James Fenimore Cooper was born in New Jersey, North America on 15th September 1789. His family lived on a farm in Cooperstown, in the north of New York State.
Cooper had five brothers and seven sisters. He went to school at Yale. But he did not behave well and he had to leave. In 1805, Cooper became a sailor. He was in the US Navy until 1810. In 1811 Cooper’s father died. Cooper married Susan De Lancey and they lived on the farm. From 1812 to 1821 Cooper worked very hard. But he was poor. He gave a lot of money to his brothers and sisters. In 1820, he started to write stories. Cooper’s adventure stories were about life in the forests and the wild lands of North America.
The Last of the Mohicans was Cooper’s most popular story. Many people liked the adventures of Hawk-eye. Cooper became rich and he travelled to Europe.
Cooper wrote five stories about Hawk-eye: The Pioneers (1823) , The Last of the Mohicans ( 1826 ), The Pathfinder (1840) and The Deerslayer (1841) . He also wrote The Spy (1821) , The Pilot (1823) and The Prairie (18 27). James Fenimore Cooper died on 14th September 1851.
Place: Lake Horican on the Hudson River. The author gave this name to Lake George. (Look at the map.) It is in the east of North America. Today, the area is called New York State. At the time of this story, North America was not independent. North America became independent from Europe in 1787. Time: 1757. Armies from England and France are fighting in North America. Both countries want the land.
The Indian people had lived in the land for thousands of years. They got their food from the land. They caught fish in the rivers and lakes. They hunted deer, bears and birds in the forests. They ate the meat from these animals. They made clothes from the animals’ skins.
There were many different Indian tribes, or families. These are some of the tribes who lived near the Hudson River:
In 1607, English people came to North America. In 1608, French people came. They hunted the animals.
They took the soft animals’ skins to Europe.
Soon more and more Europeans came. They wanted the Indians’ land. The kings of France and England sent soldiers to North America. The soldiers built strong forts to live in. The soldiers brought guns. The Indians fought for the armies from England and France. In this story, the Hurons are fighting for the French. The Mohawks are fighting for the English.