American Romanticism: Volume 1: From Cooper to Hawthorne by David Morse

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By David Morse

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425), any gap between the two is finally eliminated. Harvey Birch is the first of a long line of Cooper heroes to be Fenimore Cooper 37 possessed of exceptional powers. If his predilection for disguise and his amazing ubiquitousness owe more than a little to the example of Scott's Rob Roy, he is nevertheless marked out by Cooper's determination to stress the miraculousness of his interventions and the unlimited scope of his abilities. Harvey's appearances are not confined to the furnishing of useful notes for Lawton or Dunwoodie; they are strongly reminiscent of a figure in a morality play, as when he makes an unexpected appearance at the bigamous wedding of Colonel Wellmere, or when, in the burning mansion, he crosses Lawton 'like a spectre' (p.

P. 13), Cooper is at pains to comment that the Cowboys have escaped his censure, and yet this same inverted partisanship characterises the whole novel. So, when WarrenS. Walker says, 'Here was the first major work to burst the bonds of the "colonial complex" and appeal openly to the patriotic sentiments of Americans', 1 the reader may well be puzzled that The Spy seems to lack the transparency that such a characterisation would seem to suggest. Certainly Cooper leant over backwards to disarm a potential British audience.

On all sides the view is terminated by ranges of hills, forming an amphitheatre still covered with the vigorous growth of the primitive forest. 50 By 1850 Cincinnati had a population of 100,000. The growth of the Ohio region can be estimated by the fact that in 1820 the Introduction: America and the Excessive 27 populations of Massachusetts and Ohio were roughly comparable at rather more than half a million. But in 1840 the population of Massachusetts had increased 40 per cent and was itself turning over rapidly through westward migration, while that of Ohio had virtually trebled.

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