Joseph Brant Biography

Best Known AsJoseph Brant
NicknameThayendanegea
NationalityMohawk
BirthMarch 1743
Birth PlaceOhio Country
Death24 November 1807 (aged 64)
Death PlaceLake Ontario
FamilyJohn Brant (son), Molly Brant (sister)
ReligionAnglican

Joseph Brant is today remembered as one of the greatest Mohawk political and military leaders, who fought one the side of Great Britain during the time of Seven Years War and American War of the Independence. He dedicated his life in the protection of the Native American sovereignty and lands. After the war in which he gained the reputation of fierce warrior and brilliant tactician, he reached the height of his political career by establishing the famous Western Confederacy of many Indian tribes who fought against relocation from their ancestral lands. During his life, Brant obtained many contacts in the political and military world (most notably in Great Britain), and he met many significant people of the age, such as American President George Washington and English King George III.

Joseph Brant Bio

Brant was born in March of 1743 somewhere around Cuyahoga River (in today's Ohio Country), but after the death of his father he moved to Ohio where his mother married the Mohawk chief called Brant, and his Sister married William Johnson, influential member of the British office of Northern Indian Affairs. After slowly gathering contacts among politicians and Mohawk tribes, Brant also received official education by studying in the Dartmouth College where he became one of the interpreters for the British officials.

His military career started in the age of 15 when he joined British army in the several important expeditions and battles during their "Seven Years War" against French (most notably James Abercrombie's 1758 expedition, William Johnson's 1759 Battle of Fort Niagara, and Jeffery Amherst's 1760 expedition to Montreal). During that time, he gained the position of Captain in the British army and received silver medal for his service.

At the start of the American Revolution, he decided not to obey the order of the Council Fire of the League who elected that Indians will not take part in this war between two English factions. Constant intrusions of settlers and army on the lands of Mohawk tribes, and his long-standing cooperation with the British has made Brant confident that he and his army can help to secure victory for the British. In those early years of the war, Brant proved himself great leader and tactician. His exploits were well known, and in 1777 he visited the London in the search to secure political and material support from the King of England George III.

After return from the England, Joseph Brant continued his fight against Americans. Between 1777 and 1783, he fought in the many famous battles, gathering his good reputation in the England and gaining great infamy in the US. Stories of his alleged war crimes in the battles of Wyoming Valley massacreand Cherry Valley massacre fueled racial hatred toward the Indians for the next 50 years.

End of the American War of the Independence brought great misfortune for Indians. After being betrayed by Great Britain, Indians lost all of their ancestral lands. American administration launched several attacks against them, and Brant saw no other way than to gather all willing Indian tribes into Western Coalition. This great struggle ended in the 1795 when Indians chiefs (all but one, famous Mohawk chief Tecumseh) signed the Treaty of Greenville.

Joseph Brant continued to use his diplomatic connection to fight for the preservation of the Indians to the end of his life in 24 November 1807. Today he remains remembered as one of the greatest leaders of the Native American Indians.