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Robert Morris

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Robert Morris
Sir Samuel Romilly.jpg
Portrait by Arthur Corrigan, 1832
1st President of Audonia
In office
September 9, 1817 – July 15th, 1826
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byHenry Burdett
Personal details
Born(1781-03-27)27 March 1781
Elland's Isle, Arabelline
Died11 July 1841(1841-07-11) (aged 60)
Sunrise House, Euston, Audonia
Resting placeMorriston Cathedral, Morriston
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Spouse(s)Charlotte Anne Blaylock
Military service
AllegianceKingdomOfRytheneFlag.png Kingdom of Rythene
Audonia.png Republic of Audonia
Branch/serviceRoyston's Militia
Free Audonian Army
Republican Army
Years of service1801-1805 (Rosyton's Militia)
1804-1817 (Free Audonia Army)
1817-1851 (Republican Army)
RankMajor (Royston's Milita)
General (Free Audonian Army)
Commander-in-Chief (Republican Army)
Lieutenant General (Republican Army)
Battles/warsThird Ausser War
Amandine War of Independence
Audonian War of Independence
First Continental War

Robert Morris (March 27 1781 - 11 July 1841) was an Audonian statesman, military commander, founding father, and writer who served as the first President of Audonia from 1817 to 1826. Prior to that, he had led Audonia to independence over a period of 13 years. He oversaw both the Audonian Senatorial Founding and the reconstruction of the federal government, turning it from a purposefully weak government into a centralised and strong government. He has often been referred to as the Father of the Nation due to his efforts in organising the nation both prior and post independence.

Born into a wealthy family on Elland's Island, he first became influenced by the growing Audonian independence movement at the university of Holywell, before purchasing his commission at the outbreak of the Third Ausser War. While serving, he became affiliated with the independence movement and, due to his military experience, travelled to Amandine to participate in its war of independence. Upon his return to Holywell, Morris was installed in as commander-in-chief for the Brother's in Freedom movement and oversaw a series of attacks on military depots and the opening stages of the Audonian War of Independence. By 1814, Morris had reorganised the movement into the Free Audonian Army and won a number of costly victories. By the end of the war in 1817, Morris had become the most well-known figure in Audonia.

Despite intending to retire from public life, he instead used his influence to oversee the pass of the Reconstruction Bill following the failure of the Senatorial Founding. In recognition, the Senate elected him president of Audonia. His two terms saw a number of radical events, such as the purchase of Marbon Island from Blayk, attempts at forming relations with a number of Auressian nations, as well as the debate of slavery in Audonia. Additionally, the worsening of relations between Audonia and Amandine risked conflict that could ruin the new state. By 1826, Morris declined a third term, instead returning to Elland's Island to oversee its running following the death of his brother. However, the loss of Marbon Island to the Confederation of Southern Marceaunia in 1830 saw him return as a private citizen to the reserve ranks of the Republican Army of Audonia, with which he later participated in the recapture of the island and the organising of supply shipments to the rebelling nations during the First Continental War. Following this, he retired for the final time, returning again to Elland's Island and becoming an moderately successful writer.

Despite Morris being regarded as a defender of both republicanism and anti-colonialism, his legacy remains controversial over his decision to maintain slavery as an institution. Despite the presence of slaves on his lands, he eventually began to take a dislike to it and freed them in 1832, however he did not advocate for its abolition due to his dislike of using his influence and not wishing to be seen as returning to government despite his retirement. Despite this, Morris is recognised as a leading figure in Audonian history, in addition to his restructured government being the basis of a number of likewise newly independent nations. He's memorialised throughout Audonia, most notably through the capital being renamed Morriston after his death. He is frequently rated among the greatest Audonians.

Early Life

By the time of Robert Morris's birth, the Morris family was wealthy and well established on Elland's Island, to the poit where Elland's Island was derogatorily considered the personal fief of the Morris family due to the large amount of land the family owned on the island, which had been consolidated under Morris's grandfather, Oliver Morris. Robert Morris was born on March 27 1781, and was the third son of the family and the fourth child. Due to the Elland's Island being a Crown Possession of Rythene, Robert Morris was considered a subject of Rythene and enjoyed many of the privileges afforded to that position. Morris' father, Richard Morris, was an only child and the owner of the vast Morris plantation territory, while his mother, Catherine Morris, was a well known socialite who was often absent from Robert's childhood, preferring the cooler climate of Rythene to Elland's Island.

Due to early bouts of sickness, Robert spent much of his youth moving between the family seat of Sunrise House and the smaller houses the family owned that were in cooler regions of the island, in an attempt to assuage the illnesses. As the youngest son, Robert was not afforded the same private education his two brothers were, and was instead received homeschooling from a number of tutors, ranging from his own father to well-known writers that had arrived from the capital of Holywell.

Morris' first brush with the Audonian independence movement with one such tutor, Nathaniel Bishop, who was a recently graduated university student who tutored Morris on the finer points of rhetoric. His exposure was through rhetoric exercises, who Bishop encouraged the young Morris to practice by writing speeches that opposed the Rythenean monarchy and advocated independence, exercises that were considered illegal and treacherous at the time. Shortly after, Bishop was removed as Morris' tutor, however the charisma of the young tutor and his abrupt end ensured that the messages and lessons stuck with Morris for the remainder of his life. As Morris grew older, he began to clash more frequently with his father over inheritance rights. Knowing full well that as the youngest son he would inherit very little, if anything, at all, he instead set his sights on a career in the military which Richard Morris opposed vigorously, due to the dim light and poor prospects such a career offered, which in turn threatened the reputation of the Morris family. As a compromise, it was agreed that Morris would instead attend university for a year and, if he persisted in his military goals, then Richard would purchase a commission under a false identity to shield the Morris family.

As such, Morris attended the Royal Colonial University of Holywell as a student of political history in Marceaunia, which not only emboldened his independence minded leanings, but also granted himself both an understanding on the working of government, as well as a rudimentary grasp on the wider world of his home continent, in particular Amandine, which in his journals he guessed that the colony was close to revolt against its Auressian colonisers. While at university, Morris first encountered the Brother's in Freedom movement, that advocated for an independent Audonia. Spurred on by the teachings of his earlier tutor, he began to privately become involved in the clandestine meetings of the organisation, in addition to training with firearms. By the outbreak of the Third Ausser War, it was already planned that a number of members would infiltrate the colonial militia to gain both a better understanding of military operations, but also to be better informed of Rythenean military positions on the continent. Utilising his father's promise, Morris officially entered the service of the colonial militia at the rank of Captain, starting a military career that would endure for the majority of his life.

Militia Service

Third Ausser War

The outbreak of the Third Ausser War in mid-1801 was the culmination of many violations by Arabelline of the Treaty of Swineshead, which had ended the Second Ausser War, including continued incursions into Ausser land to force many back into slavery. At the onset of this war, Morris' father had arranged for Morris to receive his commission as captain of Royston's Militia, the senior-most military regiment in Arabelline, and was immediately ordered to take over the Ausser town of Jacmel, part of a wider offensive to seize the border forts that protected the city of Hôpital that supplied many of the Ausser units in the south.

Morris was ordered to lead the forward party on the march to Jacmel, however arriving within 50 miles of the town, he quickly realised that he had marched into a trap. Surrounded in dense woodland, Morris and his 200 men experienced heavy fighting for three days until the rest of the regiment arrived and broke through the Ausser lines to relieve the troops. Having sustained 40 men killed and nearly 100 injured, with his horse shot from under him, Morris was ordered to take his remaining men, those that were still able to walk, and form up at the rear of the regiment before being allowed to recuperate when they arrived at the town of Peter's Farm, while the rest of his regiment continued on to Jacmel. While at Peter's Field, Morris was approached by Michael Gooden and Ernst Wener, former acquaintances of his from the Brother's in Freedom movement, about the possibility of utilising Morris' rank as a means to gain information of the Rythenean military. Morris agreed to the proposal, however he was doubtful how much access he would be able to get.

By the end of 1801, Morris' contingent had recovered well enough to rejoin the rest of the regiment, which had broken through Jacmel and were in the midst of besieging Hôpital, which was protected by a series of rudimentary wooden forts that overlooked the town. Arriving at the Arabelline camp, Morris properly ingratiated himself with the chain of command in the regiment, while establishing contacts with other officers of different regiments. Noticing that the town's formidable fort defences had drawn the entire battle to a standstill, and sensing an opportunity to repair his damaged reputation, Morris suggested that the he lead a small contingent to take control of Fort Gastein, which was situated on the end of the western flank. Desperate for a result, the siege leader, General John Mordaunt, agreed to Morris' proposal.

Taking a small force of 20 men, Morris spent two days crossing the mile gap between the fort and the Arabelline lines, carefully transporting with them three barrels of gunpowder. By nightfall on the second day, they had arrived at Fort Hamelin, which was the closest fort to Gastein, and primed the gunpowder to obliterate the walls it was leaned against, detonating it at 23:30. By chance, the gunpowder was set against the same wall that held the fort's own gunpowder supplies, leading to a tremendous explosion that set the remaining walls of the fort alight, quickly gaining the attention of Fort Gastein, who dispatched men to assist in putting out the blaze. In the chaos, Morris and his men scaled the walls of Gastein and quickly subdued the reduced garrison of the fort. Dispatching a runner back to the Arabelline lines, Morris announced his success and the capture of the fort, which broke the solid defences of the town and allowed the 3,000 strong Arabelline force to march straight through to the town and attack the forts from behind. For his instrumental role in winning the battle, Morris was promoted to Major and joined the general staff of Royston's Militia, which in turn placed him at a significantly better position to report for the Brother's in Freedom.

Following the capture of Hôpital, and on the advice of Morris, Royston's Militia was split into two columns of 400 men and charged with chasing the remaining Ausser force that had escaped from Hôpital that continued to prevent any formal peace being agreed on. Charged with searching the north-west, Morris would enter Ausser villages and offer bounties for any information on their whereabouts, eventually discovering that a spot close to the northern border of Arabelline was the typical meeting point for Aussers when they disbanded. Realising that rejoining with the rest of Royston's Militia would risk the Ausser rebels slipping away, Morris dispatched a rider to inform the column, led by Rupert Scott, of his intentions and the location he was headed, while he began his march.

Arriving at the spot, known as Versteckter Field, reconnaissance revealed a force nearly double the size of Morris's, however they were more poorly equipped than Morris's men and were unaware of his presence. Hoping to seize of the opportunity, he had the majority of his force hidden along the woodline while he had his sharpshooters sneak up on the Ausser camp and open fire and cause general havoc, then slowly drawing the force towards the woodline, where the hidden troopers opened fire on the unsuspecting Aussers, which tore through its numbers. Satisfied their numbers were diminished enough, Morris ordered a bayonet charge on the survivors, which forced the surrender of the remaining Ausser rebels. In the aftermath, Morris remained with his men at Versteckter Field as he felt trying to transport the large number of prisoners they had captured who risk too many slipping away. By the end of the next day, Scott's column arrived and reformed into Royston's Militia, and transported the prisoners back to Jacmel. For his efforts, Morris was offered a promotion to general but declined, officially stating that he had not been Major enough to properly earn the rank, however privately he believed getting too high in ranks would prevent him from covertly gathering enough intelligence for the BiF movement. Instead, he was awarded an increase in salary.

Peacetime service

With the war ending in 1803, Morris found himself more informed on military matters and had acquired a reputation for unconventional tactics. It was on his return to Morriston that he first heard of the ongoing Amandine War of Independence, and kept a close eye on the situation, while he himself became concerned with gathering intelligence for the BiF, first by finding troop movements and garrisoned units, however he felt that this was achieving too little and resolved for something more involved. As such, he had himself reassigned to the Ordnance Committee and begun to compile a complete list of arms depots and the areas with the strongest artillery presence, supplying these lists to the BiF. During this time, Morris began to frequent the Bassett Coffee House in Morriston and was introduced, via Ernst Wener, to a number of more notable Audonian independence figures. It was here that Morris's pro-independence views began to morph into anti-colonialism and started to plan to fully commit to this belief.

By July of 1803, Morris had already assembled a sizeable contingent of anti-colonialists like himself and, with the view that Amandine was the start of the anti-colonialist movement, chartered a number of ships to safely carry them across the Strait of Fortune to the rebel capital in Amandine. Using his previously assembled lists, and his position as being responsible for the acquisition of firearms that the conspirators could use upon arrival. Most daringly was the theft of four artillery pieces from the docks of Morriston, however Morris's superiors began to notice the theme of weapons going missing under the watch of Morris and intended to arrest him on charges of treason. Informed of this by his former colleague, Rupert Scott, Morris quickly assembled what he had managed to acquire and set sail for Amandine under darkness. By the time his superiors had learned of his defection, Morris had already landed on the shores of Amandine with a force of 600 men with half as many muskets and enough ammunition and gunpowder to fire a third of them.

Revolutionary Wars

War of Amandine Independence

Audonian War of Independence

Political career