Jack Tier

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Overview

"[...]the work achieved by the sword," it is difficult to say more than this, that they do not get them from the constitution itself. It has generally been supposed that the present executive was created in order to avoid the very evils of a distracted and divided council, which this new construction has a direct tendency to revive. But a presidential election has ever proved, and probably will ever prove, stronger than any written fundamental law.

We have had occasion to refer often to Mexico in these pages. It ...

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Jack Tier (Illustrated)

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Overview

"[...]the work achieved by the sword," it is difficult to say more than this, that they do not get them from the constitution itself. It has generally been supposed that the present executive was created in order to avoid the very evils of a distracted and divided council, which this new construction has a direct tendency to revive. But a presidential election has ever proved, and probably will ever prove, stronger than any written fundamental law.

We have had occasion to refer often to Mexico in these pages. It has been our aim to do so in a kind spirit; for, while we have never doubted that the factions which have possessed themselves of the government in that country have done us great wrong, wrong that would have justified a much earlier appeal to arms, we have always regarded the class of Mexicans who alone can properly be termed the 'people,' as mild, amiable, and disposed to be on friendly terms with us.[...]".

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781502407818
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/26/2014
  • Pages: 602
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

James Fenimore Cooper

James Fenimore Cooper was born in 1789 in New Jersey, the son of a wealthy land agent who founded Cooperstown in New York State. Cooper attended Yale, but was expelled in 1805 and spent five years at sea on merchant then naval ships. He married in 1811, and eventually settled in New York. Precaution, Cooper's first novel, was written in 1820 as a study of English manners; its successors, The Spy and The Pilot, written within the next three years, were more characteristic of the vein of military or seagoing romance that was to become typical of him. In 1823 he began the Leatherstocking Tales series of novels, centred on a shared Native American character at different periods of his life, for which he is chiefly remembered. Cooper's reputation as one of America's leading authors was quickly established, and spread to Europe by a long stay there from 1826, making him one of the first American writers popular beyond that country. After his return to America in 1832, however, conservative political essays and novels dramatising similar views, as well as critiques of American society and abuses of democracy, led to a decline in his popularity. James Fenimore Cooper died in 1851.

Biography

James Cooper (he added the Fenimore when he was in his 30s) was born September 15, 1789, in Burlington, New Jersey, to William Cooper and Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper. In 1790 the family moved to the frontier country of upstate New York, where William established a village he called Cooperstown. Although cushioned by wealth and William's status as landlord and judge, the Coopers found pioneering to be rugged, and only 7 of the 13 Cooper children survived their early years. All the hardship notwithstanding, according to family reports, the young James loved the wilderness. Years later, he wrote The Pioneers (1823) about Cooperstown in the 1790s, but many of his other books draw deeply on his childhood experiences of the frontier as well.

Cooper was sent to Yale in 1801 but he was expelled in 1805 for setting off an explosion in another student's room. Afterward, as a midshipman in the fledgling U.S. Navy, he made Atlantic passages and served at an isolated post on Lake Ontario. Cooper resigned his commission in 1811 to marry Susan Augusta De Lancey, the daughter of a wealthy New York State family. During the next decade, however, a series of bad investments and legal entanglements reduced his inheritance to the verge of bankruptcy.

Cooper was already 30 years old when, on a dare from his wife, he became a writer. One evening he threw down, in disgust, a novel he was reading aloud to her, saying he could write a better book himself. Susan, who knew that he disliked writing even letters, expressed her doubts. To prove her wrong he wrote Precaution, which was published anonymously in 1820. Encouraged by favorable reviews, Cooper wrote other books in quick succession, and by the time The Last of the Mohicans, his sixth novel, was published in 1827, he was internationally famous as America's first professionally successful novelist. Eventually he published 32 novels, as well as travel books and histories. Cooper invented the genre of nautical fiction, and in the figure of Nathaniel or "Natty" Bumppo (Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans) -- the central character in the five Leatherstocking Tales Cooper published between 1823 and 1841 -- he gave American fiction its first great hero.

Shortly after publishing The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper moved his family to Europe, but in 1833 he returned to America, moving back into his father's restored Mansion House in Cooperstown. He died there on September 14, 1851.

Author biography courtesy of Barnes & Noble Books.

Good To Know

Cooper was expelled from Yale due to his passion for pranks, which included training a donkey to sit in a professor's chair and setting a fellow student's room on fire.

Between 1822 and 1826 Cooper lived in New York City, and was a major player on its intellectual scene. He founded the Bread and Cheese Club, which had many high-profile members, including notable painters of the Hudson River School and writers like William Cullen Bryant.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1789
    2. Place of Birth:
      Burlington, New Jersey
    1. Date of Death:
      September 14, 1851
    2. Place of Death:
      Cooperstown, New York
    1. Education:
      Yale University (expelled in 1805)

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Few Americans in 1848 saw any merits in Mexico's going to war over Texas

    There are good reasons to read JACK TIER, OR THE FLORIDA REEF, Fenimore Cooper's sea tale of 1848. -- (1) It is amusing: "old Mrs Budd" is a dotty dear, totally at sea with nautical terminology, longitude, navigational instruments, ropes and sails. None of this stops her from dogmatizing or malapropisms. And no one can convince her that there is more than one noon at a time all over the earth. If it is noon in London, then it has to been noon in Manhattan as well. -- (2) The novel may have the most surprising surprise ending in American literature. Who is the pudgy, dark little sailor man called Jack Tier? Is he what he presents himself: traitorous Captain Spike's old shipmate? I was preening myself on reading the clues aright. But was I wrong! -- (3) The novel is full of facts and atmosphere about the Caribbean, the long coast of wartime (1846 - 1948) Mexico, the mighty Florida Reef with its Dry Tortuga islands, with Key West, with sharks, shellfish, sea turtles, terrifying squalls and coral islets. -- (4) Religion plays a role in the lives of the two young lovers, 18 year old Rose Budd and 23 year old first Harry Mulford, first mate of the Molly Swash. When they are marooned together on the keel of a capsized ship help up only by the air within it, Rose kneels and prays and wishes that Harry would kneel with her. Harry does pray, but not at her side. That is not the way of sailors. -- (5) Very compelling, although a bit off to one side, are the political and battle activities of the USA's war with Mexico over Texas, and where the border between the two nations should have been drawn. Few Americans in 1848 saw any merits in Mexico's claims to Texas. Mexico had provoked, 13 years earlier, the Texans to revolt from her rule. But Mexico had never ratified Texas's independence or its later annexation by the USA, which led to the war of 1846 - 1848. The U.S. army quickly captures huge swathes of Mexico and eventually its capital, Mexico City. Author Cooper worries that the government in Washington will bite off more than it can chew and occupy indefinitely the entire land. (By novel's end it is not yet clear that Mexico will be compelled to sell for $15 million both New Mexico and California to "the Colossus of the North.) *** JACK TIER is a novel about an American traitor, Captain Spike, and an aristocratic Mexican patriot, Don Juan Montefalderon y Castro, who do a dirty business with each other. Captain Spike ("Don Estaban" to Don Juan), by arrangements made the previous summer in Manhattan, is selling gunpowder hidden in flour barrels to the Mexican government to use against the American invaders. Spike also hopes to sell his 50 year old ship, the Molly Swath, to Mexico to use against American merchantmen. *** Things get complicated when the USS Poughkeepsie pursues the Molly Swath from Manhattan into the Caribbean, eventually catching her at the island lighthouse in the Dry Tortugas, 60 miles from Key West, where Spike and Montefalderon meet to do business. Then there is the little matter of a tornado out of nowhere that capsizes the Mexican boat and drowns its crew. There is first mate Mulford's finding proof of his captain's treachery. There is Captain Spike's plan to marry young Rose against her will and take her to Mexico. A grand yarn! -OOO-

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