James Fenimore Cooper

On this date in 1789, James Cooper (later known as James Fenimore Cooper) was born in Burlington, N.J. He briefly attended Yale College, and in 1808 joined the U.S. Navy. Cooper is best known for writing The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 (1826), an extremely popular novel focusing on the involvement of the Mohicans, a Native American tribe, in the French and Indian War. The novel was made into films in 1920, 1932, 1936, 1963 and 1992, as well as TV series in 1977, 1975 and 1987. It was also adapted into a BBC radio series in 1995, and an opera in 1976. The Last of the Mohicans was the second book in Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales series, which included four other novels. Cooper wrote over 50 more books in various genres, including The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea (1824), the nonfiction The Chronicles of Cooperstown (1838), and American war novel The Spy (1821). He married Susan Augusta DeLancey in 1811, and the couple had seven children. D. 1851

“Ignorance and superstition ever bear a close and mathematical relation to each other.”

—James Fenimore Cooper, quoted in Closures: Webster’s Quotations, Facts and Phrases, 2008 and Superstitions: Webster’s Quotations, Facts and Phrases, 2008.

Compiled by Sabrina Gaylor

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