Chief Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea of the Six Nations

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Joseph Thayendanegea Brant

Also Known As: "Chief Joseph", "Thayendanegea"
Birthplace: Ohio, Herkimer County, New York, United States
Death: November 24, 1807 (64)
Burlington, Halton Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: Brant, Brant County, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Peter Kajirowirago and Margaret Tehonwaghkwangearahkwa Brant
Husband of Margaret "Peggy" Brant; Susanna Dekayenensere Brant and Catharine Adonwentishon Croghan Brant
Father of Cristina Brant Sage; Elizabeth McCrimmon; Isaac "Karaguantier" Brant; Margaret Kleine; Christina "Kainyaron" Hill and 8 others
Brother of Peter(?) Brant; Konwatsiasiaienni (Molly); Jacob Brant and Christina Brant
Half brother of Jacomine Lucas and Lea Lucas ?

Occupation: Chief in the Mohawk Tribe and Captain in the British Military, Mowhak indian chiefton
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Chief Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea of the Six Nations

A GREAT BOOK TO READ ABOUT JOSEPH BRANT IS "Joseph Brant - King of the Mohawks" by Jonathan Bolton and Claire Wilson

Brant is his Step Fathers Last Name

Last words were "If you can get any influence with the great, endeavor to do [the Indians] all the good you can." Spoken to his close friend since 1793, John Norton.

Note: Presented to Queen Anne of Britain. Also known as Tehowaghwengaraghkyin. Thayendanegea, Joseph Brant, Six Nation Wolf Clan Mohawk, was born 1742 on the banks of the Ohio River to Peter Tehowaghkwangeraghkwa (some spellings Theowaghwengaraghkwin) and Margaret. After the death of his father, he was raised in the village of Canajoharie Castle an Indian villiage in New York State by his mother and stepfater, Brant Canajarodunka,also known as Nickus Brant Sagayouguaroughton Brant, a Mohawk Sachem at Canajaharie. Thayendanegea was married three times, Christina, Susannah and Catherine and had nine children: Isaac, Christiana, Joseph, John, Jacob, Mary, Margaret, Catherine and Elizabeth. In spite of their defeat by Sullivan, the Iroquois raids persisted until the end of the war and many homesteads had to be abandoned. He discouraged further Indian warfare, but kept his commission in the British army. He was awarded a tract of 675,000 acres on the Grand River in Ontario to which he led 1,843 Mohawk and other Indian Loyalists in 1784 where they settled and established the Grand River Reservation for the Mohawk." Ron Cox



"Joseph followed Sir Wm. Johnson to Lake George, New York. At age 19 heregistered in a mission school in Connecticut, U.S.A. In 1755-57 he wasinvolved in wars in New York with Butlers Rangers and proved to be abrave and great leader. After the revolutionary War he went with SirFrederick Haldimand and many of the Butlers Rangers to the Niagarafrontier to await new land grants. He was given the area that becameHaldimand County, Ontario, Canada.

War Chief and Stateman

Joseph Brant belonged to the Mohawk tribe, one of the Iroquois Six Nations. As a boy, he attended a British scholl and made powerful British friends. He became a leader among the Mohawks, and worked to protect their lands.

In 17775, the American Revolution broke out. The British asked Brant to support them against the Americans. Brant wanted to make sure the British would protect Iroquois land rights. He sailed to England to met with King George III.

In England, Brant mixed easily with some of the country's most famous and powerful people. After talks with British leaders, he decided the Iroqois should keep their alliance with Britain.

Throughout the war, Brant led the Iroquois in raids against the American rebels. He always tried to protect women and children during his raids.

In 1779, the American rebels drove the Iroquois out of the Mohawk Valley. Thousands of homeless refugees poured into the British fort at Niagara. Brant fought on, determined to defeat those who had destroyed his homeland.

After the war, Britian handed over the Iroquois lands to the United States. Brant was furious, and felt his people had been betrayed. He protested bitterly and forced the British to compensate the Indians for their loss.

Brant arranged for two grants of land to be set aside for the Mohawks. The largest was by the Grand River, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Brant founded the village of Brant's Ford (now Brantford), with its own school, church, and flour mill.

For the rest of his life, Brant worked tirelessly to help his people. He negotiated with the government for Indian rights, and imported European farming methods to help Iroquois farmers. He also helped the western Indians protect their land from American settlers."

The whole congregation of Trinity Church, New York, with their venerable Rector at their head, transported themselves to St. John, New Brunswick, and there set up the old Tables of the Commandments, and the royal arms that had previously adorned their native church in the City of New York. Upon the table beside me, stands one of the grand silver communion flagons and plates given by Queen Anne to the Mohawk Christians in 1711. They were brought here during the revolution, and are still used by the loyal Mohawks of the Bay of Quinté, of whom Chief Hill, a great grandson of the renowned Captain Joseph Brant, sits here in your presence to-day, the last hereditary chief of that great tribe.

There is an immense significance in the fact, Mr. Chairman, and it is worthy of our deep study, that the U. E. Loyalists, leaving all other possessions behind them, brought with them the ten commandments, the Bible, and the sacred vessels of the communion, as the most precious relies of their old homes in the thirteen colonies. What was left to fill the blank of that great religious and loyal exodus American history is now daily recording, and it is a point I need not dwell upon ; but discerning men can see the blank places left by the removal of those sacred emblems from that country.

Here came the great body of the adherents of the Church of England, mainly under the lead of that good man, the Rev. Dr. John Stewart, who founded the first Episcopal churches in Upper Canada.

Here came also the pious and zealous John Ashbury, and that godly woman, Barbara Heck, who, after founding Methodism in the City of New York, led a band of loyal Methodists to the Bay of Quinté, and there laid the foundation of the Methodist church in Canada. The old Wesleyans, like their founder, John Wesley, were ever loyal to king and country, and, perhaps, because they were Methodists, were also U. E. Loyalists, when the day of trial came that proved the spirit of men to the uttermost, whether they were faithful, or whether they were untrue, to the sacred precept of Scripture--" Fear God and honour the king."

Here came also a numerous and a gallant band of loyal Roman Catholics, led by their priests, the MacDonalds, from North Carolina and other Southern States, Scottish Highlanders, for the most part, who settled our district of Glengarry, and formed the nucleus of that Highland community, so distinguished for its loyalty and valour in the subsequent history of Upper Canada.

Here, too, somewhat later, came a great number of the peaceful Quakers and Menonists, of Pennsylvania. The fidelity of the Quakers to their lawful government, drew upon them a cruel persecution from the rebels, who stained their record by trying for high treason, and hanging two of the most respectable Quaker gentlemen of Philadelphia, guilty of no offence in the world but loyal adherence to their king and country. This persecution drove some of the Quakers into the army, and the Quaker ancestors of a gentleman present on this platform, were among the hardest fighters in our army during the revolutionary war.

The Quakers bore with characteristic patience the persecution of their enemies, but they flocked into Canada after the peace, to enjoy the protection of English law, and live in allegiance to their native sovereign.

And here, too, came, as I am forcibly reminded by the presence before me of the thirty chiefs of the renowned Six Nations, the successors of a people once the mightiest on this continent. Very different from the Quakers in all respects except in their invincible loyalty, were the native warlike tribes of Central New York, which had been their home and heritage from the earliest times. The Six Nations were largely Christianized and civilized at the outbreak of the revolution. Their villages, castles, cornfields, orchards and pastures abounding in cattle, formed a long line of settlement from the Hudson to the Genessee.

Congress, which so loudly in public denounced the interference of the Indians in the war, had at the very inception of hostilities, sent special commissioners to engage them on their side against the king. A great war belt, with a red axe worked in the middle of it, was presented by the commissioners to the Six Nations, who rejected it with contempt, and instead took up arms to support the king, and under their great chiefs Brant, and John Deseronto, whose descendants are here present to-day, and the distingished Seneca Chief Sakoyenwaraton, "Vanishing Smoke," my friend, Chief Hill, tells me it means, fought bravely throughout the war in maintenance of the old treaties, solemnly made with the king.

Their grand and beautiful country was destroyed and confiscated. The Six Nations were the first who took up the path of exile and settled in Upper Canada--where they form to-day a thriving, loyal, and happy people, proud of the gallant deeds of their fore-fathers, and proud of their loyalty and attachment to the Empire. The great Union Jack, which they have brought with them from the Grand River, has been their rallying flag for almost two hundred years.

Such were the sort of men whose memories we are met to celebrate to-day. A nobler ancestry than the U. E. Loyalists of America no country on earth can boast of. In war they proved themselves to be of the truest mettle. In peace, industrious, law-abiding and honourable--and, it may be recorded, that while during the course of the revolutionary struggle, not a few of the eminent men of, the rebellion drew off and returned to their allegiance. It cannot be recorded, that a single U. E. Loyalist, either for family, for property, or any consideration whatever, went over to the enemy, or returned to them after the war.

The advent of the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth, so praised in prose and verse, was a holiday excursion compared with the arrival of the ten thousand expatriated Loyalists who landed at Niagara in 1783-4, a few stone throws only from where we stand. The Pilgrim Fathers, a few in number--came to America leisurely, bringing with them all their goods and the price of all their possessions, at peace and secure under charters, granted by their Sovereign. The U. E. Loyalists, unlike them, came bleeding with the wounds of seven years of war, stripped of every earthly possession, and exiled from their native land. This country was then a savage region of forests and swamps. The trees had to be cut down before a seed could be dropped in the ground, and in fact for two years the brave, suffering exiles had to be fed from the military stores of Fort Niagara, before they were in any condition to support their devoted wives and children.

History, written by party prejudice and blind admiration of mere success as a test of right, has pleased itself by maligning the character and principles of the U. E. Loyalists. But the course they pursued, after their settlement in Canada, was honourable to their humanity, wisdom and generosity. In less than seven years after their arrival in this country they established, with the aid and under the direction of that great statesman and soldier, Governor Simcoe, a Constitution and Goverment for Upper Canada which, they were proud to say, was the very image and transcript of that of Great Britain, and was the model of our Dominion Constitution of to-day.

The first Parliament of this Province met in September, 1792, on the spot now covered by the ruined mounds of Fort George, which we see before us ; and there the first representatives of the people of Upper Canada, few in number, but worthy and capable of sharing in the deliberations of any assembly in the world ; met, and established the old English principles of law, order, and government in this country.

Contrast their acts with that of the Constitutional Congress of the United States, which had established their new republican system of government in that country, only four years before !

The States which had rebelled in the name of Liberty and had declared all men to be free and equal, did, in their new constitution, solemnly sanction the institution of human slavery, and perpetuate it, seemingly, for ever ! While the U. E. Loyalists of Upper Canada, in their first parliament, and on this spot, made sacred by that Act of eternal justice, did without a dissenting voice, and without a claim for eompensation, declare slavery to be for ever abolished in this Province ! All honour to the true freemen and their noble governor Simcoe, who won for Canada the glory of being the first country in the world which abolished slavery by an Act of the Legislature !--and they not only set free their slaves, but placed them on a civil and political equality with themselves. We are not a boastful people, or we might justly boast of having taken the lead of all the world in that great act of justice to humanity. So far was Upper Canada in advance of all other people at that time, on this momentous question.

This fact strikes us more forcibly, when we recollect, that England herself did not abolish slavery in her Colonies until 1838, while the United States only did so twenty years ago, and that at the cost of the most frightful and destructive civil war on record ; and Spain, another of the liberators of America, has not freed her slaves to this day !

These acts prove better than any words, the noble and generous character of the men who founded this Province. The maintenance of the Imperial connection, of the " Unity of the Empire," as we call it in our Canadian speech, was the moving principle of duty in the hearts of our forefathers. Let it be so in ours also, now and for ever.

If evil days should ever befall us, and we have no right to suppose that, as a people, we shall always be safe from the storms of fate, or the malice of enemies, internal or external, and you Indians will understand me if I say, that, " bad birds are now singing here and there in the trees." I say, if times of trouble and adversity should ever come upon this fair land, we have the noblest example in the deeds and principles of our forefathers, how to meet them. And I have perfect faith in you, brother Canadians, that you, like them, will be found equal to every demand upon your honour and loyalty, in a word your duty.

I am proud, Mr. Chairman, to see so many of the U. E. Loyalist ladies of our district present, and wearing upon their breasts the honoured loyal badges of this Centennial celebration. But, the time never was--and I believe never will be--when, be our men loyal and patriotic as they will, the women of Ontario will not outshine them in ardent love to their Queen and Country ! Among them are preserved the honourable traditions of our people, and so long as they teach them to their sons and daughters, Canada will stand in honour for ever, as the right arm of the British Empire.

I will conclude, Mr. Chairman by repeating a few words spoken by me on another occasion :

All honour to the Loyalists ! The brave self sacrificing exertions of these men in defence of the unity of the Empire, brought ruin upon themselves in their old homes, but was the making of Canada by settling it with men of such chosen virtue. If, as a Puritan divine once boasted, " England was winnowed of her choice grain for the sowing of America." We can truly say that " America was reaped and winnowed afresh at the Revolution, and its very choicest men selected by Providence for the peopling of this Dominion ! By the loss of these Loyalists the United States were drained of their noblest elements, and suffered a moral loss, which they have never made up for to this day.

Some of the best and wisest men in the United States have brushed aside the covering of prejudice and obloquy cast over the memories of the U. E. Loyalists in popular American history, and boldly express their admiration for the courage and devotion to high principles which actuated them. Truth will have its revenge in justice at last ! And I venture to say that in another century America will be more proud of her exiled Loyalists than of the vaunted patriots who banished and despoiled them !

CHIEF HILL of the Mohawks, Bay of Quinté, great grandson of the late Captain Joseph Brant, said : Mr. Chairman, I did not expect to be asked to address an audience like this, but since you have honoured me, I must not shirk the call.

We are here to celebrate the centennial of the one hundredth anniversary of the landing upon Canadian soil of our forefathers, whites and Indians. Red and white fought side by side in the Revolutionary war. The blood of the red man and that of his white brother mixed together to uphold the Loyalists' cause. My ancestors and yours, my white friends, left all their property to come here, where they could hoist the British flag. They sacrificed all to hew out of the Canadian bush new homes.

My great grandfather, the late Captain Joseph Brant, was one of Britain's strongest allies a hundred years ago and in the late American war the white and red blood was again spilled together--some of it on the very ground on which we stand--for the cause of Britain. Now after a hundred years of friendship and many changes, we are still brothers, and I feel happy, as the descendant of one who proved himself a loyal man, to meet so many white Loyalists.

We have been well treated by the British Government, and, should occasion demand, Indians throughout Canada are ready to do as our forefathers did--fight for the dear old flag we love so well.

ID: I28507

Name: Joseph BRANT

Name: Thayendanegea

Sex: M

Change Date: 23 Feb 2005 1 2

Birth: MAR 1743 in Ohio

Death: 24 NOV 1807 in Wellington Square, Ontario, Canada

Burial: Mohawk Chapel Cemetery, Brantford, Brant, Ontario, Canada

Event: Mohawk Nation/Tribe

Event: Wolf Clan

Father: Peter b: ABT 1707

Mother: Margaret b: ABT 1715 in New York

Marriage 1 Margaret

Married: 22 JUL 1765 in Canajoharie, New York


Isaac BRANT b: ABT 1767 in Canajoharie Castle, New York
Christina BRANT b: 1769

Marriage 2 Susanna SKENANDOAH

Married: ABT 1772 in Canajoharie, New York

Marriage 3 Catherine CROGAN b: 1759

Married: 1779 in Fort Niagara, Niagara, New York


Joseph BRANT b: SEP 1784
Jacob BRANT b: 1786 in Brantford, Brant, Ontario, Canada
Mary BRANT b: ABT 1786 in Canada
Margaret BRANT b: 1788 in Brantford, Brant, Ontario, Canada
Catherine BRANT b: 1791
John BRANT b: 27 SEP 1794 in Ontario, Canada
Elizabeth BRANT b: 1796 in Brantford, Brant, Ontario, Canada


Abbrev: Joseph Brant

Title: Isabel Thompson Kelsay, Joseph Brant

1743-1807, Man of Two Worlds (Syracuse University Press, 1984.)

1743-1807, Man of Two Worlds (Syracuse University Press, 1984.)

1743-1807, Man of Two Worlds (Syracuse University Press, 1984.).

Page: Pages 99 & 100.

Abbrev: Encyclopedia of the Haudenosaunee

Title: Bruce Elliott Johansen & Barbara Alice Mann, editors, Encyclopedia of t he Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) (Greenwood Press, Westport, Con necticut & London, 2000.) he Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) (Greenwood Press, Westport, Con necticut & London, 2000.) he Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) (Greenwood Press, Westport, Con necticut & London, 2000.).

Page: Pages 30-33.

Known as Thayendanegea, head of the Six Nations

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Chief Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea of the Six Nations's Timeline

March 1743
Ohio, Herkimer County, New York, United States
Mohawk Valley, Tryon County, New York, United States
Mohawk Valley, Tryon County, NY, United States
August 1, 1761
- 1763
Age 18
Lebanon, Connecticut, United States
Canajoharie, New York, United States
Canajoharie, Montgomery County, New York, United States