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May 2, 2013

'Dubious' about weather, Hawkeyes 'suitable' nickname

(Continued)

We are also concerned that the name Hawkeye will be associated with the Indian Hunter statue, which is the model for the school’s logo. When we asked Cooperstown historian Hugh MacDougall, who is also a Cooper expert, what he thought it was important to know about Hawkeye, the first thing he said in his email was:

“First, Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) is not, repeat not, an Indian ... According to Cooper he was brought up among Moravian missionaries, who sponsored pacifist colonies of Christian Indians (including Mohicans) in New York and Pennsylvania. He makes that clear in “Last of the Mohicans” when he repeatedly refers to himself as a man without a cross, which Cooper once explained in effect by saying that Natty Bumppo was supposed to represent the best (within limits of human plausibility) in white civilization if not marred by the corruption of the cities. Cooper expresses the view, especially in the “Deerslayer,” that different races have different “gifts,” which they must follow, but that does not mean that all humans are not equal.”

Hugh also points out: “... the ‘Indian Hunter’ statue, which has become the school and village emblem has nothing to do with Cooper — it is the copy of a statue erected around 1864 in Central Park New York, and is of a plains Indian.”

Hugh also offers this insight about Hawkeye: “... the term Hawkeye means someone with acute vision, of the sort that Indians gave to themselves or each other ... as a name for Natty Bumppo, Cooper’s white scout otherwise called Leatherstocking, it reflects the high moral virtues that Cooper sought to give his hero, virtues he possesses despite his lack of education or contact with the corruption of the towns and cities.”

And thus, we feel it is safe to say that Hawkeye represents values that will represent the students at CCS in a most positive light. Wikipedia explains Hawkeye’s character as “... a near-fearless warrior skilled in many weapons... He respects his forest home and all its inhabitants, hunting only what he needs to survive... He and his Mohican ‘brother’ Chingachgook champion goodness by trying to stop the incessant conflict between the Mohicans and the Hurons.” All-in-all, it seems Hawkeye will be a name which will serve CCS well.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, by telephone at 607-547-8124 or by email at cellsworth1@stny.rr.com

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