Henry Martyn Robert
Overview
 
Henry Martyn Robert was the author of Robert's Rules of Order
Robert's Rules of Order
Robert's Rules of Order is the short title of a book containing rules of order intended to be adopted as a parliamentary authority for use by a deliberative assembly written by Brig. Gen...

, which became the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure
Parliamentary procedure
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies...

 and remains today the most common parliamentary authority
Parliamentary authority
A parliamentary authority is a manual on parliamentary law, containing rules of order for the transaction of business in deliberative assemblies...

 in the United States.

Robert was born in Robertville, South Carolina
Robertville, South Carolina
Robertville is an unincorporated community in Jasper County, South Carolina. It is named after the Robert family who initially settled in the area and was also the birthplace of Henry Martyn Robert, founder of Robert's Rules of Order. The community is accessible via U.S. Highway 321 and is...

, and raised in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, where his father moved the family because of his strong opposition to slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. Robert's father, Reverend Joseph Thomas Robert, later became the first president of Morehouse College
Morehouse College
Morehouse College is a private, all-male, liberal arts, historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with Hampden-Sydney College and Wabash College, Morehouse is one of three remaining traditional men's colleges in the United States....

 where there is a dormitory on the campus named after him.
Encyclopedia
Henry Martyn Robert was the author of Robert's Rules of Order
Robert's Rules of Order
Robert's Rules of Order is the short title of a book containing rules of order intended to be adopted as a parliamentary authority for use by a deliberative assembly written by Brig. Gen...

, which became the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure
Parliamentary procedure
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies...

 and remains today the most common parliamentary authority
Parliamentary authority
A parliamentary authority is a manual on parliamentary law, containing rules of order for the transaction of business in deliberative assemblies...

 in the United States.

Robert was born in Robertville, South Carolina
Robertville, South Carolina
Robertville is an unincorporated community in Jasper County, South Carolina. It is named after the Robert family who initially settled in the area and was also the birthplace of Henry Martyn Robert, founder of Robert's Rules of Order. The community is accessible via U.S. Highway 321 and is...

, and raised in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, where his father moved the family because of his strong opposition to slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. Robert's father, Reverend Joseph Thomas Robert, later became the first president of Morehouse College
Morehouse College
Morehouse College is a private, all-male, liberal arts, historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia. Along with Hampden-Sydney College and Wabash College, Morehouse is one of three remaining traditional men's colleges in the United States....

 where there is a dormitory on the campus named after him. Robert was nominated to West Point
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 from Ohio, and graduated fourth in his class in 1857. He became a military engineer
Military engineer
In military science, engineering refers to the practice of designing, building, maintaining and dismantling military works, including offensive, defensive and logistical structures, to shape the physical operating environment in war...

.

Under command of Silas Casey
Silas Casey
Silas Casey was a career United States Army officer who rose to the rank of Major General during the American Civil War.-Early life and military career:...

 during the Pig War
Pig War
The Pig War was a confrontation in 1859 between the United States and the British Empire over the boundary between the US and British North America. The territory in dispute was the San Juan Islands, which lie between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland...

 he built the fortifications on San Juan Island
San Juan Island
San Juan Island is the second-largest and most populous of the San Juan Islands in northwestern Washington, United States. It has a land area of 142.59 km² and a population of 6,822 as of the 2000 census....

. In the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, he was assigned to the Corps of Engineers
United States Army Corps of Engineers
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 38,000 civilian and military personnel, making it the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency...

 and worked on the defenses of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

, and several New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 ports.

Robert served as Engineer of the Army's Division of the Pacific from 1867 to 1871. He then spent two years improving rivers in Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 and Washington and six years developing the harbors of Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

 and other northern Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 and Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 ports. He subsequently improved the harbors of Oswego, New York
Oswego, New York
Oswego is a city in Oswego County, New York, United States. The population was 18,142 at the 2010 census. Oswego is located on Lake Ontario in north-central New York and promotes itself as "The Port City of Central New York"...

, Philadelphia, and Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound is an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, located in the United States between Connecticut to the north and Long Island, New York to the south. The mouth of the Connecticut River at Old Saybrook, Connecticut, empties into the sound. On its western end the sound is bounded by the Bronx...

 and constructed locks and dams on the Cumberland
Cumberland River
The Cumberland River is a waterway in the Southern United States. It is long. It starts in Harlan County in far southeastern Kentucky between Pine and Cumberland mountains, flows through southern Kentucky, crosses into northern Tennessee, and then curves back up into western Kentucky before...

 and Tennessee
Tennessee River
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names...

 rivers. As Southwest Division Engineer from 1897 to 1901, Robert studied how to deepen the Southwest Pass
Southwest Pass (Mississippi River)
Southwest Pass is one of the channels at the mouth of the Mississippi River. It empties into the Gulf of Mexico at the southwesternmost tip of the Mississippi River Delta. It lies in Plaquemines Parish in southeastern Louisiana in the United States...

 of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

.

Robert was president of the Board of Engineers from 1895 to 1901. He was made brigadier general
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 on April 30, 1901, and was appointed Chief of Engineers
Chief of Engineers
The Chief of Engineers commands the US Army Corps of Engineers. As a staff officer at The Pentagon, the Chief advises the Army on engineering matters and serves as the Army's topographer and the proponent for real estate and other related engineering programs....

. He served until May 2, 1901, when he retired from the Army. Following his retirement, he chaired a board of engineers that designed the Galveston, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...

 seawall following the Galveston Hurricane of 1900
Galveston Hurricane of 1900
The Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on the city of Galveston in the U.S. state of Texas, on September 8, 1900.It had estimated winds of at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale...

.

He died in Hornell, New York
Hornell, New York
Hornell is a city in Steuben County, New York, United States. The population was 9,019 at the 2000 census. The city is named after the Hornell family, early settlers. Its current population has not yet been released by the new census....

, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

.

He is most famous for his Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies—a collection of rules regarding parliamentary procedure, published in 1876. He wrote the manual in response to his poor performance in leading a church meeting at a Baptist church in New Bedford
New Bedford
-Places:*New Bedford, Illinois*New Bedford, Massachusetts, the most populous New Bedford**New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park*New Bedford, New Jersey *New Bedford, Ohio*New Bedford, Pennsylvania...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

. He resolved that he would learn about parliamentary procedure before attending another meeting. The rules are loosely based on procedures used in the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, but the rule book was not intended for use in national and state legislatures.

External links

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