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The Last of the Mohicans; A narrative of 1757 by James Fenimore Cooper
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led them both to adopt the same subject. They mutually exhorted each
other to be of use in the event of the chances of war throwing either of
the parties into the hands of his enemies. Whatever may be the truth,
as respects the root and the genius of the Indian tongues, it is quite
certain they are now so distinct in their words as to possess most of
the disadvantages of strange languages; hence much of the embarrassment
that has arisen in learning their histories, and most of the uncertainty
which exists in their traditions.

Like nations of higher pretensions, the American Indian gives a very
different account of his own tribe or race from that which is given by
other people. He is much addicted to overestimating his own perfections,
and to undervaluing those of his rival or his enemy; a trait which may
possibly be thought corroborative of the Mosaic account of the creation.

The whites have assisted greatly in rendering the traditions of the
Aborigines more obscure by their own manner of corrupting names. Thus,
the term used in the title of this book has undergone the changes of
Mahicanni, Mohicans, and Mohegans; the latter being the word commonly
used by the whites. When it is remembered that the Dutch (who first
settled New York), the English, and the French, all gave appellations
to the tribes that dwelt within the country which is the scene of this
story, and that the Indians not only gave different names to their
enemies, but frequently to themselves, the cause of the confusion will
be understood.

In these pages, Lenni-Lenape, Lenope, Delawares, Wapanachki, and
Mohicans, all mean the same people, or tribes of the same stock. The
Mengwe, the Maquas, the Mingoes, and the Iroquois, though not all
strictly the same, are identified frequently by the speakers, being