The Leatherstocking Tales is a series of five 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 or the lesser known David Shipman. 
Natty Bumppo is the protagonist of the series: an Anglo-American raised in part by Native Americans, and later a near-fearless warrior (his chief weapon is the long rifle). He and his Mohican "brother" Chingachgook are constant companions. 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. His son Uncas, "last of the Mohicans", grew to manhood, but was killed in a battle with the hostile scout 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."