The story takes place in 1757, during the French and Indian War (the Seven Years' War), when France and Great Britain battled for control of the North American colonies. During this war, the French... More > called on allied Native American tribes to fight against the more numerous British colonists.
Cooper named a principal character Uncas after a well-known Mohegan sachem (a head chief) who had been an ally of the English in 17th-century Connecticut. Cooper seemed to confuse or merge the names of the two tribes—Mohegan and Mohicans. Cooper's well-known book helped confuse popular understanding of the tribes to the present day.< Less