James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the first half of the 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. The fourth work chronologically in Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, The Pioneers is a historical novel that follows the later life of Natty Bumppo. Already introduced by the previous novels as the archetypal American frontiersman and friend to Indians, Natty now struggles with hunting and new societal laws that restrict the freedom of the wilderness he has always known. Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's modern readers as it would have been when first published, the novel is one of the great works of American literature and continues to be widely read throughout the world.