- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nearly 200 years later, and the author of the traditional Christmas poem, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” remains a mystery. But on Wednesday, in a mock court hearing, that matter could be settled once and for all.

The poem that made famous St. Nick’s “eight tiny reindeer,” and the image of a toy-carting Claus sliding down the chimney, was first published in 1823 by the New York Sentinel newspaper in Troy — but anonymously.

The editor wrote then, NBC reported: “We know not to whom we are indebted, but from whomsoever it may have come, we give thanks for it.”

On Wednesday, retired New York Supreme Court Justice Bernard Malone will listen to lawyers argue about who should be given that appreciation, NBC said.

Clement Moore, a wealthy Bible scholar from New York, took credit for penning the poem and had it published in 1844, NBC said. But descendants of the poet Henry Livingston said he’s the true author.

The creator and host of the mock trial said he hopes the event will be an annual activity in Troy.


• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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