James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 14, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, often regarded as his masterpiece.
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper ( with footnotes)by James Fenimore Cooper
The Huron scout, Magua, offers to take the
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The action takes place around Glens Falls in upstate New York. Cora and Alice Munro, daughters of Lieutenant Colonel Munro, are traveling with a column of reinforcements from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry. In the party are David Gamut the singing teacher, and Major Duncan Heyward, the group's military leader.
The Huron scout, Magua, offers to take the Monro party by a shorter route than that which the column must take. Unknown to them, Magua - who they believe to have been expelled from his tribe in disgrace - has been reinstated as chief and is a supporter of the French cause. Magua intends to lead the party into an ambush, but is foiled when they meet Natty Bumppo, also referred to in this novel as Hawkeye, and the two Mohicans, Chingachgook and his son Uncas, on the road.
Magua flees and escapes the battle. Later, he returns with more Hurons and captures Cora, Alice and the two men. After a short chase, Natty Bumpo rescues them and Magua escapes once more. Heyward and Bumppo lead the Munro women to Fort William Henry, which is by now surrounded by the French.
Munro sends Bumppo to Fort Edward to request reinforcements but, bearing General Webb's reply, he is captured by the French, who deliver him to Fort William Henry without the letter. Heyward attempts to parley with the French, but learns nothing. He then returns to Colonel Munro and announces his love for Alice. Munro reveals Cora's heritage - the Colonel's first wife was of mixed race - then gives his permission for Heyward to pay court to Alice.
The French general, Montcalm, invites Munro to a parley. He shows him Webb's letter: the English general has refused to send further reinforcements. Realising that his cause is lost, Munro reluctantly agrees to Montcalm's terms. The British soldiers, together with their wounded, and women and children, are allowed to leave the fort and withdraw. Outside the fort, the column is set upon by 2000 French allied Indian warriors. In the chaos of the massacre, Magua finds Cora and Alice, and leads them away towards the Huron village. David Gamut follows at a distance.
Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- September 15, 1789
- Date of Death:
- September 14, 1851
- Place of Birth:
- Burlington, New Jersey
- Place of Death:
- Cooperstown, New York
- Yale University (expelled in 1805)
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