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Joseph Brant - Mohawk ChiefBrant, Joseph - A famous Mohawk chief, who sided with the English in their fight against the American colonists.  Joseph Brant, whose Indian name was Thayendanegea, was born on the Ohio River in 1742 when his parents were on a hunting expedition.  His father was a full blooded Mohawk chief and his mother was believed to have been half white.  His father died when he was young and his mother married an Indian known to the white man as Brant.  Joseph Brant's sister, Molly, became the Indian wife of Sir William Johnson, and the small boy went to live in the household of the Englishman.

At the age of thirteen Brant joined the Indians under Sir William at the Battle of Lake George in 1755.  Sir William took an interest in the boy and sent him to school at Lebanon, Connecticut, where he learned to speak and write English.  Brant later married the daughter of an Oneida chief and in 1765 settled at the old family home at Canajoharie Castle, New York.  When his wife died, he married he half sister.  He was with Sir William in the Niagara Expedition of 1763 and took part in the Pontiac War in 1763.  In 1775 he visited England where he was entertained royally and made a colonel in the British army.

During the Revolutionary War he fought with the English and took part in several battles, notably the massacre of the whites at Cherry Valley, New York.  Following the war he retained his English commission, drawing half pay, and was granted a tract of land six miles wide on each side of the Grand River in Ontario.

Brant was an intelligent man and during his old age translated the new Testament into the Mohawk language.  He died November 24, 1807, and was buried near the little church he built on the Grand River, three miles from Brantford, Ontario.  There is a monument over his grave, said to have cost $30,000, with the inscription:

"This tomb is erected to the memory of Thayendanegea, or Capt. Joseph Brant, principal chief and warrior of the Six nations Indians, by his fellow subjects, admirers of his fidelity and attachment to the British Crown."
 
 

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