The Last of the Mohicans

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Colonel Munro Character Analysis

Commander of Fort William Henry, near Lake George, the English Colonel Munro is the father of Alice and Cora, and the head of a doomed attempt to resist the siege led by Montcalm, commander of the French forces in the French and Indian War. Munro is later reunited with his daughter Alice, and gives Heyward his blessing for their impending marriage. But Munro also mourns his daughter Cora, of whom he was particularly fond.

Colonel Munro Quotes in The Last of the Mohicans

The The Last of the Mohicans quotes below are all either spoken by Colonel Munro or refer to Colonel Munro. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Bantam Classics edition of The Last of the Mohicans published in 1982.
Chapter 14 Quotes

Hold! ‘Tis she! God has restored me to my children! Throw open the sally-port; to the field; . . . pull not a trigger, lest ye kill my lambs!

Related Characters: Colonel Munro (speaker), Cora Munro, Alice Munro
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

Colonel Munro has believed, till now, that Cora and Alice will not be "returned" to him - that, in sending them out ahead of the colonists with Magua, he has accidentally committed them to their doom. His relief in finding Cora and Alice again is unmatched at any other point in the novel. He feels that he has bucked fate. 

Again, this scene makes plain the relationship of men and women, fathers and daughters, in the "European" communities of the novel. Whereas gender roles among the native communities are far more equal, though by no means perfectly equal, among the Europeans the men fight and protect the women, who mostly do what the men around them ask them to do. It is an arrangement that situates power and authority in the hands of men, not women, and that runs contrary to the spirit of independence possessed by people like Hawkeye, who do not ascribe entirely either to European or to native principles. 

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Chapter 16 Quotes

I will meet the Frenchman, and that without fear or delay; promptly, sir, as becomes a servant of my royal master.

Related Characters: Colonel Munro (speaker), Marquis de Montcalm
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:

Although Munro does not like the French at all - he, indeed, believes them to be untrustworthy - he accepts the rules of warfare and agrees to speak with them from outside the fort, before the French lay siege to it. He does this because he believes that the rules of warfare apply in all contexts, and to all people - whether they be European or native, and whether the conflict take place on European or on American soil. For Munro, these rules are unshakeable, and an important part of being honorable and "civilized." The rules of war, he might say, are what the fighting of wars are about - defending the principles upon which a society is constructed.

But, of course, not all characters in the novel feel this way. Heyward does, but he is more or less the exception. Of course Magua does not believe in maintaining the covenants he enters into - and Hawkeye, for his part, takes an in-between view, believing that loyalty need not be absolutely in the way of Munro, but that it must nevertheless define a man - that a man, in Hawkeye's mind, must make his own principles and stick to them. 

Chapter 25 Quotes

Heyward, give me the sacred presence and the holy sanction of that parent [Munro] before you urge me further.

Related Characters: Alice Munro (speaker), Duncan Heyward, Colonel Munro
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:

Alice is in love with Heyward, and has indeed been waiting for some time for Heyward to propose marriage to her. But Alice, in her "purity" (as it is described throughout the novel), wishes to do everything properly, including getting permission from her father, Colonel Munro, before Heyward can take her hand in marriage. Cooper has clearly set up Alice as a paragon of virtue in the text - as a character who cannot be corrupted, whose purity is so obvious as to be beyond question.

What is more troubling is Cora's relative lack of virtue, despite nothing that Cora has done. Cooper's narrator instead avers that Cora has, in her temperament (perhaps deriving from her mother, a native of the West Indies) a tendency toward a more tempestuous life. Cora, then, although she commits no crime, winds up in situations in which her virtue is continually tested - and Alice, coincidentally, does not. This is another aspect of Cooper's "schematic," or broadly theme-based, somewhat flat depiction of certain characters. 

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Colonel Munro Character Timeline in The Last of the Mohicans

The timeline below shows where the character Colonel Munro appears in The Last of the Mohicans. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...Lake George, to Fort William Henry, just adjacent to that lake, in order to aid Munro, the officer in charge of Fort William Henry, which lies close to the French lines.... (full context)
Chapter 2
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...embroiled in a “strange accident” involving Alice and Cora’s father (who is revealed to be Munro, the officer in charge of Fort William Henry)—but Heyward tries to soothe Alice’s worries, saying... (full context)
Chapter 4
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...whether that is a wise move—leaving the party—since Magua has been promised a reward by Munro, commander of Fort William Henry and father to Alice and Cora, if the whole party... (full context)
Chapter 6
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...Alice regrets aloud that she and her sister wanted so dearly to see their father, Munro, at Fort William Henry, wondering if they are not causing the man to worry. But... (full context)
Chapter 10
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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...implies that, if Magua turns his sympathies back toward the English—if he double-crosses the Mingos—then Munro would guarantee Magua a large reward upon the safe return of the Munro daughters to... (full context)
Chapter 11
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
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The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...the Mohawk camps near Fort Edward, and was eventually taken in as a guide to Munro and his men. Munro had a strict rule against natives drinking alcohol, and when Munro... (full context)
Chapter 12
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...middle. They head north, toward Fort William Henry, in the hopes of meeting up with Munro and his men there. (full context)
Chapter 14
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
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...himself and gain entry to the fort on account of the band containing two of Munro's daughters—a kind of “gentleman’s agreement” between commanders. But Hawkeye replies that the band would never... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
...the walls of the fort, where Alice and Cora call out, saying that they are Munro’s daughters and in need of protection. Munro, at the walls, hears his daughters’ cries, and... (full context)
Chapter 15
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
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...them thus far, and Cora goes on to say that she worries about her father Munro’s health and reputation should he French defeat the English in the siege and take over... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
Munro meets with Heyward, telling him that Hawkeye has passed through enemy lines and been released... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Montcalm welcomes Heyward, and Heyward rapidly realizes that Montcalm expects Heyward, as Munro’s emissary, to sue for peace and give up the fort to the French. But Heyward,... (full context)
Chapter 16
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
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Heyward returns from Montcalm’s camp, and finds Munro seated with his two daughters within Fort William Henry. Munro and his daughters have been... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
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Munro is surprised; he had assumed that Heyward wished to marry Cora. Munro says he will... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
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Munro’s first wife, however, then died in the West Indies, and he and Cora moved back... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Suddenly, however, Munro snaps out of his sadness and asks, in an officious voice, if Heyward has news... (full context)
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Montcalm speaks with Munro, again saying that the British have been overwhelmed by French forces. Munro, indignant, replies that... (full context)
Chapter 18
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
The morning after, Munro, Heyward, Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook walk out on the field where the massacre has taken... (full context)
Chapter 19
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The Natural World Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Chingachgook and Uncas eat around a campfire within the ruined fort, and Munro retires to his quarters to spend the night alone, and to worry about the fate... (full context)
Chapter 20
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
The next morning, Hawkeye wakes up Munro and Heyward, and the five of them move, on rocks and twigs (so as not... (full context)
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Uncas, Chingachgook, and Hawkeye begin paddling the canoe, with Heyward and Munro sitting towards its rear. As the band gets out farther into the center of Lake... (full context)
Chapter 22
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Gender Expectations Theme Icon
Loyalty and Treachery Theme Icon
Hawkeye, Uncas, Chingachgook, Munro, and Heyward begin speaking to David. David says that Alice and Cora are all right,... (full context)
Chapter 30
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
Escape, Pursuit, and Rescue Theme Icon
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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...band are aghast at this judgment, and Heyward says that he could surely arrange for Munro and the English to pay a large ransom on Cora’s behalf. But Tamenund says that... (full context)
Chapter 32
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
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...however, Heyward and Hawkeye hear shots fired from behind enemy lines, and recognize Chingachgook and Munro, who have been hiding in the woods away from danger—the two are making a rearward... (full context)
Chapter 33
“Savagery,” Civilization, and the Frontier Theme Icon
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The Natural World Theme Icon
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...subdued fashion, the nearly complete destruction of the Huron village. In the Delaware funeral ceremony, Munro sits with Cora’s body in one ring, and Chingachgook with Uncas’s in another. Tamenund, patriarch... (full context)
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Munro then walks with the Delawares as they bury Cora’s body on a small knoll nearby,... (full context)