From the day Columbus arrived in the West
Indies, St. Nicholas had been a factor in the New World. As luck would
have it, Columbus arrived on St. Nicholas Day of 1492 A.D. and named his
new found port “St. Nicholas"
When the settlers arrived it was not long
before the youngsters insisted that there be a yearly visit from St.
Nicholas in this new land just as in the Old World.
The early American description of Santa
Claus can be found in the writings of author-humorist Washington Irving.
He pointed out in 1809 that the image St. Nicholas had in America was not
that of a robed Bishop, but rather a Dutch-attired gentleman with a long
pipe and a broad-brimmed hat.
Thirteen years later came the timeless
poem by Clement C. Moore entitled “A Visit from St. Nicholas” which
carried the classic description of Santa Claus.
Meanwhile, as many new Americans were
moving westward, some descriptions of Santa carried a contemporary look. .
. a buckskin dad pioneer who could pass for an elderly Daniel Boone.
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