Pothole migrated to the United States during the late 1840s and was working as a cabin boy in the Mississippi River riverboat Drennan Whyte when it sunk. He was said to be the only survivor, which is why he knows where the ship sank.
HistoryIn his first (mentioned) appearance in 1955, Scrooge McDuck and a certain Horseshoe Hogg bring their uncles' steamboats (one of which is Pothole's Cotton Queen) back to the surface to finish the race for the Cornpone Gables mansion, which was claimed by both Horseshoe's uncle Porker Hogg and Scrooge's uncle Pothole McDuck. Scrooge wins, only to learn that 85 years of disuse made the mansion so fragile that he accidentally destroys it with a sneeze.
In the 1960s Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge classic Hall of The Mermaid Queen, Scrooge recalls having earned a silver dollar during a riverboat race in 1880.
In Scrooge's flashback in the Uncle Scrooge comic The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff, Pothole reappears, where he and his nephew Scrooge meet again when Pothole is working at Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. After the show's money has been stolen by the Dalton Brothers, Pothole rides out with Bill, Scrooge, P.T. Barnum, Annie Oakley, and Geronimo to stop the bandits.
In the episode "Once Upon a Dime", the first interpretation of the character appeared, here called Catfish McDuck, a nickname he earned due to his bad odor. He migrated from his native Scotland to America, and wrote his family of the abundant wealth that awaited him there. When Scrooge decided to also try to find his fortune in America, he finds his Uncle Catfish, but soon learns that, as opposed to what he claimed, Catfish is not rich at all. The riverboat race Scrooge mentoined in Hall of The Mermaid Queen was shown in this episode, as well as Scrooge earning the silver dollar. It is said that a certain Colonel Cornpone died owing Catfish money, which Catfish claims makes him the rightful owner of the Colonel's plantation estate, Cornpone Gables. However, his nemesis, fellow riverboat captain Old man Ribbit, says he has the same right, and Scrooge suggests the two settle the dispute in a riverboat race; whoever wins earns the right to own the plantation.
In the second chapter, Pothole (or Angus, as his first name is said to be near the beginning of the story) wins the rights to one of Porker Hogg's riverboats, named The Dilly Dollar. After the famous riverboat race, Porker loses his other riverboat to Blackheart Beagle and his sons, the first generation of Beagle Boys, a family of outlaws, and retires. Pothole on the other hand, hires his nephew Scrooge McDuck and a penniless inventor named Ratchet Gearloose, who had both helped him during the race.
As shown near the end of that same story, Pothole eventually decides to retire. He leaves his riverboat to his nephew and settles down in New Orleans, where he becomes the writer of a popular series of dime novels under the title The Master of Mississippi, based on a highly exaggerated description of his life.