See Abraham Van Brunt
Ichabod Crane, the protagonist, is a stern schoolteacher and singing instructor who has come to Sleepy Hollow, New York, from Connecticut. He is lanky and sharp-featured, awkward and somewhat clumsy, but more educated and sophisticated than the native villagers. He is quite fond of food, and is well fed by the neighboring housewives, who share his delight in telling and re-telling ghost stories. When he sets his sights on marrying Katrina Van Tassel, it is not because of any feeling he has for her, but because her father is wealthy and Crane admires the food that is always displayed in the Van Tassel home. Katrina refuses him, however, preferring the manly and strong Brom Bones. In his disappointment Crane allows his imagination to run away with him. He is tricked by Brom into believing that he is being chased through the night by a headless horseman. In the morning he is gone, having left town without saying good-bye.
Abraham Van Brunt
Brom Bones is Crane’s chief rival for Katrina’s affections, and is in every way Crane’s opposite. He is large, strong, rough, humorous, and good-natured, as well-known for his skill as a horseman as Crane is for his education. When he sees that Crane is paying attention to Katrina, Brom begins a series of practical jokes to humiliate him. Finally, he disguises himself as the headless horseman and chases the impressionable Crane through the darkness. When Crane leaves town, Bones marries Katrina.
Baltus Van Tassel
Old Baltus Van Tassel is a veteran of the American Revolution, and the patriarch of a wealthy Dutch farming family. He owns a large, well-kept home and barn, with livestock and fertile fields. Van Tassel is a warm and generous neighbor and an indulgent father. He does not interfere in his daughter’s dalliances with the local young men.
Katrina Van Tassel
Katrina is the eighteen-year-old daughter of Baltus Van Tassel and his wife. She is beautifully plump and rosy-cheeked, and always dresses to enhance and emphasize her attractiveness. She is flattered by the attentions of the young men, and does nothing to encourage or discourage Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones from flirting with her. But when Crane presses for a commitment, she sends him away, and soon after marries Brom.
Ira Mark Milne (Editor), Short Stories for Students – Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Short Stories, Volume 8, Washington Irving, Published by Thomson Gale, 2000.