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Book Hudson Valley Car Service to Visit The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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Washington Irving: America's First International Best-Selling Author

As a totally American cultural icon, Washington Irving, who authored the famous story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, has its roots in the Hudson Valley. Our Hudson Valley car service can be booked to take you to Tarrytown where Irving's family sent him out of New York when in 1798 there were over 800 deaths attributed to the dreaded yellow fever. His famous story was drawn from the surrounding area where he took refuge from the epidemic.

Here are some things you might like to know about Mr. Irving as you drink in what remains a very beautiful part of New York State and the nation:

In the same year that the American Revolution wrapped up in 1783, Washington was born and indeed was named for the first president of the United States and even attended President Washington's inauguration when young Irving was only six years of age.

Irving served as a reporter for his brother's newspaper, The Morning Chronicle. During that time, he covered the famous Aaron Burr trial when he was charged with treason.

He never married although he had been engaged in 1808 to Matilda Hoffman. She died of tuberculosis before they could be wed.

In the modern era, the city known as Gotham is almost exclusively linked to a fictitious character who dons a bat suit and drives a batmobile. But it was Washington Irving who developed the word Gotham as an alter ego for New York City.

In his book, A History of New York: From the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diederich Knickerbocker, the term knickerbocker was often used by people in and out of the city to give some sort of name to New York City dwellers.

Ever heard of or used the term, "the almighty dollar?" Irving authored this term in a story he titled The Creole Village. Compared to the way we relate with money today, read with amusement what he wrote concerning the Creole natives: "The almighty dollar, that great object of universal devotion throughout our land, seems to have no genuine devotees in these peculiar villages; and unless some of its missionaries penetrate there, and erect banking houses and other pious shrines, there is no knowing how long the inhabitants may remain in their present state of contented poverty."

The now world-famous Washington Irving helped to cement the idea of Santa Claus through the historical figure of St. Nicholas during a time when Christmas wasn't widely celebrated. He fostered the idea of Christmas with stories like Christmas Eve, where he introduced a barely known tradition known as the hanging of the mistletoe.

He did invent a myth that people living in the Middle Ages believe that the earth was flat. But research has shown that the educated class were more likely to believe in a round world.

Our Hudson Valley car service can transport you through serene valleys along the Hudson River where Washington Irving lived in his beloved Sunnyside until he passed away in 1859. You will get a taste of the innocence of American living wedged in between the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War.

Today, during a time when angry voices seem to be escalating along political and ideological lines of thought and action, perhaps a trip and a visit through time and idyllic beauty, might be just the mental salve we need to help each of us remember some of what makes America that special and great light on the hill.

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Posted on Feb 07 2017

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