Answers to The Hudson Independent’s September Issue QUIZ What do you know about Washington Irving?

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Answers to The Hudson Independent’s September Issue QUIZ What do you know about Washington Irving?

The Bi-Centennial of Washington Irving’s literary work, The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon Gent. is being celebrated locally this year and next with a series of events. Among that heralded collection of short stories and essays published two hundred years ago, Irving’s most famous fictional tales, Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow represented his continuing connection to our region where he lived for much of his life. The land where he purchased his final home became his “Sunnyside” estate. When two neighboring villages merged in 1854, they honored him by naming their new community “Irvington.”

“Answers to the three questions presented in the newspaper:”

  1. Lawyer– While Irving is most well-known for his work as an author, he studied to become a lawyer.  However, he admitted to not being a good student and just about passed the bar exam in 1806.  He practiced law for a few years, but continued to write, and the latter became his legacy.
  2. Diplomat – During the War of 1812, Washington Irving served in the military briefly but saw no combat. In 1829 he became involved in diplomacy when appointed secretary to the U.S. Legation in London, a post he held for four years.  He also served successfully as Minister to Spain, from 1842 to 1846, following his appointment to that post.
  3. New York City – Irving was born in the city on April 3, 1783 as the youngest of the eleven children of Sarah and William Sr., who were Scottish-English immigrants to the U.S. They named their son after George Washington.

Washington Irvington’s last literary work, a four-year task completed while his health was failing, was a five-volume biography, the Life of George Washington, published in 1859, the year of his death at Sunnyside. He is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

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