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The Van Tassel Family History Homepage

"A Pedigree Partly Indian, Partly Batavian"

The Van Tassel Family, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Washington Irving

Irving's Ichabod Crane.

To the Editor of the New York Times:
-Mar 26, 1898-

I have noticed with interest the articles in your columns concerning the locality of the legend of Sleepy Hollow. Why not settle the question by calling in the author as a witness? I find in his published letters one addressed to his brother Ebenezer, in which he speaks as follows concerning this very legend: "It is a random thing, suggested by recollections of scenes and stories about Tarrytown."

This statement certainly ought to be sufficient, but it is more fully given by the author's biographer, Pierre M. Irving, who writes thus-vide "Life and Letters of Washington Irving," Volume 1, Page 448:

"The outline of this story had been sketched more than a year before at Birmingham, after a conversation with his brother-in-law, Van Wart, who had been dwelling upon some recollections of his early years at Tarrytown, and had touched upon a waggish fiction of one Brom Bones, a wild blade, who professed to fear nothing and boasted of having once met the devil on return from a nocturnal frolic and run a race with him for a bowl of milk punch."

As Mr. Donald G. Mitchell, in referring to this matter, mentions Tarrytown as the scene of the legend, it is evident that his statement is based on the best possible authority.

W. F. Honeoye Falls, N. Y., March 22 1898.


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