Cooper’s Manuscripts


Manuscripts of complete, or nearly complete, texts of Cooper’s works in his own hand are known to be in the following collections.

The American Antiquarian Society, Worcester
The Bravo
The Chainbearer
The Red Rover
 (a significant portion is also at the Pierpont Morgan Library)
Barrett Collection, University of Virginia
Mercedes of Castile
The Pathfinder
The Two Admirals
The Berg Collection, New York Public Library
History of the Navy
Miles Wallingford
Beinecke Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature
Afloat and Ashore
The Heidenmauer
Homeward Bound
Notions of the Americans
The Prairie
The Redskins
The Water-Witch
Ways of the Hour
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA
Ned Myers
Le Mouchoir
New-York Historical Society
Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
The Deerslayer

A Preliminary Inventory of the Literary Manuscripts of James Fenimore Cooper

This master’s thesis by Brian Lacey of Clark University provides exhaustive details on known locations. James Franklin Beard supervised this thesis at Clark University in the early 1970’s. Please send any new information to the editor-in-chief of this Web site,

Provided below as a PDF file, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed on your computer to read it. Since it is a scanned copy of the printed original, the file is quite large, and will take some time to download over slower connections.

Download the Thesis – (Please note due to the large file size, we had to separate this document into 5 parts)

Statement on Manuscript Use

U.S. copyright law concerning manuscripts in Cooper’s era changed in 2002. We provide a working document used in the Cooper Edition to guide us on current laws and practices for access and use of Cooper’s manuscripts. Read more…