e scenes of the yellow fever in Philadelphia.
It was not Irving who invested the Hudson with romance, but the Hudson that inspired Irving.
When in 1786, Mrs. Josiah Quincy, then a young girl, sailed upon that river in a sloop, she wrote, Our captain had a legend for every scene, either supernatural or traditional or of actual occurrence during the war, and not a mountain reared its head unconnected with some marvellous story.
Irving was then but three years old, yet Ichabod Crane and Rip Van Winkle or their prototypes were already on the spot waiting for biographers; and it was much the same with Cooper, who was not born until three years later.
What was needed was self-confidence and a strong literary desire to take the materials at hand.
Irving, Cooper, Dana, had already done this; but Longfellow followed with more varied gifts, more thorough training; the Dial writers followed in their turn, and a distinctive American literature was born, this quality reaching a climax in Thor