James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 14, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. He lived most of his life in Cooperstown, New York, established by his father William. Cooper was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and in his later years contributed generously to it. He attended Yale University for three years but was expelled for misbehavior. Before embarking on his career as a writer he served in the U.S. Navy as a Midshipman which greatly influenced many of his novels and other writings. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Among naval historians his works on early U.S. naval history have been widely received but were sometimes criticized by Cooper's contemporaries. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, often regarded as his masterpiece.
I know nothing of my family, except through my own youthful recollections, and the accounts I have received from my sister. My father I slightly remember; but of my mother I retain no distinct impressions. The latter must have died while I was very young. The former, I was in the habit of often seeing, until I reached my fifth or sixth year. He was a soldier, and belonged to the twenty-third regimen of foot, in the service of the King of Great Britain.  The fourth son of this monarch, Prince Edward as he was then called, or the Duke of Kent as he was afterwards styled, commanded the corps, and accompanied it to the British American colonies, where it was stationed for many years.
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