Brig. General Henry Martyn Robert

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Brig. Gen. Henry Martyn Robert

Birthplace: Robertville (Black Swamp), St. Peter's Parish, SC
Death: May 01, 1923 (85)
Hornell, Steuben, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Arlington National Cemetery
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Joseph Thomas Robert and Adeline Elizabeth Robert
Husband of Helen Robert; Isabel H. and Helen M Robert
Father of Helen d'Auria; Helen d'Auria; Corinne Robert; Henry M. Robert, Jr. and Portia Fowler

Occupation: Engineer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Brig. General Henry Martyn Robert

Henry Martyn Robert (May 2, 1837 – May 11, 1923) was the author of Robert's Rules of Order, which became the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure and remains today the most common parliamentary authority in the United States.

Robert was born in Robertville, South Carolina, and raised in Ohio, where his father moved the family because of his strong opposition to slavery. Robert's father, Reverend Joseph Thomas Robert, later became the first president of Morehouse College where there is a dormitory on the campus named after him. Robert was nominated to West Point from Ohio, and graduated fourth in his class in 1857. He became a military engineer.

Under command of Silas Casey during the Pig War he built the fortifications on San Juan Island. In the American Civil War, he was assigned to the Corps of Engineers and worked on the defenses of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and several New England 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 and Washington and six years developing the harbors of Green Bay and other northern Wisconsin and Michigan ports. He subsequently improved the harbors of Oswego, New York, Philadelphia, and Long Island Sound and constructed locks and dams on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. As Southwest Division Engineer from 1897 to 1901, Robert studied how to deepen the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River.

Robert was president of the Board of Engineers from 1895 to 1901. He was made brigadier general on April 30, 1901, and was appointed Chief of Engineers. 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 seawall following the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.

He died in Hornell, New York, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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

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Brig. General Henry Martyn Robert's Timeline

May 2, 1837
Robertville (Black Swamp), St. Peter's Parish, SC
New York
January 21, 1874
Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
May 1, 1923
Age 85
Hornell, Steuben, New York, United States