The Leatherstocking Tales is a series of novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper, each featuring the main hero Natty Bumppo, known by European settlers as "Leatherstocking," 'The Pathfinder", and "the trapper" and by the Native Americans as "Deerslayer," "La Longue Carabine" and "Hawkeye".
The "Story Dates" are derived from dates given in the tales, but do not necessarily correspond with the actual dates of the historical events described in the series. This may have been done for convenience's sake, for instance to avoid making Leatherstocking 100 years old when he traveled the Kansas plains in The Prairie.
The Natty Bumppo character is generally believed to have been inspired, at least in part, by the real-life Daniel Boone.
Natty Bumppo is the protagonist of the series. Although he is the child of white parents, he grew up with Native Americans, becoming a near-fearless warrior skilled in many weapons, one of which is the long rifle. He respects his forest home and all its inhabitants, hunting only what he needs to survive. When it comes time to fire his trusty flintlock, he lives by the rule that one must shoot only once to bring down a target. He and his Mohican "brother" Chingachgook champion goodness by trying to stop the incessant conflict between the Mohicans and the Hurons. He is known as "Deerslayer" in The Deerslayer, "Hawkeye" and "La Longue Carabine" in The Last of the Mohicans, "Pathfinder" in The Pathfinder, "Leatherstocking" in The Pioneers, and "the trapper" in The Prairie. The novels recount significant events in Natty Bumppo's life from 1740-1806. Critic Georg Lukacs identified Bumppo as similar to the middling characters of Sir Walter Scott, who, because they don't represent the extremes of society, can act as tools for social and cultural examination of historical events, without portraying the history itself.
Chingachgook is a Mohican chief and companion of Bumppo. Chingachgook married Wah-ta-Wah, who bore him a son Uncas, but she died young. Uncas, "last of the Mohicans," grew to manhood but was killed in a battle with renegade Magua.
J.R. Moehringer, 'The Tender Bar: A memoir'. Referred to by one of the characters, Bud in this quote - "Don't think of fear as the villain. Think of fear as your guide, your pathfinder - your Natty Bumppo."