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Cornelius Coot

Cornelius Coot is a fictional character of the Scrooge McDuck Universe. He is the founder of Duckburg and Calisota, and Donald Duck's great-great-grandfather. He first appeared as a statue in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #138 in the story "Statuesque Spendthrifts". He appeared later as a character in Uncle Scrooge Adventures #14 in the story "His Majesty McDuck", which tells how he scared the Spaniards out of Drake Borough and renamed it Duckburg. The following information is based on the stories presenting him as a character.

Cornelius Coot (1790-1880) was born an American citizen. His ancestors had been in America for quite some time and his roots reach to the colonization of Jamestown and the voyage of the Mayflower. But he is the first member of the Coot Kin to gain prominence. His birthplace is unknown and before reaching Duckburg he lived the life of a wandering hunter. He apparently had travelled all the way from the East to the West coast making his living by trading furs from the animals he killed.

He arrived at Fort Drake Borough, a British military base in Calisota, in 1818. He was apparently only looking for some trading with the soldiers but his life took some unexpected turns. During his stay the Fort was attacked by Spanish Troops from neighbouring California (the fictional Calisota includes parts historically belonging to Northern California. The Duck's version of California only includes the historical Southern California). The small British garrison couldn't defend the Fort and decided to retreat. In order to save face the commander made a deal with young Cornelius. The Fort would pass into his possession and if the Spanish managed to conquer it he and his troops had nothing to do with the failure other than trusting an insane American to guard. Cornelius agreed. After the escape of the British he managed to frighten the Spanish away by making them believe that British reinforcements were approaching. The abandoned Fort was now Cornelius' and he had big plans for it.

He renamed it Fort Duckburg and turned into a trading camp for hunters. Soon enough some of them began to settle down and start their own families. Cornelius started his own farm and started acting as the leader of the new settlement. Pretty soon a village was flourishing in Duckburg. Calisota was annexed into the new independent state of Mexico in 1821 but Duckburg acted much a city state. It had its own laws, its own leaders and thanks to Cornelius his own defense force. Cornelius organized the citizens that could carry weapons into the Woodchuck Militia, a force that would guard the territory from any threat, including any conflicts with the natives of the area. Cornelius turned the old Fort into the militia's base. He personally supervised the repairs to the Fort and had the idea to build underground tunnels under the Fort so that even during a siege they could still move in and out of the Fort. Besides the tunnel they made they found an already existing one, the tunnel built by Fenton Penworthy and his men in 1579 after the building of the Fort. Cornelius explored the tunnel. He found the body of the long-dead Fenton and gave him a proper burial. He also found the info on the Guardians of the Lost Library. He found and kept the book written by Fenton and containing the secret knowledge of the Guardians. Apparently he appointed himself the next Guardian the first after Fenton.

Cornelius had managed to pipe mountain water into the village. He was a capable leader and managed to improve his settlers' relationships with the natives over time and Cornelius himself married an Indian woman. They had their only son Clinton Coot in 1830. Throughout the rest of his life Cornelius continued to act as Duckburg's unofficial leader. Even when Calisota and neighbouring California were annexed to the U.S.A. in 1848 nothing truly changed in Duckburg. When Cornelius died in 1880 he was a very respected family man but over time he has been honored by the citizens of Duckburg as the "father" of the city. The old hunter has gained legendary status in Calisota.



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