Rip Van Winkle is a great neighbour but unproductive. His domestic life falls apart. Though he has descended from Dutch gallantry, he is peaceful by nature. he is extremely helpful to others and is an obedient, henpecked husband.
Dame Van Winkle is the nagging wife. She spares no efforts shouting insults at Rip and tracking him down in the village to berate him. She is the antagonist but a flat character.
Nicholas Vedder is the landlord of the inn and the leader of the group of idlers. He never speaks but makes his opinions based on how he smokes his pipe.
Derrick Van Bummel is the schoolmaster who is savvy with lengthy words. He fights in the Revolutionary war and later gets a seat in the Congress.
Judith Gardenier is the oldest inhabitant who is also a historian and chronicler of the province. He corroborates Rip’s story, and helps him to be reaccepted.
Then there are many other minor characters like the Squire, Master Simon, Frank, Herman, George Somers who form part of the action.