Joseph Brant
(1742-1807)

Joseph Brant
Joseph Brant was born in the Ohio Valley and well known as the war chief of the Iroquois Confederacy and powerful ally of the British during the American Revolution. His Mohawk name was Thayendanegea ("he who places two bets"). In 1755 at the youthful age of 13 he accompanied Sir William Johnson's drive against the French. Brant received a formal education in Connecticut and in 1774 became secretary to Guy Johnson, the secretary of Indian Affairs. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Brant was commissioned a captain and sent to England to be presented at court as a Native American ally of the Crown. He used his influence to persuade the Iroquois to join the British side. Upon his return Brant fought as commander of a Native American contingent at the Battle of Long Island in 1776 and was with St. Leger's expedition at the Battle of Oriskany in 1777.


Between 1778 and 1780 Brant led his Indian troops on raids in the Mohawk Valley, western New York, and northern Pennsylvania, warning his followers that an American victory would mean destruction for all Native Americans. Brant's later years were spent translating
the New Testament and other religious documents into Mohawk and promoting Native American acceptance of the white man's ways. He died November 24, 1807 at the Grand River Reservation in Ontario, Canada.*

*Sullivan Clinton Campaign 1779-1979; A Bicentennial Commemorative. Chemung County Historical Society, Inc., Elmira, NY. pub. 1979.

(Sullivan Campaign of the Revolutionary War: The Impact on Livingston County, page 3)