WASHINGTON IRVING - BIOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
Updated: Apr 21
Washington Irving was an American short-story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories "Rip Van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820), both of which appear in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Muhammad and George Washington, as well as several histories of 15th-century Spain that deal with subjects such as Alhambra, Christopher Columbus and the Moors. Irving served as American ambassador to Spain in the 1840s.
Irving was one of the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and he encouraged other American authors. He advocated for writing as a legitimate profession and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement.
Irving was born on 3 April, 1783, New York, New York, U.S. and died 28 November, 1859, Tarrytown, New York.
WASHINGTON IRVING'S BURIAL SITE
DATE(S) VISITED: JULY 9, 2019
LOCATION: SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY
Washington Irving died of a heart attack in his bedroom at Sunnyside on November 28, 1859, age 76—only eight months after completing the final volume of his Washington biography. Legend has it that his last words were: "Well, I must arrange my pillows for another night. When will this end?". He was buried under a simple headstone at Sleepy Hollow cemetery on December 1, 1859. Irving and his grave were commemorated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1876 poem In the Churchyard at Tarrytown, which concludes with:
How sweet a life was his; how sweet a death!
Living, to wing with mirth the weary hours,
Or with romantic tales the heart to cheer;
Dying, to leave a memory like the breath
Of summers full of sunshine and of showers,
A grief and gladness in the atmosphere.