Joseph Brant

Brant, Joseph, 1742–1807, chief of the Mohawk. His Mohawk name is usually rendered as Thayendanegea. He served under Sir William Johnson in the French and Indian War, and Johnson sent him (1761) to Eleazar Wheelock's school for Native Americans in Lebanon, Conn. Brant served (1763) under Johnson again in Pontiac's Rebellion. In the American Revolution he did much to bind the indigenous people to the British and Loyalist side. He fought (1777) at Oriskany in the Saratoga campaign. In 1778, leading the Native American forces, he joined Walter Butler, and together they raided Cherry Valley, where they massacred the defenseless inhabitants. He was an able leader in other raids. After the Revolution, failing to get a settlement of the Native American land question in the United States, he got lands and subsidies for his people in Canada around the present Brantford, Ont. A zealous Christian, he preached Christianity, translating the Book of Common Prayer and the Gospel of Mark into the Mohawk language.

See biographies by J. W. Jakes (1969), H. C. Robinson (1971), and I. T. Kelsay (1984).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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