|“||I wish I had acquired wisdom at less of a price.||„|
|—Hosea regretting his choices in life|
|“||A master con artist, gentleman and thief, Hosea has been Dutch's closest friend and right‐hand man for over 20 years. Intelligent and quick‐witted, he can talk his way into, or out of, just about anything.||„|
|—Rockstar Games' description of Matthews.|
Not much is known about Hosea's past, other than he was "raised in the mountains" as he puts it. He also mentions his father lived a life of "sin and debauchery that would make an emperor blush" until he died at age 75. However, he did love him despite only seeing him 3 times in his life. At some point in the past, he met and fell in love with a woman named Bessie, whom he even temporarily left the gang for - she died prior to 1899. In his younger days, Matthews was a robber. According to Matthews, he and Dutch van der Linde met sometime in the mid-1870s, when both men tried to rob each other. After that event, the two became best friends, and they both founded the Van der Linde gang with Hosea being Dutch's right-hand man.
Hosea is both the most senior member of the gang and Dutch's oldest friend. Intelligent and level-headed, Hosea regularly advises Dutch and is valued for his wisdom. As much as he shares similar ideals, he appears to be much more pragmatic in his understanding of what lies in store for the gang.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
Hosea is first seen riding with Dutch on the wagon in the opening cinematic. He tells Dutch that they need to find shelter and fast, he then points out Arthur up ahead. Later the following morning Abigail begs Arthur to find John, who hasn't returned in two days. After a slight argument, Hosea steps in and tells Arthur that they are all worried about him and tells Arthur and Javier to go look for him. Upon their return, Hosea tells Arthur that they plan on having to move East, which is met with extreme hesitation by Morgan. He also assaults the O'Driscoll camp and later robs a train during this chapter. Hosea is then seen a few days later loading up the wagons, preparing to leave. Upon arriving in New Hanover Hosea and Arthur hang back to fix the broken wagon with the help of Charles Smith. He then points out the Native Americans positioned atop the ridge and tells Arthur and Charles what happened, which leads to a discussion about Charles and later, Arthur's upbringings. He later hands Arthur a Ginseng Elixir before reaching the new camp.
Horseshoe Overlook Chapter
After setting up camp, Hosea can be seen wandering around camp, doing various activities. Later, he gives Arthur a Raven Black Shire horse and the two go out hunting in Ambarino for a "1000 pound bear". After nearly being attacked, him and Arthur either return to camp together, or they will part ways. He also gives Arthur a map of the Legendary Animals.
Clemens Point Chapter
At the start of this chapter, Hosea, riding with Arthur and Dutch, see Archibald and Leigh Gray. These two lawmen are driving a stagecoach, with Trelawny and a group of young outlaws in tow. Soon, the outlaws escape, Arthur recaptures them, and Leigh releases Trelawny. If the player wishes, then Dutch, Hosea and Arthur can go fishing. Later, Hosea and Arthur attempt to sell the moonshine they stole from the Braithwaites back to Catherine Braithwaite. Despite being initially hostile, Mrs. Braithwaite agrees to purchase the liquor, under the condition that Hosea and Arthur give the moonshine away at a local Gray owned saloon. Hosea and Arthur, enter the saloon under the disguise of advertising, successfully give the liquor away before they are interrupted by a group of Lemoyne Raiders, and the two are forced to shoot their way out of the saloon. Hosea later takes part in the assault against the Braithwaites in the hope of finding Jack.
Saint Denis Chapter
Hosea attends the party at the Mayor's house. After the party, when Bill grows angry that he got no good leads, Hosea says he got a few. This includes the city bank and the riverboat heist. When Dutch later proposes capturing Angelo Bronte, he objects, but Arthur casts the deciding vote against him. In preparation for the bank robbery in Saint Denis, Hosea and Abigail are tasked with causing a distraction so the other members can rob the bank. The distraction succeeds, sending off a loud explosion and a plume of smoke. However, while the remaining members of the gang are robbing the bank, Hosea is captured by Agent Milton with Abigail managing to escape. When arriving at the bank Milton holds Hosea hostage outside the bank, proclaiming to Dutch that he has given them enough chances. Milton then shoots Hosea in the chest, killing him, and saying to Dutch that Hosea's death is their deal.
Both the bodies of Hosea Matthews and Lenny Summers (who also died in the robbery) were eventually recovered by Sadie Adler and the remaining gang during the absence of Dutch, Arthur, Micah, Bill and Javier in Guarma. They were buried together in Bluewater Marsh.
Hosea is an intelligent outlaw in touch with his wits, having worked as a con-artist and a thief for over two decades. He appears to be a slick talker, using his brains to get into and out of any situation in hand. Unlike perhaps Arthur or Dutch, Hosea prefers not to use violence as a means of obtaining money. Instead, Hosea often resorts on elaborate schemes to swindle people out of their money. Often playing a character to distract and disarm those he is trying to rob.
Having known each other since 1878, Hosea became Dutch's right-hand man and closest friend over the duration of two decades of association. By 1899 he appears to be Dutch's most trusted lieutenant, with only Arthur Morgan rivaling if not surpassing him. Over the course of the game, his relationship with Dutch is somewhat tested, as Dutch's increasing brashness and violence begin to clash with Hosea's preference for non-violence.
Like Dutch, the gang seems to view Hosea as a sort of fatherly figure. Hosea is one of the few members of the Van der Linde gang that seems to be respected by all of its members.
He is a Roman Catholic.
By 1899, Hosea is a somewhat elderly man whose hair has whitened which he keeps combed beneath his hat. When venturing into a cold and snowy area, Hosea wears a thick brown coat, as well as a scarf loosely hanging around his neck. While in more suitable and average temperatures he's usually donning an orange and black vest with a wide brim hat or a blue vest with a denim shirt and orange neckerchief with dark gray pants and high boots to complete his clothing.
He also appears to own two custom Cattleman Revolvers with bone grips and iron frames, both of which are in a reverse position in their holsters, with the grips pointing forwards.
- "Outlaws from the West"
- "Enter, Pursued by a Memory"
- "Old Friends"
- "Who the Hell is Leviticus Cornwall?"
- "Eastward Bound"
- "Exit Pursued by a Bruised Ego" (Boss)
- "The Spines of America" (Boss)
- "A Strange Kindness"
- "The New South"
- "Advertising, The New American Art" (Boss)
- "The Fine Joys of Tobacco" (Boss)
- "Blessed are the Peacemakers"
- "Blood Feuds, Ancient and Modern"
- "The Battle of Shady Belle"
- "Angelo Bronte, A Man of Honor"
- "The Gilded Cage" (Boss)
- "Horsemen, Apocalypses"
- "Country Pursuits"
- "Banking, The Old American Art" (Killed)
- "Red Dead Redemption" (Voice only)
- Hosea is buried next to Lenny in Bluewater Marsh. However, they can only be visited after "Fleeting Joy".
- Ironically, both Hosea and Lenny stated in a random dialogue that they wanted to be buried with friends, foreshadowing that they would be buried together.
- Hosea claims in a campfire story that he and Dutch met each other in 1878 "or thereabouts," but a newspaper clipping can be found around camp detailing a job the duo did in Ohio in early 1877, putting the time they met as early as 1876. This clipping can be found in Hosea's room in the Shady Belle safe house.
- Hosea and Lenny's relationship mirrors Arthur and John's. Both relationships feature one member (Hosea and Arthur) being unsure about their more junior comrade, but later grow to like them and eventually try to convince the other member (Lenny and John) to leave the gang, however Lenny remains loyal to the gang until death, where as John leaves to start a better life for his family.
- Sometimes Hosea can knock Bill and Sean off their feet for being drunk.
- Hosea is a fan of crime novels, particularly the Aldous Filson mystery series. Arthur can find one of these books, The Case of the Deceitful German, around his tent or sleeping area.
- If Arthur picks the book up to read it, it is possible to trigger a request mission in which Arthur can find his old friend another book by the same author. As a gesture of gratitude, Hosea will leave some predator bait by Arthur's quarters.
- Hosea bears a vague resemblance to Clint Eastwood. Whether this is intentional or a coincidence is unknown, but bearing in mind many other references to classic cowboys in media, it was likely done intentionally.
- Hosea was the name of an eighth-century BC prophet in Israel who appears in the Hebrew Bible. He authored the book of prophecies that bear his name, which means “salvation,” “he saves,” or “he helps.”
- "Anyway, I got caught by some hill country sheriff, stealing a chicken I think it was... And he decided I was going to be hanged for it." – Hosea to the gang at the campfire.
- "We're born with some dreams. We acquire others as we get older and we live out something else. When I was...a kid back east they said there were dragons in the west. Dragons! Well, I guess we found them. Found them or made them or...became them. Oh, these futile lives of petty sin we have lived! What choice did we have, really? -Hosea Matthews