The Pioneers (novel)

The Pioneers (novel)

Infobox Book |
name = The Pioneers, or the Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale
title_orig =
translator =

author = James Fenimore Cooper
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series = Leatherstocking
genre = Historical novel
publisher = Charles Wiley
release_date = 1823
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 2 vol.
isbn = NA
preceded_by =
followed_by = The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
:"For the Jamaican band, see The Pioneers (band)""The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale" is a historical novel, one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. "The Pioneers" was first of these books to be published (1823), but the period of time covered by the book (principally 1793) makes it the fourth chronologically.

The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features a middle-aged Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton, whose life parallels that of the author's father Judge William Cooper, and Elizabeth Temple (the author's sister Susan Cooper), of Cooperstown. The story begins with an argument between the Judge and the Leatherstocking over who killed a buck, and as Cooper reviews many of the changes to his fictional Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail. The plot develops as the Leatherstocking and Chingachgook begin to compete with the Temples for the loyalties of a mysterious young visitor, "Oliver Edwards," the "young hunter," who eventually marries Elizabeth. Chingachgook dies, exemplifying the vexed figure of the "dying Indian," and Natty vanishes into the sunset. For all its strange twists and turns, 'The Pioneers' may be considered one of the first ecological novels in the United States.


"Natty Leather Stocking" was "a melodious synopsis of man and nature in the West"."

Nathaniel "Natty" Bumppo, aka. the Leather-stocking, aka. Hawk-eyeOur hero, an old hunter and patriot. He is a friend to the Indians and distrustful of civilization. (chapter 1, page 22)

Judge Marmaduke TempleA widower and the founder of Templeton. (chapter 1, page 18)

Agamemnon "Aggy"A slave of the Judge.

Elizabeth "Bess" TempleDaughter of the Judge and romantic interest of Oliver. (chapter 5, page 66)

Richard "Dick" JonesThe cousin of the Judge. (chapter 4, page 47)

Squire Hiram Doolittle An architect, justice of the peace, and buddy of Dick Jones.

Monsieur Le QuoiA former French nobleman and now shopkeeper in Templeton. (chapter 4, page 47)

Major Frederick "Fritz" HartmannA German settler in the area and regular visitor to the Judge's house. (chapter 4, page 48)

The Reverend Mr. GrantAn Anglican minister. (chapter 4, page 48)

Ben Pump, aka. Benjamin PenguillanA servant to the Judge, and a former sea man who doesn't know how to swim. (chapter 5, page 60)

Remarkable PettiboneHousekeeper to the Judge. (chapter 5, page 62)

Old BraveThe Temples' faithful dog.

Dr. Elnathan ToddThe town doctor. (chapter 6, page 71)

Indian John, aka. John Mohegan, aka. ChingachgookThe last of the Mohicans and Natty's faithful companion. (chapter 7, page 85)

Oliver Edwards, aka. Oliver Effingham, aka. Young EagleThe young hunter and friend to Natty and Indian John. (chapter 3, page 38)

Captain and Mrs. HollingerOwners of the inn, "The Bold Dragoon".

Squire Chester LippetThe obnoxious lawyer who talks too much when visiting the Bold Dragoon.

Louisa GrantThe daughter of Mr. Grant, companion to Elizabeth, and the other possible love interest for Oliver.

Billy KirbyA lumber-jack and crack-shot with a rifle. (chapter 17, page 190)

Squire Van der SchoolThe "honest" lawyer of Judge Marmaduke. (chapter 25, page 277)

Jotham RiddleA lazy fellow who is made a magistrate by Sheriff Jones.


*Wayne Franklin. 'The New World of James Fenimore Cooper.' Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
*Thomas Hallock. 'From the Fallen Tree: Frontier Narratives, Environmental Politics, and the Roots of a National Pastoral.' Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.
* [ James H. Pickering, "Cooper's Otsego Heritage: The Sources of The Pioneers", 1979]
*H. Daniel Peck. 'A World by Itself: The Pastoral Moment in Cooper's Fiction.' New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.
*Thomas Philbrick. 'Cooper's Pioneers: Origins and Structure.' PMLA 79 (December 1964): 579-93
*Donald A. Ringe. "Introduction." 'The Pioneers.' New York: Penguin, 1988.
*Alan Taylor. 'William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic.' New York: Vintage, 1996.

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