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."
within this Site
Breed ][ Mohawk ][ Pontiac
][ Red Jacket ]