In the 1800's, what was important in the story?    

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was a short story published in a collection called The Sketch-Book in 1819 and 1820 in installments.  Washington Irving brought forth the popularity of the American short story with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the 1800s.

The story itself took place in the late 1790s.  There were several important happenings in the story.  One was that Ichabod Crane became infatuated with Katrina Van Tassel.  He visited her often and tried to woo her.  He went to a party at her father's farm, seeking to impress her.  Instead, he heard Brom Bones tell a story of the Headless Horseman who was said to haunt the area.  Ichabod was already superstitious, and he nervously rode his horse home later that night.  Suddenly he came across what appeared to be the Headless Horseman.  He was chased away and never heard from again.

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