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November 1998


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"Daniel H. Weiskotten" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 23:22:03 -0500
text/plain (34 lines)
Hugh (and Les Buell):
        The story of JFC writing it at Brookside is not known to be absolutely
true, but it is known that he was in Ballston Spa and he sure would have
been through the area many times in his explorations (always needing a
comfortable and fashionable place to stay).  There were several other
places in Ballston Spa and vicinity but Aldrich's Tavern shared the top of
the list with the rival Sans Souci up the street.  I'm copying this message
to Brookside and perhaps they will look more deeply into the legend.  The
building and its history is wonderfully documented in Field Horn's _First
Respectable House_ (but, alas, I do not have this text - any one know where
I can get a copy?).
        I also received another note from Les Buell of Wayne County saying that
local legend is that Cooper wrote part of _The Last of the Mohicans_ during
a stay in Sodus Point.  I don't expect that he wrote the book over night,
but what is the probability that he wrote it on the road (do we have a
proliferation of  "James Fenimore Cooper wrote here" tales?)

        Dan W.

From Hugh Mac Dougall:
"        I am unaware of any evidence that James Fenimore Cooper wrote any
of "The
Last of the Mohicans" at Ballston Spa, though he does, of course, mention
it in the novel as a resort. According to his daughter, he spent the summer
of 1825, during which he wrote "Mohicans," in Astoria, Long Island. He did
visit Saratoga and Lake George in August of 1824, and got the idea for
writing "The Last of the Mohicans.""
"        I should, however, love to hear of any evidence to the contrary."

from Les Buell:
"       Our local history (Wayne County - Sodus) has him writing part of Last of
the Mohicans during a stay in Sodus Point..... Is this like, "George
Washington slept here"?"