Dividend Order Signed by Relative of James Fenimore Cooper - Maria Frances CooperInv# AU1646 Autograph
Stock dividend order for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company signed by Maria Frances Cooper, relative of James Fenimore Cooper.
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) Cooper was born at Burlington, New Jersey. His father was a judge and member of Congress. James was sent to school at Albany and at New Haven, and entered Yale at fourteen, remaining for some time the youngest student on the rolls.
Three years afterwards he joined the United States Navy; but after making a voyage or two in a merchant vessel, to perfect himself in seamanship, and obtaining his lieutenancy, he married Susan Augusta de Lancey and resigned his commission (1811)
He settled in Westchester County, New York and produced anonymously (1820) his first book, Precaution, followed by (1821) The Spy, The Pioneers (1823), the first of the Leatherstocking series; and The Pilot (1824), a bold and dashing sea-story. The next was Lionel Lincoln (1825) and this was succeeded in 1826 by the famous Last of the Mohicans, a book that is often quoted as its author's masterpiece. Quitting America for Europe he published at Paris The Prairie (1826), the best of his books in nearly all respects, and The Red Rover, (1828), by no means his worst.
These excellent novels were, however, succeeded by one very inferior, The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish (1829); by The Notions of a Travelling Bachelor (1828); and by The Waterwitch (1830), one of his many sea-stories. In 1830 he entered the lists as a party writer, defending in a series of letters to the National, a Parisian journal, the United States against a string of charges brought against them by the Revue Britannique; and for the rest of his life he continued skirmishing in print, sometimes for the national interest, sometimes for that of the individual, and not infrequently for both at once.
His next three novels, The Bravo (1831), The Heidenmaue (1832) and The Headsman: or the Abbaye of Vigneron (1833), were expressions of Cooper's republican convictions.
In 1833 Cooper returned to America, and immediately published A Letter to my Countrymen, in which he gave his own version of the controversy he had been engaged in, and passed some sharp censure on his compatriots for their share in it. This attack he followed up with The Monikins (1835), The American Democrat (1835); and with Homeward Bound, Home as Found (1838), noticeable as containing a highly idealized portrait of himself.
All these books tended to increase the ill-feeling between author and public; the Whig press was virulent and scandalous in its comments, and Cooper plunged into a series of actions for libel. Victorious in all of them, he returned to his old occupation with something of his old vigour and success. A History of the Navy of the United States (1839), supplemented (1846) by a set of Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers, was succeeded by The Pathfinder (1840), a good “Leatherstocking” novel; by Mercedes of Castile (1840); The Deerslayer (1841); by The Two Admirals and by Wing and Wing (1842); by Wyandotte, The History of a Pocket Handkerchief, and Ned Myers (1843); and by Afloat and Ashore, or the Adventures of Miles Wallingford (1844).
His next novel was The Crater, or Vulcan's Peak (1847), in which he attempted to introduce supernatural machinery; and this was succeeded by Oak Openings and Jack Tier (1848), the latter a curious rifacimento of The Red Rover; by The Sea Lions (1849); and finally by The Ways of the Hour (1850), another novel with a purpose, and his last book.