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James Fenimore Cooper James Fenimore Cooper was born in Burlington New Jersey on September 15 1789 to William and Elizabeth Cooper He was born the eleventh of twelve children When James was one year old the family moved to the frontier of Lake Otsego New York and his father established the settlement of Cooperstown at the head of the Susquehanna River Cooper attended a private prep school in Albany New York and was then admitted to Yale in 1803 He was expelled during his junior year because of a prank His family allowed him to join the navy but he soon found that more discipline was present in the Navy than at Yale In 1810 Cooper took a furlough and never returned to active duty James Fenimore Cooper married Susan De Lancy in 1811 and for the next ten years he lived as a country gentleman However after the death of all five of his elder brothers he became responsible for supporting their widows and paying their debts He then found out that his fathers estate had not been worth as much as originally thought In 1820 Cooper published his first fiction Precaution on a challenge from his wife This novel was largely unsuccessful In 1821 he published his second book The Spy which was modeled after Sir Walter Scotts Waverly novels except it was set during the American Revolution The Spy brought Cooper international fame and a certain amount of wealth Coopers third book The Pioneers was the first of five novels that made up the Leatherstocking Tales These were immensely popular frontier novels featuring a frontiersman by the name of Natty Bumpo or Hawkeye The Pioneers is generally considered to be the first truly American novel The five novels of the series were not written in their narrative order and were produced over a period of eighteen years Cooper and his wife had five children and they lived in
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