Josiah Simmons was born in Philadelphia in 1747 to a wealthy owner of a sugar refinery. Josiah was a relatively quiet child, keeping mostly to himself. He wished to join the ministry, and as such took to his studies in earnest. It was that he enrolled into college, at age 15, where his life took a most interesting turn.
Josiah wished to experience more out of life, realizing that his dream was elsewhere. He had not spent much time away from his home, and as such wanted to fully explore this 'new world' that was opening up around him. Leaving his life in Philadelphia, he traveled with others to what is now known as the Ohio Valley. Setting out with with a fellow scholar, Josiah's wish was to become an interpreter to the natives as well as bring the word of God into their lives.
Meeting with the tribes, particularly the Shawnee, was especially fulfilling for him. Josiah was amazed at their way of life and especially how they were attuned to nature. It was nothing like his upbringing in the busy city of Philadelphia. Within a short amount of time he had earned a mutual respect and trust with the Native Americans. During his second year amongst them he was accepted by most local tribes as someone they admired and called friend. He worked alongside them, ate with them, and even socialized with him... often to the ire of others not so fond of the tribes in the area.
In 1773, a land developer from Maryland assembled a group of volunteers together for an assault upon the Shawnee. A dispute had erupted over the false allegation that they were preparing hostilities. Josiah fortunately caught wind of their plans early and hoped to end this peacefully and with no bloodshed. He set out to the fort where this was transpiring and attempted to find a resolution. Unsuccessful and physically assaulted during the confrontation, Josiah fled from the fort to the Shawnee tribe. He attempted to warn the Native Americans of what was happening and the potential bloodshed that may be approaching. His words came too late. The assembled group of volunteers were on his trail and attacked the tribe. One of their first victims was Josiah, who was shot in the chest while pleading with them to not attack.
It appeared none survived the slaughter. Another tribe of Shawnee came upon the carnage the following day and searched through the bodies for any signs of life. There was only one... Josiah. The tribe knew of him through their past dealings and to them he was a friend. Barely clinging onto life, Josiah was brought before the shaman of the tribe. He hovered in a state between life and death, and the shaman prepared himself to assist the young man on a journey one way or the other.
Beseeching the Shawnee spirit Moneto, the great Creator and Supreme Being, the shaman asked the entity to take Josiah's soul and either help him walk to the beyond or return him to the land of the living. The invocations of the tribe's shaman connected with a greater force and Josiah felt his very soul touched. A flash of energy was expulsed from Josiah's form, and in his head he heard 'there are still great things to be done'. Josiah awoke with his body healed and only the vestiges of a scar that remained from the gunshot. His physical form had changed. He was taller, more muscular and broader than before... a living physical specimen of vitality and health.
Josiah soon came to learn other things after he awoke than just mere aesthetics had changed. His body was much stronger than before and uncannily durable. A knife could barely put a scratch upon his skin. He could run as fast as a horse at full speed and seemingly not tire while exerting himself. The strangest of these new abilities was that he could seemingly control and manipulate lightning, as he could bring it forth from his body just as he saw it descend from the sky. Josiah left the Ohio Valley and once again returning to Philadelphia. He was confused and lacked the ability to find answers for himself. It was his hope that returning home might resolve these issues.
The climate in 1774 Philadelphia had changed greatly in his few years away. Uprisings were everywhere and there was chaos as war was imminent between the young colonies and the British. Josiah wanted to do his part as well and realized that perhaps these new found abilities could help do just that. When war finally broke in 1775, Josiah decided to join in assisting the colonies. Worried about his safety as well as his family's with the use of his talents, however, he chose to disguise himself. Donning a mask he chose to assist in defending the thirteen colonies and fought wherever he was needed, utilizing his powers to turn the tide of numerous battles. The papers of the time picked up on his exploits and dubbed him 'Colonial' in his defense of the lands. The name stuck, and soon news reached the British of a strange masked man with supernatural powers who was fighting against them.
When the war was over, Josiah assisted in minor things here and there before the United States was officially recognized in 1783. As life went on, he noticed that friends and allies were growing older, yet he was not. In addition Josiah began to hear a voice in his head, telling him he needed to return to the place where he almost lost his life years before in the Ohio Valley. Josiah heeded these messages and left those he loved behind with no notice he would be back. Once again in the lands where he spent bonding with the Native Americans, the voice became more clear and direct. It stated to him it was not known as just the spirit Moneto, but was called by numerous names in a plethora of different languages. The voice continued by saying that Josiah was to be appointed guardian of these lands henceforth and would be summoned whenever he was needed.
Josiah seemingly comprehended and understood the words as he heard them. He felt an impulse to go to a cave nearby which reached a winding, long tunnel far down into the Earth. Josiah fell into a slumber of sorts, his body sleeping but his mind in a dreamlike state that kept him on some basic levels aware of the world and its ever- changing environment as he lay dormant. Almost thirty years passed before he again opened his eyes. The year was 1811. Josiah awoke and the voice guided him to return to the colonies which he helped liberate from the English. To some surprise it had grown and developed a great deal in his time away. Also interestingly, Josiah came to realize his powers had grown during his time asleep. The world might have changed but his overall mission had not. The War of 1812 was set to begin and Josiah found himself once again donning the uniform of Colonial, playing a part in it.
It has been since then that Colonial has repeatedly defended America. He slumbers, only to find himself revitalized and more powerful than the last time he has awoken. Each time he realizes that he has a few years to understand, acclimate and digest what every new version of the United States is about before being engaged in some new major threat that is posed against his country. The Civil War and both World Wars were fought with him protecting the American dream. He was last seen in 1974, but has recently returned again... which means that soon, a new threat is set to loom over the sanctity of the place he calls home.
Josiah is an attractive man presumably in his mid to late twenties. He usually has a smile on his face with a warm and inviting demeanor. His voice is deep and hearty, projecting heartily when he laughs. Some may notice he speaks with an ever so slight accent that might be taken for British. Standing 6'2" and weighing in at 210 pounds, Josiah has the build of someone who is in very good shape and highly muscular. His skin is a rich tan color of someone who enjoys being outdoors a great deal. Josiah has very wide, broad shoulders and an exceptionally large chest. He has shoulder length hair that is a deep rich black color which is usually held back into a ponytail.
In his guise of Colonial, Josiah typically wears a costume that is very much an indication of his actual birth era. In his super heroic identity, Josiah wears standard colonial garb in American based colors (red, white and blue). This includes a long coat, a ruffled neck collar and a vest. Breeches, stockings and black shoes are worn on his legs. A black mask covering the upper part of his face is attached to a white wig, and he often wears a colonial style hat. Black short gloves finish off his costume. From time to time he will wear a slight variation of this costume, usually without the coat and adding domino mask instead of a half face mask.