Susan Fenimore Cooper

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Susan Fenimore Cooper
Susan Fenimore Cooper.jpg
Cooper in the 1850s
Born Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper
(1813-04-17)April 17, 1813
Scarsdale, New York, United States
Died December 31, 1894(1894-12-31) (aged 81)
Cooperstown, New York, United States
Occupation Writer, founder of orphanage
Language English
Period 19th century
Genres Fiction and natural history
Relative(s) James Fenimore Cooper (father)

Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper (April 17, 1813 – December 31, 1894) was an American writer and amateur naturalist.

Early life, education and career[edit]

She was born in Scarsdale, New York, the daughter of the novelist James Fenimore Cooper. She was his second child, and the eldest to survive her youth. During the later years of her father's life, she became his secretary and amanuensis, and but for her father's prohibition would probably have become his biographer.

In 1873, she founded an orphanage in Cooperstown, New York, and under her superintendence it became in a few years a prosperous charitable institution. It was begun in a modest house in a small way with five pupils; in 1900 the building, which was erected in 1883, sheltered ninety boys and girls. The orphans were taken when quite young, were fed, clothed, and given a basic education, and when old enough positions were found for them in “good Christian families.” Some of them before leaving were taught to earn their own living.

In furtherance of the work to which she consecrated her later years, and which she termed her "life work", during 1886 she established The Friendly Society. Every woman on becoming a member of the Society chooses one of the girls in the orphanage and makes her the object of her special care and solicitude.

Personal life[edit]

Her home was built mainly with bricks and materials from the ruins of Otsego Hall, in Cooperstown, where her parents and grandparents lived.

She died, age 81, in Cooperstown.


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