Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Brant, Joseph

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Appletons' Brant Joseph.jpg
Appletons' Brant Joseph signature.jpg

BRANT, Joseph (Thayendanegka), Mohawk chief, b. on the banks of the Ohio in 1742; d. at the old Brant mansion, Wellington square, Canada, 24 Nov., 1807. His father was a full-blooded Mohawk of the Wolf tribe and a son of one of the five sachems that excited so much attention at the court of Queen Anne in 1710. Brant was a favorite of Sir William Johnson's, by whom he was sent for a year to the “Moor charity school,” then under the charge of Dr. Eleazar Wheelock, and which subsequently became Dartmouth college. He was present at the battle of Lake George in 1755 when but thirteen years of age, accompanied Sir William Johnson during the Niagara campaign in 1759, and acquitted himself with distinguished bravery. He was in Pontiac's war in 1763, and when, in 1774, Guy Johnson succeeded to the superintendency of Indian affairs on the death of his uncle, Sir William, the former pupil of Dr. Wheelock was made his secretary. During the revolutionary war, under a colonel's commission, he was constantly employed by Gov. Carleton in fierce raids against the colonists, and took an active part in the massacre at Cherry Valley and in the one that desolated Minisink in July, 1779. He also led a clan of the Hurons and a few of the Six Nations in the expedition of Col. St. Leger against Fort Stanwix, and bore a prominent part in the battle of Oriskany, 6 Aug., 1777. After the war his great influence with the different Indian tribes was thrown on the side of peace, and in July, 1793, at the solicitation of Washington and Clinton, he visited the Miamis and materially assisted the Indian commissioners in securing a treaty of peace between that tribe and the United States. During the latter years of his life he was a consistent believer in evangelical Christianity. He visited England in 1786 and raised the funds with which the 1st Episcopal church in Upper Canada was built. He translated the gospel of St. Mark into the Mohawk language, and, together with Col. Daniel Claus, rendered into the same tongue the “Book of Common Prayer.” As a warrior he was cautious, sagacious, and brave; as a diplomat and courtier, adroit and accomplished; and as a friend, chivalrous and faithful. His humanity toward a captive or a fallen foe is too well established to admit of doubt, nor has the purity of his private morals ever been questioned. A monument to his memory, the main feature of which is a statue of heroic size, was unveiled at Brantford, Canada, 13 Oct., 1886. — His son, John, b. 27 Sept., 1794; d. in September, 1832, served on the British side with distinction in the war of 1812, and was a member of the Canadian parliament in 1832. — Catherine Brant Johns, b. in 1800; d. in Wellington square, Canada, in 1867, was the last survivor of Brant's children. — The Canadian government in 1886 gave to an association thirteen bronze cannon for a statue to Brant's memory. See “Life of Joseph Brant,” by William L. Stone (1838; new ed., Albany, 1865).