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An autographed copy of the classic poem that begins with the familiar line "'Twas the night before Christmas" will be auctioned at Sotheby's on Dec. 3.

The handwritten manuscript, signed by author Clement Clarke Moore, is one of four known autographed copies, according to Sotheby's. It is expected to sell for $200,000 to $300,000.

Moore wrote "Visit From St. Nicholas" on Christmas Eve 1822 while in Manhattan to buy the family's Christmas turkey, according to Moore family history.

Harriet Butler, a family friend, sent a copy to the Sentinel, a newspaper in Troy, that ran it the following Christmas.

Moore apparently did not acknowledge authorship of the poem for more than 15 years and then only reluctantly.

Moore is believed to have thought the poem was too light for his reputation as a Hebrew scholar.

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