“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Troy in Rensselaer County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

T'was The Night Before Christmas

T'was the Night Before Christmas Marker - Troy, New York Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 23, 2008
1. T'was the Night Before Christmas Marker - Troy, New York
"T'was the night before Christmas when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads"

Written in 1822 by
Dr. Clement C. Moore
for his children
and first published
on this site

The Troy Sentinel
23 December 1823

225 River Street - Troy, NY

Location. 42° 43.874′ N, 73° 41.586′ W. Marker is in Troy, New York, in Rensselaer County. Marker is on River Street near 1st Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is at the left hand side of the building at 225 River Street. Marker is in this post office area: Troy NY 12180, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Rescue of Charles Nalle (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Uncle Sam Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Locking Through (approx. 0.2 miles away); Uncle Sam (approx. 0.2
225 River Street, Troy, New York Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, December 19, 2008
2. 225 River Street, Troy, New York
The Marker is mounted on the left hand side of the building.
miles away); Mayor James F. Cavanaugh (approx. mile away); History of 1819 Fifth Avenue (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Great Fire of 1862 (approx. 0.3 miles away); W & L E Gurley Building (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Troy.
Regarding T'was The Night Before Christmas. "Account of A Visit from St. Nicholas”, more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas", or "Twas the Night Before Christmas", from its opening line, is a poem first published anonymously by the Troy Sentinel in 1823. It is largely responsible for the conception of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today.

Clement Clarke Moore (July 15, 1779–July 10, 1863) a wealthy Manhattan biblical scholar is the credited author of “A Visit from St. Nicholas”. Moore was famous in his day as a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at Columbia College (now Columbia University) and a professor of Biblical learning in the General Theological Seminary in New York in from 1821 to 1850 were he compiled a two volume Hebrew dictionary.

Legend has it that Moore composed "A Visit from St. Nicholas" for the
River Street In Troy, New York Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, December 12, 2008
3. River Street In Troy, New York
amusement of his six children on Christmas Eve of 1822, during a sleigh-ride home from Greenwich Village, where he went to purchase a goose for a charity basket . He supposedly drew inspiration for the elfin, pot-bellied St. Nick in his poem from the roly-poly Dutchman who was a neighbor. But from what we know of Clement Moore, it's much more likely that he found his imagery in literary sources, most notably Washington Irving's satirical Knickerbocker History. Moore, who originally referred to the poem as "a mere trifle", had been unwilling to have the poem published because as a stodgy man of academia, it was beneath his dignity, and he preferred to be known for more scholarly works.

Tradition tells that a relative of Moore's, Miss Harriet Butler, a holiday visitor to the Moore home, took a copy of the poem home with her to Troy, New York where the next year it was anonymously submitted to The Sentinel for publication. Moore himself claimed authorship of the poem in 1844 after the urging of his family following the poem's growing popularity. Later on Moore bequeathed the mahogany bureau desk on which he composed the poem to Miss Butler due to her fondness of the poem. The desk is in the possession of the New York Historical Society.

The Troy Sentinel was a relatively short lived newspaper, published from 1823 to 1832 at 225 River Street in Troy, New
The View Down River Street in Troy, New York Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 23, 2008
4. The View Down River Street in Troy, New York
York. Norman Tuttle was the publisher. Orville Luther Holley was an 1813 Harvard graduate practicing law before becoming the Editor of the Sentinel in July of 1823, where he pledged The Sentinel would "contain a greater proportion than is usual of original and selected literary and scientific matter." He invited readers to send in contributions, and received the poem anonymously. He wrote an introduction to the poem which read:
"There is, to our apprehension, a spirit of cordial goodness in it, a playfulness of fancy and a benevolent alacrity to enter into the feelings and promote the simple pleasures of children, which are altogether charming."

Authorship Controversy:

Literary sleuth Don Foster, an English professor at Vassar College, claims the poem's spirit and style are starkly at odds with the body of Moore's other writings and more closely matches the views and verse of author Henry Livingston Jr., a gentleman-poet of Dutch descent who lived in Poughkeepsie, New York.

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Also see . . .  The Original Text published in the Troy Sentinel. Notice the names of the two reindeer in line number 22, as originally printed, "...Dunder and Blixem; " which are Dutch & German for Thunder and Lightning. (Submitted on December 20, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
The View Up River Street, Troy, New York Photo, Click for full size
By Howard C. Ohlhous, December 19, 2008
5. The View Up River Street, Troy, New York
The Marker is in the photo on the left.
Additional keywords. Christmas, Santa, St. Nicholas, reindeer
Categories. Notable Persons
Clement Clark Moore Photo, Click for full size
6. Clement Clark Moore
Clement Clark Moore - Author of "A Visit From St. Nicholas"
Jolly Old Saint Nick Photo, Click for full size
7. Jolly Old Saint Nick
1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, with Clement Clarke Moore, helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 2,851 times since then. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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