Vanished Worlds, Enduring People

Native Americans of the Northeast

Joseph Brant. Letter to Sir John Johnson. Beach, March 17, 1799. [view first image] | [view second image]

Joseph Brant (1742-1807), an important Mohawk chief, was firmly allied with British causes through his sister’s marriage to William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Indians. Educated at Eleazar Wheelock’s Indian Charity School in Connecticut, by the 1770s he was recognized as a prominent leader of the Iroquois Confederacy. His strong allegiance to the British contributed to the rift among Confederacy members at the onset of the American Revolution, when the Oneidas and Tuscaroras decided to support the Americans. After the Revolution Brant was eventually awarded a land grant by the British at Anaquaqua, on the Grand River in Ontario, Canada. This became the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, named after Brant. He also worked on translating the Bible into the Mohawk language.

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