Gertrude Thomas
Witness Letters



Summit Co
c/o C.C. Hale.

My dear Mary

Pardon my long delay in answering your letter, and believe me dear, that it has not been intentional neglect. As to the authorship of "The Night before Christmas", I know absolutely nothing, except, that my Mother's eldest brother, Charles (Doctor Livingston), who came to Ohio to live, and after his marriage settled in Painesville, always told his family, that he remembered perfectly when his father wrote it, and showed them the old Poughkeepsie paper (The Eagle, I think) in which it first appeared. This paper was highly prised and always kept by him in a particular corner of a certain drawer in his bookcase, and the drawer (I think) kept locked. After my uncle Charles died and the home in Painesville was broken up, some of the furniture was sent to the home of his eldest daughter - Mrs L.S. Hubbard of Sandusky. The bookcase now has a place in her house, and for many years the treasured paper lay safely in its corner in the drawer, but finally - she knows not how, or when - the paper disappeared, and with it every clue has gone. I supposed the poem was written very much earlier than 1822, and if we had the paper, it (the data) could be proved by that - but alas - it has gone beyond recall, and the family of Clement C. Moore, hold it in proud possession. You say Mary dear that you have heard that I have other poems of Grandfather's written in the same style. This is a mistake - I have nothing in the least similar - only some little "acrostics" and complimentary verses to ladies, which in his day were so fashionable, and even these, I fear I will not find again, when books and belongings are unpacked; for many things and even treasured ones, are apt to disappear after a moving. We were so disappointed sweet Mary not to see you last autumn when at Reeds. It seemed too bad not even to have a day with you. And since that time, how much has come into your life! In the marriage abroad - the home coming - and the departure for a foreign shore, of Helen - that well beloved child of your heart. And now her terrible illness, has been a great strain upon you all- the anxiety much harder to bear than if you had been beside her, noting all changes as they came and went. I rejoice with you dear and with all who love her, that she is reviving again as a flower, once beaten down by the storm, but standing erect and fair once more in God's pure Sunshine.

We have enjoyed Allie's little visit so much - it was all too short, but so much better than nothing. We talked of you, Nellie and the girls, many times - Allie would have loved so to see you - Tell Nellie beloved to look for a letter soon.

Jeannie joins me in all fond wishes - always your loving

Cousin Gertrude

Thomas Collection


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