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Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea, Mohawk)

Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea, Mohawk)

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Published by PRMurphy
"Our wise men are called Fathers, and they truly sustain that character. Do you call yourselves Christians? Does the religion of Him who you call your Savior inspire your spirit, and guide your practices? Surely not. It is recorded of him that a bruised reed he never broke. Cease then to call yourselves Christians, lest you declare to the world your
hypocrisy. Cease too to call other nations savage, when you are tenfold more the children of cruelty than they. No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthwhile action, but the consciousness of having served his nation. I bow to no man for I am considered a prince among my own people. But I will gladly shake your hand."
~Joseph Brant to King George III
"Our wise men are called Fathers, and they truly sustain that character. Do you call yourselves Christians? Does the religion of Him who you call your Savior inspire your spirit, and guide your practices? Surely not. It is recorded of him that a bruised reed he never broke. Cease then to call yourselves Christians, lest you declare to the world your
hypocrisy. Cease too to call other nations savage, when you are tenfold more the children of cruelty than they. No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthwhile action, but the consciousness of having served his nation. I bow to no man for I am considered a prince among my own people. But I will gladly shake your hand."
~Joseph Brant to King George III

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Published by: PRMurphy on Jun 18, 2010
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http://www.indigenouspeople.net/brant.htm"Our wise men are called Fathers, and they truly sustain that character.Do you callyourselves Christians? Does the religion of Him who you call yourSavior inspire your spirit, and guide your practices? Surely not.It is recorded of him that a bruised reed he never broke.Cease then to call yourselves Christians, lest you declare to the world yourhypocrisy.Cease too to call other nations savage, when you are tenfoldmore the children of cruelty than they.No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthwhile action, but the consciousness of having servedhis nation.I bow to no man for I am considered a prince among my own people.But I will gladly shake your hand."Joseph Brant to King George III
 
The Story of Joseph Brant
by Tom Penick
The Mohawk Indian Joseph Brant served as a spokesman for his people, aChristian missionary of the Anglican church, and a British military captainduring the U.S. War of Independence. He is remembered for his efforts inunifying upper New York Indian tribes and leading them in terrorizingraids against patriot communities in support of Great Britian's efforts torepress the rebellion. He is also credited for the establishment of the Indianreservation on the Grand River in Canada where the neighboring townof Brantford, Ontario, bears his name.Brant was born in 1742 on the banks of the Ohio River and given the Indianname of Thayendanegea, meaning "he places two bets." He inherited thestatus of Mohawk chief from his father. He attended Moor's Charity Schoolfor Indians in Lebanon, Connecticut, where he learned to speak English andstudied Western history and literature. He became an interpreter for an Anglican Missionary, the Reverend John Stuart, and together they translated the prayer book and the Gospelof Mark into Mohawk. Molly Brant, Joseph's sister, married General Sir William Johnson who was theBritish superintendent for northern Indian affairs. Sir William was calledto duty during the last French and Indian War of 1754-1763. Josephfollowed Sir William into battle at the age of 13, along with the other Indian braves at the school.Following this frightening experience, Joseph returned to school for a shortperiod. Sir William had need of an interpreter and aid in his business withthe Indians andemployed Joseph in this prestigious position. In his work  with Sir William, Joseph discovered a trading company that was buyingdiscarded guns from the Army, filling cracks in the barrels with lead, andthen selling them to Indians. The guns would explodewhen fired, ofteninjuring the owner. Joseph was able to prove this in court and the tradingcompany's license was revoked.It was the custom for young men not to marry until they had made theirmark, and Joseph was now prepared to choose a wife. Around1768 hemarried Christine, the daughter of an Oneida chief, whom he had met inschool. They had both Indian and Anglican wedding ceremonies and livedon a farm which Joseph had inherited. Christine died of tuberculosisaround 1771, leaving Joseph with a son and a daughter. During this time,Joseph resumed his religious work, translating the Acts of the Apostles intothe Mohawk language.In 1773, he married Susannah, sister of his first wife. Susannah died a few months later, also of tuberculosis. In 1774 he was appointed secretary to Sir William's successor, Guy Johnson. In 1775 he received a captain'scommission and was sent to England to assess whether the British would or
 
 would not help the Mohawk recover their lands. He met with the King ontwo occasions and a dinner was held in his honor. While in England, Brant attended a performance of Romeo and Juliet. Lady Ossory, a member of a famous Irish family, asked him, "What do you think of that kind of love-making, Captain Brant?" He replied, "There is toomuchof it, your ladyship." "Why do you say that?', and Joseph answered quickly,"Because, your ladyship, no lover worth a lady's while would waste his timeand breath in all that speech-making. If my people were to make love in that way our race would beextinct in two generations." [Monture, p. 36]On his return to the colonies, he saw action in the Battle of Long Island in August 1776. He led four of the six nations of the Iroquois League in attacksagainst colonial outposts on the New York frontier. The Iroquois League was a confederation of upper New York State Indian tribes formed between1570 and 1600 who called themselves "the people of the long house."Initially it was composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, andSeneca. After the Tuscarora joined in 1722, the league became known to theEnglish as the Six Nations and was recognized as such in Albany, New York,in 1722.They were better organized and more effective, especially in warfare, thanother Indian confederacies in the region. As the longevity of this union would suggest, these Indians were more advanced socially than is oftenthought. Benjamin Franklin even cited their success in his argument for theunification of the colonies. They lived in comfortable homes, often betterthan those of the colonists, raised crops, and sent hunters to Ohio to supply meat for those living back in New York. These hunters were usually young braves or young married couples, as was the case with Joseph Brant'sparents.During the U.S. War of Independence a split developed in the Iroquoisleague, with the Oneida and Tuscarora favoring the American cause whilethe others fought for the British under the leadership of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. A few of the leaders favored a neutral stance, preferring to letthe white men kill each other rather than become involved. Brant fearedthat the Indians would lose their lands if the colonists achievedindependence. Basic to animosities between Indians and whites was thedifference in views over land ownership. The Indians felt that the land wasfor the use of everyone and so initially saw no reason to not welcome theEuropeans. The colonists, on the other hand, were well acquainted with theprivileges of ownership (or lack thereof) and were eager to acquire land of their own.Brant commanded the Indians in the Battle of Oriskany on August 6, 1777.In early 1778 he gathered a force of Indians from the villages of Unadillaand Oquagaon the Susquehanna River. On September 17, 1778 they destroyed German Flats near Herkimer, New York. The patriots retalliatedunder the leadership of Col. William Butler and destroyed Unadilla and

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