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Washington Irving Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Jan 1993

Biographical History

Washington Irving (1783-1859) was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian. He was best known for his short stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." His non-fiction works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain. Irving also served as U.S. minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Washington Irving Collection comprises two letters and one manuscript of the American author. In a letter to Martin Van Buren (12 Jul 1812) Irving writes:

New York is almost deserted through the exaggerated alarm concerning the cholera, which is no more to be dreaded by decent people here than it was in London. I believe that eight cases out of ten reported as spasmodic cholera are the ordinary complaints of the country & season.

Mounted and bound in a single volume, the undated 26-page manuscript bears Irving's designation "Chapter 37." The manuscript was published in Volume 4 of Irving's The Life of George Washington, which was issued by Putnam in 1857.

Arrangement of the Collection

Letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Irving, Washington, 1783-1859 -- Manuscripts.
Irving, Washington, 1783-1859. -- Life of George Washington.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.


Authors, American.
Biographers -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Washington Irving Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Adrian Van Sinderen.

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