what is ichabod crane’s job

what is ichabod crane’s job

The Professional Life of Ichabod Crane

As one of the leading characters of Washington Irving’sThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane has gone down in history as an eccentric and likeable figure. But readers may be curious to hear more detail about what Crane did for a living, and the options and career paths available in his day.

The Schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow

Ichabod Crane was prominent in Sleepy Hollow, New York, in the late 18th century, and was the local schoolmaster. This can be discovered from Washington Irving’s description of him, where it is said:

“He was a native of Connecticut, of a pale and delicate complexion; he was small of stature, – though stoutly built… He was a perfect master of all kinds of scholastic business.

This passage makes it clear that Crane was conducting the teaching in his locality, and was skilled in the various business related to it.

The Role of a Schoolmaster in That Time

Becoming a schoolmaster was a viable option for a man of Crane’s time. Generally, he was expected:

  • to teach at a basic level (local children would have been educated in formal English and mathematics, and also practical skills such as farming and weaving);
  • to champion moral behaviour and uphold the values of the Church; and
  • to uphold discipline and make sure the teaching was of a good quality.

The actions of Ichabod Crane in the novel match this role perfectly – he was a competent teacher, as evidenced by his popularity among the local children, as well as an upstanding member of the community who was respected and liked by all.

Other Employment Options

Although Crane has gone down in history as a schoolmaster, he certainly took part in various other activities in his spare time. These included:

  • singing – he was known to be a skilled singer, and a keen observer of musical subtleties;
  • dancing – he garnered praise for his physical energy and agility on the dance-floor; and
  • sport – Crane’s physical prowess was commented on in the novel, and he often took part in sporting activities of many varieties.

Through these activities, Crane was able to make a little extra money, which no doubt helped to support himself and his family.


In conclusion, Ichabod Crane was the schoolmaster in his small village, and his role was to teach, guide and discipline the local children. Despite this being his profession, he was also known to have other talents, such as singing and dancing, which he used to gain a little extra income and make himself well-liked among the townsfolk.


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