAT A SNACK before the trial. There will be finger foods and refreshments at the Rensselaer County Historical Society afterwards.

Give yourself enough time to find parking if you need it. There are lots on First Street, River Street, and throughout downtown.

And, hey! Did you see our trial featured in NBC National News?

'Twas the trial before Christmas: Who really wrote the famous poem?


P.S. Get a load of the comments! There are some real grinches out there. :(

Is there a place to purchase a copy of the original print?

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