Cornelius Coot, who may be the same as Penwick Duck, was an anthropomorphic coot.
Cornelius Coot is celebrated as Duckburg's founder, although it is commonly accepted that there were already some settlements in the area before Coot's arrival. A “historical hero”, he is outright adored by much of Duckburg; many statues of him are scattered throughout the city, often depicting him holding corn, and there exist several festivals based around the commemoration of various events in Coot's life. Despite (or perhaps because of) Coot's notoriety, his biography is a conflictual and murky thing, with some sources even disagreeing as to the century in which Coot lived, from 17th to 18th to 19th.
Cornelius and his brothers Johannes and Erasmus Coot were born in England, presumably in the first half of the 18th century. Both set out to move to the New World to found a colony. Johannes's boat was attacked by pirates and Johannes was never heard from again. Cornelius, however, did make his way to the coast of Calisota. He arrived with four bags of gold doubloons, and, leaving the would-be colons in Fort Drakeborough, began to explore the surroundings, looking for the right place to establish his settlement.
On his way, he fell in a cave where he met the Wiccahaucha Indians, who were hiding from the American army and were nearly starving to death in their cold hideout. Cornelius spent three of his gold sacks on buying the Wiccahauchas a trip to Canada on the boat that had brought him there. Out of gratitude, the Indians carved a statue of Cornelius in their underground lair; it would later serve as a model for the Duckburg landmark. But Cornelius was modest, so he hides the entrance to the cave and never mentioned the story in his diary, the diary did mention the difference in the amount of gold, leading historian to conclude that he lost the three sacks and too embarrassed to tell it. The mystery of the three lost sacks of gold resulted in treasure hunting.
In 1799 Cornelius, still eager to prove himself as a hero, was chosen by George Washington for a minor but still prestigious mission: finding and buying a tablecloth on which the Constitution of the United States of America could be signed. For all silly that it may seem, it was a thornier affair than you could expect, as a relative of Scrooge McDuck living right in the middle of nowhere owned the patent on US-flag-colored tablecloths and could not be bothered to make the trip himself. Cornelius made the entire journey on foot and managed to bargain for a tablecloth, which he triumphantly brought back to Washingon. To commemorate this first feat, one of the statues in modern-day Duckburg depicts him holding the folded tablecloth rather than the traditional corn.
After this, Cornelius Coot became a traveling merchant, also at some point beginning to wear spectacles. This occupied him for several years until he finally happened to come back to Fort Drakeborough in 1818, only to find it attacked by Spanish soldiers. Coot entered the Fort just as the English soldiers were fleeing through a secret underground passageway. To keep up appearances, the General then conned Cornelius into buying the fort for a few coins, so that the army may not have technically abandoned its responsibilities by fleeing. Cornelius, however, was able to defeat the Spanish by scaring them away with pop-corn; they'd never heard of it, and, upon hearing all the "BANG!" noises, though the English were counterattacking. Left with the empty fort in his possession, Coot renamed it "Fort Duckburg" and began to turn into the settlement he'd dreamt of when he first moved to the U.S. all those years ago.
Cornelius began to build houses all around the fort, and various people settled there as farmers, becoming the first modern Duckburgers. In 1821, the Fort was attacked by an Indian tribe. Under Cornelius's command, a small armed force called the "Woodchucks Militia" was created; it was as a tribute to his father's creation that Clinton Coot called his scout group the "Junior Woodchucks". Around the same time, Cornelius Coot also explored the underground passageways beneath Fort Duckburg and discovered the secret chamber in which a secret society, the Guardians of the Lost Library, had compiled all the knowledge of the Library of Alexandria into a single tome. He also found the corpse of the last guardian, Fenton Penworthy, whom he finally buried. The book, passed on to Clinton, would later serve as the basis of the Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook.
At some point, a great fire destroyed most of Duckburg (presumably also destroying the last remains of the 18th-century town that had grown and died there long before Coot's ship's arrival) around St Patrick's Day. Walking forlornly through the nearby woods, Cornelius actually happened upon a leprechaun, whose pot of gold he used to fund the rebuilding of the city. To commemorate this legend, each year, during the Cornelius Coot festival, three Junior Woodchucks dressed up as leprechauns hide in the woods, while 300 Duckburgian contestants play Cornelius; a pot of gold is awarded to any contestant who finds a leprechaun.
At some point of his life in Duckburg, Cornelius married an Indian woman (popularly known as Pluckahontas, although that name is unofficial) and had several children, including Clinton Coot a son through whom John D. Rockerduck is distantly related to Cornelius, a daughter who married a Mr Duck, and possibly another who married a McDuck. Whether through any of these four children or through a fifth, Cornelius also has two more descendants in the present day not directly related to the Duck clan and thus not from Clinton's branch: wealthy Cornelia Coot, and a man who once worked as Scrooge McDuck's butler.
The date of Cornelius's death is unknown, although he does not seem to have taken any part in the education of his granddaughter Elvira Coot (born around 1840), suggesting he died earlier. Post-mortem, his ghost was briefly seen once.
Behind the scenesEdit
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ According to the 1991 story The Incredible Quest for Cooties.
- ↑ According to the 2004 story The Lost Treasure of Cornelius Coot.
- ↑ All according to the 1988 story Paperino e la "graande impresa".
- ↑ According to the 1989 story His Majesty, McDuck.
- ↑ All according to the 1993 story The Guardians of the Lost Library.
- ↑ As seen in the 1990 story The Red Duck.
- ↑ All according to the 1998 story Brother, can you spare a pot of gold?.
- ↑ Don Rosa's Duck Family Tree
- ↑ Johannes A. Grote's Duck Family Tree
- ↑ The Fabulous Fixer
- ↑ In the 1989 His Majesty, McDuck.