Henry Livingston (1748-1828)

Major "Jolly Harry" Livingston Jr., Poet, of Poughkeepsie, New York

He was born at his father's farm outside Poughkeepsie, New York, and served during the Revolution as a Major in Richard Montgomery's ill-fated expedition to Canada. Having returned home, he led the 4th New York Regiment at the Battle of Saratoga (1777). "Livingston's Battalion" was created by choosing elite soldiers from various infantry regiments that were placed in the main line of defence at the Battle of Monmouth (1778) and as the vanguard to General Anthony Wayne's Brigade. After his military service, Harry retired to Poughkeepsie where he wrote poetry and sketched. Some scholars believe he - not Clement Clarke Moore - was in fact the author of the famous poem, "Twas' the Night Before Christmas/A Visit from St. Nicholas". He lived on a farm of over 300-acres that extended for a mile along the east bank of the Hudson River and was located two miles south of the Poughkeepsie Court House. He was married twice and had twelve children, but he was survived by seven children, all by his second marriage.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 18/05/2020 and last updated on 20/05/2020.