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History Bytes: Dear Santa Claus

Are you hoping for a gift from Santa this holiday season? On December 23, 1882 young Philip Wheaton Rives King wrote to Santa Claus asking for, “a dog and a little sled and a person doll and a trumpet and a whistle and a coat for dolly & a full wardrobe and a gun & a top.” He signed the letter, “I am your affectionate & good little protégé, Philip W. R. King.” Philip, son of David and Ella (Rives) King, Jr. of New York City and Kingscote, Newport, was just three years old in 1882, so chances are he had a little help writing to Santa at Chimney Corner.

Images: Philp W. R. King’s letter so Santa, 1882. King family papers, collections of the Newport Historical Society