In his article entitled "The Novel as a Religious Tract," William M. Hogue has identified persistent and wide-ranging allusions to Episcopalianism in the works of James Fenimore Cooper. The author of the Leatherstocking Tales, we are told, ''preached his favorite orthodoxies incessantly in the pulpit most accessible to him—(in) his fiction." As Hague's survey indicates, from early in his career until late, Cooper frequently expressed his views on Episcopalianism, most notably by "making most of his heroes and heroines Episcopalians and by having his unpleasant characters belong to the Puritan-descended denominations." But the Christian tradition is important to Cooper in more substantial ways—especially in The Pioneers. This essay examines the allusions to the Bible in The Pioneers; these references to the Old Testament define more clearly the moral center of Cooper's novel. Since this interpretation necessarily involves discussion of the novelist's father, William Cooper, it is necessary first to examine his relationship to the novel.
"Biblical Allusion and William Cooper in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers ,"
University of Dayton Review: Vol. 18:
3, Article 11.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udr/vol18/iss3/11