Natty Bumppo, called Hawkeye, the hardy, noble frontier scout in his prime during the French and Indian Wars. Traveling with his Indian companions, Chingachgook and his son Uncas, in Upper New York, he befriends an English soldier, a Connecticut singing master, and their two female charges. When the travelers are ambushed by hostile Huron warriors, he leaves the party to get help, in turn ambushes their captors with the aid of Chingachgook and Uncas, and leads the group to Fort William Henry, besieged by the French. In the massacre of English that takes place after the garrison is forced to surrender, the girls are captured again by Indians. Hawkeye assists once more in the escape of one of the girls; however, a renegade Huron chief, Magua, claims the other as his reluctant wife. In the ensuing fighting, the girl and Hawkeye’s friend, the noble young Uncas, are killed. Hawkeye shoots Magua in return. In the end, he and Chingachgook return sorrowfully to the wilderness.
Chingachgook (chihn-GACH-gook), a courageous, loyal Mohican chief, Hawkeye’s inseparable friend. An implacable enemy of the Hurons, he is decorated like a figure of Death. Left to protect the English colonel after the massacre, he joins the final battle with intense ferocity, only to see his son die. His grief is relieved somewhat by Hawkeye’s companionship.
Uncas (UHN-kuhs), Chingachgook’s stalwart son, the last of the Mohicans. A young and handsome chieftain, he falls in love with Cora Munro while protecting her and proves invaluable in tracking her after she has been captured. When a Delaware chief awards her to Uncas’ rival, Magua, he follows them and is killed avenging her murder.
Major Duncan Heyward
Major Duncan Heyward, the young English officer in charge of escorting the Munro girls from Fort Edward to Fort William Henry. Brave, good-looking and clever, he falls in love with Alice Munro and eventually succeeds in rescuing her from the Hurons. He finally marries her with Colonel Munro’s blessing.
Magua (MA-gyew-uh), “Le Renard Subtil,” the handsome renegade Huron chief. Both cunning and malicious, he seeks to avenge himself on Colonel Munro by turning his spirited daughter Cora into a servile squaw. Twice thwarted by Hawkeye and his companions, he wins Cora by putting his case before Tamenund, a Delaware chieftain. This victory, however, is short-lived. Cora is killed by another Huron, and Magua, after killing Uncas, is shot by Hawkeye.
Cora Munro, the colonel’s beautiful older daughter. She is independent, equal to every situation, and bears up well under the strain of a capture, a massacre, and the threat of marrying Magua. Her love for Uncas, however, remains unrequited when she is carried off by Magua and then stabbed.
Alice Munro, the colonel’s younger daughter, a pale, immature, but lovely half sister of Cora. Frail and clinging, she excites Heyward’s protective feelings during their adventures, and he marries her.
Colonel Munro, the able but unsuccessful defender of Fort William Henry and the affectionate father of Cora and Alice. After surrendering to the French, he is forced to watch helplessly the slaughter of the men, women, and children from the fort. His sorrow is doubled when Cora is killed.
David Gamut, a mild, ungainly singing master who accompanies Heyward and the Munro girls. His schoolbook piety contrasts with Hawkeye’s natural pantheism. A rather ineffective person, he is nevertheless useful to Hawkeye, for the Hurons believe him insane and let him pass without trouble.
The Marquis de Montcalm
The Marquis de Montcalm, the skilled, enterprising general who captures Fort William Henry and then allows the defeated English to be massacred by savage Hurons.
Tamenund (ta-meh-NUHND), the old Delaware chief who foolishly decides to give Cora to Magua.
Hard Heart, the Delaware chief whom Magua flatters to gain Cora.
General Webb, the incompetent commander of Fort Edward, who refuses to aid Colonel Munro against the French.
A Huron chief
A Huron chief, who calls on Heyward, who is impersonating a witch doctor, to cure a relative; he is duped when his captives are released.