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First major American novelist whose best-known tales of frontier adventure include THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS 1826 an adventure story set in the Lake Champlain It has been filmed several times among others in 1936 and 1992 Through his Leatherstocking series Cooper created the archetype of the 18th-century frontiersman Natty Bumppo He lives free close to nature while the settlers bring civilization that destroys the wilderness Cooper wrote over thirty novels - he considered THE PATHFINDER 1841 and THE DEERSLAYER 1840 his best works Few men exhibit greater diversity or if we may so express it greater antithesis of character than the native warrior of North America In war he is daring boastful cunning ruthless self-denying and self-devoted in peace just generous hospitable revengeful superstitious modest and commonly chaste from The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper was born at Burlington New Jersey as the son of Quakers Judge William Cooper and Elisabeth Fenimore Cooper His father was a representative of the 4th and 6th Congress and had attained wealth by developing virgin land The family moved to Cooperstown New York which Judge Cooper had founded James Fenimore spent his youth partly on the family estate on the shores of Otsego Lake He roamed in the primeval forest and developed a love for the nature which marked his books Cooper was educated in the village school and in 1800-02 in the household of the rector of St Peters In his junior year Cooper was expelled from Yale because of a series of pranks which included training a donkey to sit in a professors chair Encouraged by his father Cooper joined the Navy and served on the Sterling 1806-07 On his return to the United States he received a warrant as a midshipman In 1808 he served on the Vesuvius and on the Wasp in the Atlantic in 1809 These experiences inspired later his sea stories Upon his
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