James Fenimore Cooper

James Fennimore Cooper (15 September 1789 – 14 September 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early nineteenth century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. He lived most of his life in Cooperstown, New York City, which was established by his father William. James Cooper was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and in his later years contributed generously to it. He attended Yale university for three years, where he was a member of the Linonian Society, but was expelled for misbehaviour. Before embarking on his career as a writer he served in the u.S. Navy as a midshipman, which greatly influenced many of his novels and other writings. Cooper wrote the novel Precaution (1820), in response to a wager with his wife Susan. It focused on morals and manners, which was influenced by Jane Austen’s approach to fiction. He anonymously published Precaution and soon wrote several other novels. In 1823, he published The Pioneers, the first of the Leatherstocking series. The series features Natty Bumppo, a resourceful American woodsman at home with the Delaware Indians and their chief Chingachgook. Bumppo (or Hawkeye, as he has been referred to in novels) is also the main character of Cooper’s most famous novel, The Last of the Mohicans (1826). Written in New York City, where Cooper and his family lived from 1822 to 1826, the book became one of the most widely read American novels of the nineteenth century.