Research Text: The Last of the Mohicans
During the French and Indian War, one important event, the siege of Fort William Henry in the province of New York had formed the basis of the story for The Last of the Mohicans, a classic fiction by James Fenimore Cooper. Through this, the author managed to depict the scale of the war, most noticeably the significant involvement of Native Americans in a conflict between the British and the French. The aim of this research paper is to evaluate the accuracy and relevance of the historical events as depicted in the novel, in comparison with the actual events.
Colonel Munro of Fort William Henry requested for reinforcements from ...view middle of the document...
They managed to sneak into Fort William Henry while it was being attacked. Montcalm, the leader of the French forces insisted that Munro surrender if he could not get reinforcements. Adhering to the advice in General Webb’s letter, Munro surrendered and the French promised that his army could withdraw without being harmed. However, the Indian allies of the French escorting the withdrawal of the British troops suddenly unleashed violence upon them. In the midst of the massacre, Cora, Alice and Gamut were captured by Magua again.
Hawkeye and the Mohicans, together with Heyward and Munro set out to search for the captured. They met Gamut and found out about the locations of both the sisters; Cora in a Delaware camp and Alice in a Huron camp. By using improvised disguise methods, the group managed to rescue Alice. Allying with the Delawares, Uncas waged war against the Hurons in an attempt to save Cora and for retribution. It resulted in the death of himself, Cora and Magua. Tamenund, the leader of the Delawares admitted that he had seen the last warrior of the Mohicans.
As with many fiction novels based on historical events, some facts will be intentionally altered to suit the author’s purpose. The Last of the Mohicans is no exception. Despite getting some facts correct, the portrayal of some historical events had been subjected to much dramatization and hence, is inaccurate.
The most accurate portrayal in the novel is perhaps the strong bond between the French and the Native Americans. During the French and Indian War, the French allied with a number of Indians, including the Hurons. The extent of this bond can be seen when close to 2000 Indians participated in the ‘Massacre of Fort William Henry’. This figure was confirmed in the novel. The French and Indian relationship can also be seen through, Magua, a Huron, who was a loyal soldier to the French and often referred to himself as Le Renard Subtil, a name given to him by the French whom he called his Canadian fathers.
However, as mentioned earlier, the story has its inaccuracies with the first one relating to the character of Colonel George Munro. He existed, despite bearing the original name of George Monro and was in fact, put in charge of the 35th Regiment of Foot guarding Fort William Henry. The author’s account of the events that Monro faced while he was at Fort William Henry is in its main outlines relatively accurate but the character of Colonel George Monro has major differences from the actual person. In February 1756, Monro made a will bequeathing all his property to his children – two boys and one girl. Clearly, Cora and Alice, the daughters of Colonel George Munro from the story, must have been the imaginative works of Cooper.
Another significant inaccuracy to be noted is that the ‘Mohicans’ technically did not exist. James Fenimore Cooper arrived at this hybrid name after he had confused the names of two real Native American tribes – Mohegan and Mahican....