Friday, November 24, 2023

Old Santeclaus


In A Visit From St. Nicholas, best known as " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas," Clement C. Moore borrowed the reindeer and other details from the illustrated Christmas poem in The Children's Friend Number III, published in New York in 1821 by William B. Gilley. 

Old SANTECLAUS with much delight
His reindeer drives this frosty night,
O'er chimney-tops, and tracks of snow,
To bring his yearly gifts to you.

The steady friend of virtuous youth,
The friend of duty, and of truth,
Each Christmas eve he joys to come
Where love and peace have made their home.
Through many houses he has been,
And various beds and stockings seen;
Some, white as snow, and neatly mended,
Others, that seem'd for pigs intended. 
To some I gave a pretty doll,
To some a peg-top, or a ball;
No crackers, cannons, squibs, or rockets,
To blow their eyes up, or their pockets.

Where e’er I found good girls or boys,
That hated quarrels, strife and noise,
I left an apple, or a tart,
Or wooden gun, or painted cart. 

No drums to stun their Mother’s ear,
Nor swords to make their sisters fear;
But pretty books to store their mind
With knowledge of each various kind.
But where I found the children naughty,
In manners rude, in temper haughty,
Thankless to parents, liars, swearers,
Boxers, or cheats, or base tale-bearers, 
I left a long, black, birchen rod,
Such as the dread command of GOD
Directs a Parent’s hand to use
When virtue’s path his sons refuse.

The American Antiquarian Society and Yale University Library /  Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library have beautiful, very rare copies. Thankfully great digital images from both are accessible online:



Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Santa's calling card

In December 1862 you could get the newest edition of A Visit from St.Nicholas with beautiful illustrations by Felix Octavius Carr Darley for 50 cents. "An elegante Christmas trifle for the entire household," as described by Manhattan publisher James G. Gregory in the New York Evening Post on December 22, 1862.

New York Evening Post - December 22, 1862
via Genealogy Bank
"A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS." The famous poem, " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas," etc. Illustrated in tints, from drawings by DARLEY, with an illuminated cover. An elegante Christmas trifle for the entire household. Price 50 cents.
Darley's joke on the front cover is explained in the New York World notice of December 26th, the day after Christmas: "The title page is in richly illuminated letter, a carte de visite of Santa Claus having fallen on the first page." 
New York World - December 26, 1862
via Genealogy Bank
A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS. Illustrated from drawings by F.O.C. DARLEY. James G. Gregory.
     This is an elegantly illustrated and printed quarto pamphlet edition of Clement C. Moore's famous Christmas song, " 'Twas the Night before Christmas." The title page is in richly illuminated letter, a carte de visite of Santa Claus having fallen on the first page. The drawings are all by Darley, and are in his happiest style.
In verse, the poet Clement Clarke Moore reported St. Nick's Visit, and now Darley the artist gives us the picture of his carte de visite. Look, Santa Claus left his calling card!
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Thursday, November 16, 2023

The Fall of Minneapolis

Alpha News documentary 'The Fall of Minneapolis' out now

Alpha News documentary 'The Fall of Minneapolis' out now

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Diversity, Multicultural & Social Justice Quotations/Quotes

Diversity, Multicultural & Social Justice Quotations/Quotes: Diversity, Multicultural & Social Justice Quotations/Quotes.

Herman Melville (U.S. novelist and poet, 1819-1891)

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow-men; and along those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and come back to us as effects.

As shown long ago on Melvilliana, the "sympathetic threads" quote mistakenly attributed to Herman Melville derives from an 1855 sermon against sin by the Rev. Henry Melvill. Titled "PARTAKING IN OTHER MEN'S SINS," Henry Melvill's discourse on the text of 2 John 1:11 (For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds) was reprinted in The Golden Lectures Volume 3.


The central metaphor of Melvill's 1855 sermon represents the Church as the body of Christ. Re-assigned to Herman Melville, the Anglican preacher's deeply religious imagery continues to be re-purposed by activists for use in the promotion of social justice agendas. Let me know please if you encounter it in your next mandated training on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

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