The writings of Fenimore Cooper are underestimated too an unbelievable extent. Just like those of Paul Féval or Walter Scott who, at best, are remembered as writers for children. What a paradox by the way !
Cooper did understand and expose through his stories the bottom of the mind of Indians, Blacks slaves and Whites. He acknowledged the truth in which evolved both indians and blacks who where close to nature, still differently but a lot more than whites, and the results on the individual as well as history.
His work contains profound philosophical and sociological thoughts that one can find nowhere else ! Read it ... again ? with enlightened eyes, and you'll get more than you think ! All his work is easily available for free download on Gallica.fr for instance in french.
What ought to be remembered from him is how he explained that each people on earth has its own nature and every individual is shaped socially by this very nature but, inward of his societal identity, every individual has his own qualities end faults and, in case of people who had been true to their self as men, the remnant of their ego is that their failings are those of the social shaped part of them and their qualities are from their true individual essence, as is written on the tomb of the indian chief, friend of Natty Bumpo:
"In memorial of an Indian chief from the Delaware tribe, known by the name of Chingagook.
He was the last of his people who lived there.
If he had faults, it were those of an Indian, and his virtues were those of a man."
This is confirmed by Paul Feval in the great novel, the ghost horseman which says of a gitana woman at her death:
"Antioch had aged as Gitana as Don Blas Grandee of Spain. Her vices were of the Gitana, her pride was of herself."
in english here