Important American Writers Washington Irving • Best known for his short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.” • Sleepy Hollow is the story of the Headless Horseman. • Rip Van Winkle is a story about a man who sleeps for twenty years and wakes up in a new world. The moral of the story is to live your life to the fullest and never waste a moments time. James Fenimore Cooper • Wrote about frontier life in “The Pioneers” and “The Last of the Mohicans.” • Credited with creating the first western hero. Ralph Waldo Emerson • Important works were the essays “Nature” and “Self Reliance.” • “Nature” is about living in nature. “Self Reliance” is about being responsible for yourself. Henry David Thoreau • Important works were the book Walden and the essay “Civil Disobedience.” • Walden is about a year that Thoreau spent living alone in the forest. Civil Disobedience is about doing what is right regardless of the law. Louisa May Alcott • Best known for her books about growing up in a family of three sisters called Little Women. Nathaniel Hawthorne • Best known for The Scarlet Letter, a book about an adulterous woman Hester Prynne who has to wear a red A on her clothing. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Longfellow was a poet best remembered for “Paul Revere’s Ride.” • Paul Revere warned the colonists that the “Red coats are coming!” Herman Melville • Melville is best known for his book on a giant maneating whale called Moby Dick. Laura Ingalls Wilder • Laura Ingalls Wilder is best known for her “Little House” stories. • The Little House stories were about growing up on the prairie of the Midwest. Harriet Beecher Stowe • Harriet Beecher Stowe is best known for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a book about the evils of slavery.