First published in 1827, The Prairie is set in the American frontier. It is part of Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales and is the third book to feature Natty Bumppo, a trapper and frontiersman. Other characters from Cooper's famous The Last of the Mohicans, including chief Hard Heart, also appear in this book. The story follows Natty on his travels to the prairie of Nebraska, where he meets up with a family of squatters who are hiding a secret. One of their own, Abiram White, has kidnapped a young woman from her family and husband in Louisiana. The husband, an artillery captain, and his men are hunting the squatters through the frontier, and Natty takes it upon himself to help the young man find his stolen bride. Full of adventure and tense battles, The Prairie is a classic tale of the American West suitable for both teenage and adult readers. Popular American novelist JAMES FENIMORE COOPER (1789-11851) is best remembered for his 1826 epic The Last of the Mohicans, considered his masterpiece.