George Washington, American founding father, can rest in peace with his legacy intact.
He led the Continental Army as General George Washington. He presided over the convention that drafted the United States Constitution. And, in 1788, he was unanimously elected as the first president of the United States.
That’s quite a career.
But now, President George Washington is posthumously polishing up the old resume by defending the American colonies, and humanity as a whole, from the forces of darkness on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow.
The show, which debuted on September 16, is loosely based on the short story by Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It’s interesting to see George Washington incorporated into the mythology of the supernatural drama, considering Washington Irving was named for him as a hero of the Revolutionary War. Irving also counts a biography of George Washington among his works.
Irving’s biography never delved into the secret life of George Washington, however. And, as FOX’s Sleepy Hollow site tells us, “the revolution wasn’t merely a war for the future of our country. It would determine the fate of every man, woman and child on Earth.”
Sleepy Hollow’s male lead, Ichabod Crane, adapted from the short story, is a British expatriate who fought alongside George Washington against the forces of darkness. It’s General Washington himself that tasks Crane with killing the Hessian soldier that eventually becomes the Headless Horseman. In the show’s mythology, the Horseman is no mere spook; he’s Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Gee, George, thanks for the fun task.
Having been fatally wounded in decapitating the Horseman, Crane is put under a spell by his wife Katrina and awakens in modern times to continue the fight between good and evil.
America’s first president factors into the show on a regular basis, albeit indirectly, via flashbacks and Crane’s stories of his time during the Revolution. In a vision, Crane’s wife tells him that the answers he needs are in George Washington’s bible. It’s a clever device to give Washington’s wartime actions such grand supernatural significance to be later retold. Fortunately, he’s not given the full-on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter treatment, which is not to sully the book or its cinematic adaptation; it just wouldn’t be original.
Whilst being interrogated in Sleepy Hollow’s pilot episode, Crane invokes General Washington. When the incredulous questioner clarifies that he’s talking about George Washington, he replies, “Did you know him?”
In light of these new tales, did any of us know General Washington?