NEW YORK (AP) _ A handwritten 1860 manuscript of Clement Clark Moore's ``Twas the night before Christmas ...'' sold for $211,500 at auction on Friday.

Christie's said two Manhattan manuscript dealers, Joseph Maddalena and Seth Kaller, bought the poem, formally titled ``A Visit from St. Nicholas.''

The buyers immediately put it on display for the holidays at Kaller's American Gallery, located in Macy's Herald Square. The letter had been expected to sell for $200,000 to $250,000.

Also sold at the American history auction was a letter of condolence Abraham Lincoln wrote to the daughter of a man killed in the Civil War.

A Beverly Hills, Calif., manuscript dealer, Profiles in History, paid $425,500 for the letter, said Christie's spokeswoman Laurie Dodge.

Lincoln wrote the letter to a grieving Fanny McCullough, whose father was a friend of the president. William McCullough was shot and killed in 1862 while on a scouting mission deep in Confederate territory.

``In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unaware,'' Lincoln wrote.