James Fenimore Cooper, William Cooper, Richard Cooper
Arts and Humanities
ON 5 AUGUST 1832 James Fenimore Cooper began a letter in Spa, Belgium, to his nephew Richard Cooper, a lawyer in Cooperstown, New York. At one point in this chatty letter he asks Richard to look into the ownership of the Gilbert Stuart portrait of his father, William Cooper. It interests him, he tells Richard, because "I am getting to be a collector". The letter breaks off with a synopsis of European affairs:
"Europe is in a very unquiet state. The governments hope to crush the spirit of the people, and the people begin to see the means of extricating themselves from the grasp of their taskmasters.... They are all struggling to imitate us, and no country is so often quoted as authority, now, as our own."
Cooper resumed the letter, this time from Switzerland, on 21 September. After updating Richard with more family gossip, he mentions that he intends to return to America (thus concluding the Cooper family's seven-year stay in Europe) ...
Evans, Constantine, "Fenimore Cooper's Libel Suits" (1992). The Courier. 282.
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