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post #51 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 01:58 PM
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My librarian/folklorist friend assures me that it was just a funny/scary story written by Washington Irving. upstate NY is rich in folktales and ghost stories. She's visiting her mum there, this week.

Also, Sleepy Hollow is part of Tarrytown.
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post #52 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 02:26 PM
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The story does have some basis in history. The Hudson River Valley in the late 1700s had a lot Hessian soldiers leftover from the Revolutionary War. They were hired by the British to help squash the revolution.

THey were told to be ruthless and incredible sharpshooters and horseman. The area was predominately Dutch and they did not care for the Hessians and often told terrifying stories of their ruthlessness and cruelty. At one point a headless Hessian was found and buried near hte old Dutch Burying ground.

Ichabod Crane did indeed exist. He was a Military Man who served in the War of 1812, Washing Irving met this man @ Fort Pike in Sackett's Harbor, NY in 1814 and was inspired by the name and the man's character (although, obviously he was nothing like the schoolteacher in the story.

The mannerisms, behavior, and job of Irving's character were inspired by a teacher friend of his from Kinderhook NY. He was originally from Connecticut.

THe town of Sleepy Hollow didn't actually exist until 1996, the original town in the book was supposedly fashioned after Kinderhook, NY. North of Tarrytown. In 1996 they 'broke' off a portion of Northern Tarrytown and named it "Sleepy Hollow". I can imagine it was *GREAT* for tourism.
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post #53 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 04:55 PM
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Getting into Christmas reading now.
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post #54 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 05:44 PM
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Oh, also there was some buzz back in Irving's day of a Dutch tale about a "Wild Huntsman" who would chase people @ breakneed speeds through the woods, but only those who had committed terrible crimes. It seems like that was more of a old folk tale though, not anything tangible.
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post #55 of 55 (permalink) Old 11-05-2015, 09:44 PM
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OO! Thanks Kriss! Isn't there a yearly festival in the area, celebrating the story? Many Hessians were sympathetic to the colonists and some defected. One of the 1st drill instructors in the U.S. army was German. He would chew the men out, going off in mixed German and English tirades that had the troops howling with laughter.
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