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You kill, I kill. You rob, I rob...only difference I can see is I choose whom I kill and rob and you destroy everything in your path.
Dutch van der Linde talking to Leviticus Cornwall

Leviticus Cornwall is a major character and the quaternary antagonist of Red Dead Redemption 2.

History

Background

Leviticus Cornwall is a wealthy man who owns many of the businesses the Van der Linde gang have their sights set on, with his greatest power accumulated in Saint Denis. He is also a financial backer of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

At some point, he gave Colonel Henry Favours of the US Army a proposition to drive the Wapiti Indians off the reservation's lands, which are allegedly oil-rich. To do so, he made a deal with the state offering to "modernise" it, for which he was given a vast amount of state bonds. In doing so, Cornwall undermined the authority of the federal government, who did not want conflict with the Indians.

Leviticus Cornwall also built up connections with the ruler of Guarma, Alberto Fussar. Due to the sugar plantations on the island, Cornwall had close business ties with Fussar, with Cornwall reportedly describing him as a "great friend to America" in spite of his controversial reputation.

At some point prior to 1899, he destroyed or sabotaged the Oil Derrick in The Heartlands, and likely had something to do with the death of its owner, Mr. Varley. A corpse next to the Oil Derrick is likely Mr. Varley, due to the fact that the player can loot his body and find a letter from Cornwall Kerosene & Tar. The letter talks about Cornwall making Varley several offers to buy the Oil Derrick so as to not have any competition in the Oil Market. When that didn't pan out, it is suspected that Cornwall decided to sabotage the Oil Derrick and have Varley killed.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

Colter Chapter

Leviticus Cornwall is first mentioned by the gang after they attack an O'Driscoll camp near Colter. The gang discover information about a Cornwall train that the O'Driscolls intended to rob, and decide to do it in their stead. The gang decide to rob the train soon afterwards, and they seize a significant amount of money in bonds. However, Leviticus Cornwall catches wind of this and begins funding the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, commissioning them to bring down the Van der Linde gang.

Horseshoe Overlook Chapter

Cornwall manages to track down the Van der Linde gang in Valentine. In retaliation for the robbery, he has his private guards hold Strauss and John as hostages. He then demands that Dutch comes outside before his men are killed, and leaves immediately afterwards, telling his private guards to deal with the situation.

Saint Denis Chapter

During Mayor Lemieux’s party, Cornwall angrily telephones the mayor’s residence to demand that the mayor sign some papers. Lemieux‘s butler, Pierre, informs him about the call during the party. Dutch overhears this conversation and asks Arthur to follow the servant. Pierre heads to mayor's office and locks a drawer which contains mayor’s ledger - and documents that Cornwall wants the mayor to sign. After Pierre leaves, Arthur sneaks into the office and steals the documents.

Beaver Hollow Chapter

Insisting it’s just for a "simple social call", Dutch decides to confront Cornwall personally, and brings Micah and Arthur along to wait for him to sail in to Annesburg. Cornwall has a brief meeting with the Pinkerton agents Milton and Ross, where he scolds them for their lack of progress and also threatens to pull his funding. The pair soon leave, before Cornwall begins berating a union leader for the miners about the wage strike.

Dutch then suddenly steps in, and demands $10,000, Cornwall's boat and safe passage in return for sparing his life. Cornwall refuses, and Dutch kills him; Cornwall gets shot in the chest and promptly falls into the water, initiating a large shootout with Cornwall's private guards against Arthur and Dutch.

Despite his death, Cornwall's presence would still be felt in several plot points. Dutch believed Cornwall to be the sole reason why the Pinkertons were pursuing them, as he was one of their funders, and that his death would weaken them. However, it instead only made them even more aggressive. Favours continued oppressing the Wapiti Indians despite Cornwall's death, and eventually gets the Casus Belli he wanted when Eagle Flies leads a revolt, which led to the Indians abandoning Wapiti. Ironically, this is what Cornwall had wanted in the first place, and his death neither stopped the Pinkertons' pursuit of the gang nor saved the Wapiti Indians. Newspapers articles report on Cornwall's death, something previously seen as inconceivable given his wealth, power and high profile. Additionally, many NPCs will mention his demise in small talk.

Epilogue

A newspaper article written in 1907 reveals that Cornwall Kerosene & Tar continued to operate despite Leviticus Cornwall's death. After the Wapiti Indians had fled to Canada by the end of 1899, drilling began on the reservation's land, but Cornwall's assumption about the land being oil-rich turned about to be wrong, as the amount of oil discovered turned out to be extremely minimal and drilling was quickly halted due to the costs outweighing the profits. Effectively, Cornwall's toilsome campaign to drive the Wapiti Indians off their lands ended up being all for nothing.

Character

Personality

Leviticus Cornwall is shown to be an irritable and arrogant man. He is vindictive towards the Van der Linde gang, who have been stealing from many of his businesses. In a personal confrontation with Dutch, Dutch claims that while he is selective of who he kills and robs, Cornwall is indiscriminate and therefore far more destructive. This is demonstrated in a conversation with an Annesburg citizen, in which Cornwall expresses disregard for the people's safety in favor of progress.

Cornwall has also shown himself to be an unscrupulous businessman who will use any means to achieve his goals. Several collectible items indicate that Cornwall probably had committed several unethical schemes such as sponsoring Colonel Favours to drive the Wapitis off the reservation (a land he believed to be rich in oil) or sabotaging the Oil Derrick in The Heartlands (a possible competitor in the Oil Market). Cornwall is even willing to undermine the authority of the federal government for the sake of his goals, thus breaking the law and making him no less a criminal than the gangs who rob him.

Appearance

Cornwall is an elderly man with receding gray hair and a beard. True to his status as business magnate, he is finely dressed in all his appearances.

Mission appearances

Red Dead Redemption 2

Trivia

  • While on the island of Guarma, Arthur Morgan uses his name as an alias.
  • Cornwall is a composite character based on several dominant late-nineteenth-century industrialists such as Leland Stanford, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and others in terms of power, reputation, and appearance. Cornwall's actions by Chapter 2 seem to be based especially on those of Union Pacific Railroad executive E.H. Harriman with regard to Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, including the hiring of the Pinkerton Detective Agency to destroy the gang.
  • Leviticus, literally meaning “Book of the Levites,” is the third book of the Old Testament. It contains instructions for rituals, sacrifices, and practices on how to attain spiritual purification, forgiveness, and redemption.

Quotes

My name is Leviticus Cornwall. I am not a man to be messed with by the likes of you.
Leviticus Cornwall introducing himself
You don't know me but you keep robbing me!
Leviticus Cornwall to Dutch van der Linde
Get out here, before I have these men killed!
Leviticus Cornwall threatening Dutch to come out of the saloon
I think we both know what you can do with your laws! Find me Dutch Van der Linde! Bring him here, and leave the laws to them as need them! Good day, sir.
Leviticus Cornwall berating Agent Milton
Folk, feel?! Business doesn't give two figs about feelings, sir! Not two figs. It's a nonsense that will bring a plague on both of our houses.
Leviticus Cornwall expressing his disregard for the plight of the Annesburg miners
I'll do no such thing.
Leviticus Cornwall's last words, rejecting Dutch's proposal.

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