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Person Detail: James Fenimore Cooper

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General Information:
Full Name: James Fenimore Cooper
Biography:
(1789-1851) James Fenimore Cooper was born in Burlington, New Jersey, and his father soon moved the family and established Cooperstown, New York. Cooper is said to be the father of the American novel with "The Spy" (1821) and "The Pilot" (1823). Cooper also penned a little-known sequence of five novels called "The Leatherstocking Tales," which includes "The Deerslayer" (1841), "The Last of the Mohicans" (1826), and "The Pathfinder" (1840). He died in 1851 in Cooperstown, New York.
Author's Timeline:
1821 Niagara County
The Spy
Cooper is reputed to have written his novel "The Spy" (1821) at Hustlers Tavern in Lewiston, and to have based several characters of that novel on the taverns proprietors. 
1840 Oswego County
The Pathfinder
Cooper, A U. S. Navy midshipman, was stationed at Fort Oswego in 1808-09; he lived at 24 West 2nd Street. He wrote about his days and sightings in Oswego and was inspired to use Oswego as the setting for "The Pathfinder" (1840). 
1826 Onondaga County
The Last Of The Mohicans
"The Last of the Mohicans," Cooper possibly modeled his character Natty Bumpo after Ephraim Webster, the first white settler in the region; Webster is buried in Onondaga Valley Cemetery. 
1833 Otsego County
Otsego Hall, in Cooperstown, was Cooper's permanent home from 1833 until his death. It was built by his father. It was located on Main Street opposite Fair Street. The house was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1853. The Lakewood Cemetery features a monument to Cooper, as does Cooper Park, which has statue of him. He is buried at Christ Church. The Fenimore House, a museum dedicated to displaying Coopers papers, memorabilia. Phone: 607.547.2533. Historical markers around Otsego Lake point out various scenes from his novels.  
1826 Saratoga County
The Last Of The Mohicans
A portion of the novel, "The Last Of The Mohicans," was set in Cooper's Cave, South Glens Falls.  
1819 Suffolk County
Cooper stayed at the Duke Fordham Inn, Sag Harbor, New York in 1819. 
1826 Warren County
The Last Of The Mohicans
Cooper set some of the events of "The Last of the Mohicans" (1826) at the foot of the falls of the Hudson River near Glens Falls. 
1817 Westchester County

Cooper moved in 1817 to Angevine Farm on Mamaroneck Road, off Route 22, near Fenimore Road; the site is marked. There are murals of his wedding to Susan DeLancy at the Mamaroneck Public Library. Cooper lived for a while in Scarsdale. The house is sill there. 
1826 New York County
Cooper lived at 345 Greenwich Street in 1826, then later, at 145 Bleecker Street and at 6 Saint Mark's Place, in New York City; but always considered Otsego Hall in Cooperstown, New York his home. 
1789 (Unknown) County
James Fenimore Cooper was born in Burlington, New Jersey in 1789. 
1851 Otsego County
James Fenimore Cooper died in Cooperstown, New York in 1851. 
1851 Otsego County
Cooper is buried at Christ Church in Cooperstown, New York. 
1824 (Unknown) County
The Pilot
Novel. 
1820 (Unknown) County
Precaution
Novel. 
1823 Otsego County
The Pioneers
Novel. 
1827 (Unknown) County
The Prairie
Novel. 
1827 (Unknown) County
The Red Rover
Novel. 
1830 (Unknown) County
The Water Witch
Novel. 
1841 (Unknown) County
The Deerslayer
Novel. 
? Albany County
Cooper had a law practice in Albany, New York. 
? Montgomery County
In the 1830's and 1840's, Cooper traveled to the Old Court House in the town of Fonda, New York to bring libel suits against James Watson Webb and Thurlow Weed. Webb and Weed, of the New York Enquirer and the Albany Evening Journal respectively, had published controversial reactions to some of the opinions expressed by Cooper in his novel "Home as Found" (1838). Cooper brought the two editors to trial for libel and won. 

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