Biographic Information


Information about Cooper’s ancestors and descendants.

Biographic Reference

  • Biographic Information. [Link no longer extant. – Ed.] This biography of Cooper, from Cooper Society Member James Wallace (Boston College) is especially worth looking at as a balanced biographic sketch of Cooper and his accomplishments.
  • Where Was James?: A day-to-day chronological list of where James Fenimore Cooper was, and what he was doing, from his birth in 1789 until his death in 1851, as indicated in his published correspondence and journals, his travel books, and other documents.
  • The Cooper Screens. A complete description of the more than 500 documents mounted on two room-divider screens prepared by the Cooper family to display mementos of their 1826-1833 European sojourn. The two screens are displayed in the Cooper Room of the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown.

Memories of Cooper

Personal recollections by persons who knew Cooper, or who collected oral traditions about him, as well as recollections about his closest family members. Most important are a series of materials by Susan Fenimore Cooper, the author’s oldest daughter and literary executor.

Memorial of James Fenimore Cooper (1852)

Record of Public Meetings held in New York City in 1851 and 1852 to memorialize the death of James Fenimore Cooper on September 14, 1851, and to plan the erection of a statue in his honor in New York City. The latter project was not completed, and the monies raised later helped erect the Leatherstocking Monument in Lakeland Cemetery, Cooperstown. The 106-page book includes important addresses by William Cullen Bryant, Daniel Webster, George Bancroft and others, a speech and extended biographic document by Cooper’s physician, Dr. John W. Francis, and dozens of messages from literary, artistic, and political notables of the time. Also the only printed reference to Susan Fenimore Cooper’s unlocated “ghost” novel, The Shield. The complete text has been annotated to identify the many names mentioned and to explain allusions, by Hugh C. MacDougall, James Fenimore Cooper Society (2001).

James Fenimore Cooper [1858-1938], Legends and Traditions of a Northern County (New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1921)

Anecdotes and information about Otsego County (primarily the Cooperstown area), and information (including documents and letters) relating to the Cooper family. A frequently cited, if hard-to-find, source on both Cooperstown and Cooper.

Mary E. Phillips, James Fenimore Cooper, New York: John Lane Company, 1913

Early major biography of Cooper, heavily illustrated, and concentrating on his years in Europe. Mary Phillips was the first biographer to have access to some of Cooper’s family papers.