Mary Van Deusen
Paul Kosinski


Mary Van Deusen

About Me

Mary S. Van Deusen
((b: 1944, Governor's Island NYC))
+ Paul Kosinski (1970, Chicago IL)
(b: 1942 Chicago IL)

      Toby (white Bichon Frise) (b: 2000)
      My Kitty (stray cat)
      Scaredy Kitty (stray cat)

About Me

Henry Livingston:
    Don Foster:

I never knew my father, mother left him when I was six weeks old and he died when I was young. I knew he had been a poet in Greenwich Village as well as being regular army. I only discovered genealogy and Henry because I was trying to find his poetry book, thinking that some living cousin might have inherited a copy. I didn't find the book, but I did find the joy of literary research. Life will never be the same.

When I heard the story of Henry being the author of Henry Livingston, I decided to take my turn to try to prove it. Learning that Don Foster of Vassar specialized in finding the authors of anonymous texts, I was able to convince him to take on the project. My job was the low level research. My husband bought me a large microfilm machine that would scan into the computer. New York state sent me microfilm of the newspapers of Henry's time. For a year I lived in a time when George Washington was spoken of in the present tense. Getting to know Henry, and watching Don Foster help the world to know Henry, has been magical.

    Mac Jackson:
Many years after working with Don Foster, I was contacted by Mac Jackson, an emeritus professor in New Zealand. He thought there was still research room in the topic, and asked for my help. He worked very differently than Don did. What he needed was data to compare statistically so his evaluation of the authorship would have hard numbers attached. I am NOT a statistician, but I do know how to collect data. As long as I could make a good case for a particular type of data, Mac would make a considered judgment whether or not the data could be rigorously enough collected to be impartial between the three authors: Henry Livingston, Clement Moore and the author of "Night Before Christmas."

As of the time I'm writing, I'd say Mac and I have each spent at least a year in long days and long nights of collection and analysis. Some types of data are absolutely prejudice proof. We've transcribed EVERY WORD!! of every poem of each of those authors and computer crunched the data so that Mac has huge databases with which to work. For example, we can recognize how often the end of one word followed by the start of another causes your tongue to move around more or less in your mouth. That is, how smoothly the words of the poems "trip off your tongue." And it's quantifiable! Other data bases lend themselves to unconscious prejudicial organizing, and needs careful checks and rechecks to make sure that the databases are as free of prejudice as it's possible to make them. Mac has good experience in that type of data gathering and is a godsend of advice, besides being the final checker.

I started out with Don and with Mac telling them that I'm a researcher by profession and by nature. I don't want their answer to be Henry unless they really believe it when they're done working with their data. I told each of them that I'd work my tail off for them and still be at peace with whatever answer they came up with. And I would be. This isn't research to show Henry wrote it. This is research to find out WHO wrote it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

And thanks to learning to research poetry, I DID find father's poetry column from the University of Chicago. It was filled with shifting pseudonyms that I wouldn't have had a clue how to approach if I hadn't worked on this authorship issue with such fine, critical thinkers. I saw father leave a note in the press office for mother to pick up, and threaten to publish it in his poetry column if she didn't pick it up. Then I watched the love letters between the two - mother panicking over father's use of her real name, and more pseudonym shifting, with mother using my name of Mary, and father writing a poem to the middle name they gave me - Suskind. And then I watched them break up. Years later they would break up for real, but I watched it happen in a microcosm so many years before.

And, finally, I found father's book, the one mother described giving to both Frank Lloyd Wright and Robert Frost when she took them out for a journalism dinner after a campus speech. Father's name is misspelled on the cover. But if it was easy, where would the fun be?

Professional Background:
InterMedia Enterprises:
2 movie scripts and 1 TV script - agented. Web design and video production.

IBM Research in Westchester County NY (early retirement):
Computer researcher in computer language design, and multimedia/human engineering. My husband built a half million dollar video studio around my international multimedia magazine. Many videos, and music videos, papers and awards. Consulted with computer groups on how to add multimedia to their projects. Chaired the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) special interest group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN). Was on SIGBOARD as Area Director and Financial Advisor. Created and edited a newsletter for the LISP programming language, and on the LISP standards committee. Chaired national conferences and workshops.

Prime Computer in MA: Created the organization; created and edited the newsletter for the Ada programming language. Secretary/Treasurer and Vice-Chair of SIGPLAN; Chaired national conference

InterMetrics in MA: Worked on SPL/I (Navy signal processing language) and contest to design Ada (we came in 2nd). Wrote the books. Created the local SICPLAN group for Boston area.

Fun Stuff:
TV Music Videos and fan writing - awards; gave talk at MIT Media Lab
Backyard birds and animals


1. Mary S. Van Deusen
    2. Major Bradley Evans Bell and Jean Butridge
        (name changed to Bradley TenEyck Van Deusen)
        3. Jack Bell and Catharine Burnett
            4. Brig.General Henry L. Burnett and Sarah Lansing
                (Special Judge Advocate for Lincoln Assassination Trial; NY Attorney General)
                5. Brig. General Henry Livingston Lansing and Catharine Olivia Gibson
                    6. Henry Bicker Gibson and Sarah Sherman
                        (bank; canal company; two railroads; started NY Central)
                    6. Barent Bleecker Lansing and Sarah Breese
                        7. Arthur Breese and Catharine Livingston
                            8. Major Henry Livingston, Jr. and Sarah Welles
                                9. Dr. Henry Livingston, Sr. and Susannah Conklin
                                    10. Gilbert Livingston and Cornelia Beekman
                                        11. Robert Livingston and Alida Schuyler
                                            12. Rev. John Livingstone and Janet Fleming
                                                13. Rev. William Livingston and Agnes Livingston
                                                14. Rev. Alexander Livingston and Barbara Livingston
                                            12. Philip Schuyler and Margaretta Van Schlictenhorst
                                                13. Brant Arantse van Slichtenhorst and Aeltje Van Wenckum
                                        11. Hendrick Beekman and Joanna Lopers
                                            12. Captain Jacob Lugt de Loper and Cornelia Melyn
                                                13. Corneille "Cornelis" Melyn and Jannitken Adryiaens
                                            12. Mayor Wilhelmus Beekman and Catalina de Boogh
                                                13. Henry Beekman and Mary Baudertius
                                                14. Rev. William Baudertius
                                                14. Rev. Gerard Beekman and Agnes Stunning
                                9. Rev. Noah Welles and Abigail Woolsey
                                    10. Rev. Benjamin Woolsey and Abigail Woolsey Taylor
                                        11. John Taylor and Mary Whitehead
                                            12. Major Daniel Whitehead, II and Abigail Stevenson
                                                    (Abigail was divorced from Colonial writer Daniel Denton)
                            8. Colonel Samuel Breese and Elizabeth Anderson
                                9. Sidney Breese and Elizabeth Penkethman
                                    10. Captain Penkethman
                                9. Garland Anderson and Jane Chevalier
                                    10. Rev. James Anderson and Suit Garland
                        7. Colonel Gerrit G. Lansing and Manette Antill
                            8. Colonel Edward Antill and Charlotte Riverin
                                9. Edward Antill and Anne Morris
                                    10. Governor Lewis Morris and Isabella Graham
                                        11. Attorney General James Graham
                            8. Gerrit Jacob Lansing and Jannetje Waters
                                9. Jacob Gerritse Lansing (silversmith) and Helena Glen
                                9. Jacob Sanderse Glen and Catherina Jansz Van Witbeck

I love discovering new cousins!


All Henry Livingston's Poetry,     All Clement Moore's Poetry     Historical Articles About Authorship

Many Ways to Read Henry Livingston's Poetry

Arguments,   Smoking Gun?,   Reindeer Names,   First Publication,   Early Variants  
Timeline Summary,   Witness Letters,   Quest to Prove Authorship,   Scholars,   Fiction  

   Book,   Slideshow,   Xmas,   Writing,   The Man,   Work,   Illos,   Music,   Genealogy,   Bios,   History,   Games  

Henry's Home

Mary's Home

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