Irving lived in Kinderhook for a time and is said to have known Merwin. Jesse Merwin was a long-time resident in Kinderhook and moved to the area with his parents and two brothers from Connecticut in Merwin then took up the position as a teacher in the local one room schoolhouse, and as was tradition for country school teachers, would board with his students for a week at a time. In Merwin happened to be boarding with Judge William P. Van Ness at the same time Irving was visiting, and the two made an immediate connection.
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He attempts to further his cause by impressing the daughters of rich families with his learning. He is also very suggestible, however, and his belief in ghosts and other supernatural phenomena ultimately gets the better of him. Ichabod Crane.
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Ichabod Crane is a fictional character and the protagonist in Washington Irving 's short story " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ", first published in In popular culture, this story is sometimes retitled as "The Headless Horseman. He is the local schoolmaster, and has a strong belief in all things supernatural, including the legend of the Galloping Hessian of the Hollow, or headless horseman. After supposedly proposing to Katrina, Crane is headed home alone at night when the headless horseman appears and chases the schoolmaster. Crane is never seen again. Ichabod —meaning "without glory"in Hebrew - comes from the biblical name of the grandson of Eli the High Priest and son of Phinehas. According to a notation by Irving and a certification written in long hand by Martin Van Buren , the 'pattern' Van Buren's words for the character of Ichabod Crane was based on the original Kinderhook schoolmaster named Jesse Merwin —born in Connecticut—whom Irving became friends with in Kinderhook, New York , in The two friends continued a pen-pal correspondence for thirty years. It is claimed by many in Tarrytown that Samuel Youngs is the original from whom Irving drew his character of Ichabod Crane.