Checklist of Cooper’s Works

A chronological list of James Fenimore Cooper’s major published writings, with brief annotations as to setting and subject matter. Not included are periodical articles later published in book form, nor articles included in Beard’s Letters and Journals ... (see below).


  • 1820 Precaution: A Novel. 1813-14: English society à la Jane Austen.
  • 1821 The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground. 1778: Westchester County in the American Revolution; first American historical novel.
  • §* 1823 Tales for Fifteen, by “Jane Morgan.” Two early short stories; reprinted 1977.
  • ** 1823 The Pioneers: or, The Sources of the Susquehanna. 1793-94: Early life in Cooperstown (Templeton); Natty Bumppo’s first appearance; first American frontier and environmental novel.
  • 1823 The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea. 1780: John Paul Jones off the coast of England; the first sea novel.
  • 1825 Lionel Lincoln; or, The Leaguer of Boston. 1775-81: Boston under British occupation; the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • ** 1826 The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757. 1757: Lake George & the Adirondacks; chase and escape during the French and Indian Wars; Natty Bumppo as a young British Army scout.
  • ** 1827 The Prairie. 1805: Beyond the Mississippi; Natty Bumppo’s last stand among White rascals and clashing Indian tribes.
  • 1828 The Red Rover. 1759: Newport, Rhode Island, and at sea; an American pirate in the Atlantic.
  • 1829 The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish. 1660-76: Western Connecticut; Puritans and Indians.
  • 1830 The Water-Witch; or, The Skimmer of the Seas. 1713: A mysterious smuggler sells to the Dutch and evades the British in New York waters.
  • 1831 The Bravo. 18ᵗʰ century: Venice; injustices of a faceless bureaucratic tyranny; the first novel of totalitarianism.
  • 1832 The Heidenmauer; or, The Benedictines, A Legend of the Rhine. 16ᵗʰ century: German Rhineland; a town caught in the conflict between its feudal baron and a wealthy monastery.
  • 1833 The Headsman; or, The Abbaye des Vignerons. 18ᵗʰ century: Geneva, Switzerland, and the Alps; injustices of oligarchy and prejudice.
  • 1835 The Monikins. 1830s: An Antarctic land of educated monkeys that “ape” English and American social and political folly.
  • 1838 Homeward Bound; or, The Chase: A Tale of the Sea. 1835: Americans returning from Europe find adventure in the Atlantic and on the North African coast.
  • 1838 Home as Found. 1835: American culture in New York City and Cooperstown (Templeton); the first American novel of manners.
  • ** 1840 The Pathfinder; or, The Inland Sea. 1759: Western New York, Oswego, and Lake Ontario; Natty Bumppo in war and in love.
  • 1840 Mercedes of Castile; or, The Voyage to Cathay. 1490s: To the West Indies with Christopher Columbus.
  • ** 1841 The Deerslayer; or, The First War-Path. 1745: Lake Otsego; Natty Bumppo comes of age.
  • 1842 The Two Admirals. 1745: England and the English Channel; English vs. French fleets, and conflicting British loyalties, during the 1745 Scottish uprising.
  • 1842 The Wing-and-Wing; or, Le Feu-Follet. 1799: On and off the Italian coast from Elba to Naples during the Napoleonic Wars.
  • 1843 Wyandotté; or, The Hutted Knoll. 1763-76: Conflicting Revolutionary loyalties in Otsego County’s Butternut Valley.
  • § * 1843 Autobiography of a Pocket-Handerchief. 1830s: Novelette: Social satire in France and New York, told by an expensive handkerchief, reprinted 1897, 1949.
  • 1844 Afloat and Ashore; or, The Adventures of Miles Wallingford. 1795-1805: Ulster County, and all over the world; maritime adventures, loves, and coming of age of a young sailor.
  • 1844 Miles Wallingford. The continuation of Afloat and Ashore.
  • 1845 Satanstoe; or, The Littlepage Manuscripts: A Tale of the Colony. 1758: New York City, Westchester County, Albany, the Adirondacks; the founding of a frontier settlement.
  • 1845 The Chainbearer; or, The Littlepage Manuscripts. 1780s: Westchester County and the Adirondacks; the next generation — trouble comes to the settlement.
  • 1846 The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin: Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts. 1845: The Adirondacks — two generations on; the anti-rent wars destroy the settlement.
  • 1847 The Crater; or, Vulcan’s Peak: A Tale of the Pacific Early 1800s: New Jersey, and a Pacific desert island; castaways, utopia, and social breakdown.
  • 1848 Jack Tier; or, The Florida Reef. 1846: The Florida Keys; sea adventure during the Mexican War.
  • 1848 The Oak Openings; or, The Bee-Hunter. 1812: The Kalamazoo River in Michigan; frontiersmen and Indians during the War of 1812; an Indian turns to Christianity.
  • 1849 The Sea Lions; or, The Lost Sealers. 1819-20: Long Island and Antarctica; polar adventure and religious regeneration.
  • 1850 The Ways of the Hour. 1846 “Dukes County” outside New York City; America’s first murder mystery novel; courtroom mystery; dangers of legal corruption; women’s rights.
  • § * 1850 Upside Down; or Philosophy in Petticoats.. Play satirizing socialism; only surviving scene reprinted 1859, 1992.
  • § * 1850 The Lake Gun. Short story, reprinted 1932.





* Text available on this website.

** The five Leatherstocking Tales about Natty Bumppo (Leatherstocking, Hawkeye, the Trapper, Pathfinder, Deerslayer).

§ Not included in most collected editions of Cooper’s Works.


  • 1820-1822 Early Critical Essays in The Literary and Scientific Respository, and Critical Review. Six early book reviews, reprinted 1977.
  • 1828 Notions of the Americans: Picked up by a Travelling Bachelor. Portrayal of America for Europeans.
  • 1830 Letter to General Lafayette. The cost of Government in America is cheaper than in France; reprinted 1931.
  • * 1834 A Letter to His Countrymen. Why Cooper temporarily abandoned writing. Reprinted 2000.
  • [ca. 1834] The Eclipse. Account of the 1806 solar eclipse in Cooperstown, published posthumously in 1869.
  • 1836 Sketches of Switzerland. Travel and hiking in Switzerland in 1828 [Cooper edition title: Gleanings in Europe: Switzerland]
  • 1836 Sketches of Switzerland, Part Second. Travel in France, the Rhineland, and Switzerland in 1832 [Cooper edition title: Gleanings in Europe: The Rhine].
  • 1837 Gleanings in Europe. Residence, travel and social commentary in France in 1826-28 [Cooper edition title: Gleanings in Europe: France].
  • 1837 Gleanings in Europe: England. Travel and social commentary in England in 1826, 1828, and 1833.
  • 1838 Gleanings in Europe: Italy. Residence, travel, and social commentary in Italy in 1828-30.
  • 1838 The American Democrat: or, Hints on the Social and Civic Relations of the United States of America. Critical essays on American government, society, and manners; reprinted 1931, 1961, 1981, 1989, 2000.
  • 1838 The Chronicles of Cooperstown. Local history of Cooperstown; reprinted 1862, 1886, 1929, 1976.
  • 1839 The History of the Navy of the United States of America 2 vols. 2ⁿᵈ ed. 1840; 3ʳᵈ ed. 1847; posthumous ed. 1853; abridged ed. 1841 (reprinted 1988). The first full-scale history of the American Navy.
  • * [c. 1839] Old Ironsides. History of the warship; published posthumously in 1853.
  • 1843 Ned Myers; or, A Life Before the Mast. Biography of an ordinary sailor, who was once Cooper’s shipmate; reprinted 1989.
  • 1846 Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers. Biographic sketches of American naval heroes.
  • * [1851] New York; or, The Towns of Manhattan. Unfinished history of New York City; Introduction published posthumously 1864, reprinted 1932, 1973




* Text available on this website.

Letters and Journals

  • Beard, James Franklin, ed., The Letters and Journals of James Fenimore Cooper. (6 vols.) Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960-68. All known letters from Cooper, with detailed explanatory notes.
  • Cooper, James Fenimore [grandson], ed., Correspondence of James Fenimore Cooper (2 vols.) New Haven: Yale University Press, 1922. Selected letters to and from Cooper.