Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

Life of Joseph Brant-Thayendanegea

Including the Indian Wars of the American Revolution

by William L. Stone. Volume II

Buffalo: Phinney & Co., 1851.

Thanks to James F. Morrison for letting us use his book.

Joseph Brant

The spelling is from 1851. Some words have disappeared from our language. Old mistakes in the setting of the text were corrected, however if a word was unrecognizable, it was allowed to stand as originally printed since I have no way of knowing the correct word. ajb

CONTENTS. For information on the various Indian tribes mentioned in this book, check here First Nations Histories. This link will give an extensive history of the Iroquois Nation, this one will lead you to Molly Brant, Joseph's older sister, Indian wife of Sir William Johnson.


Sullivan's campaign into the Seneca country-Different characteristics among the Indian Nations-Mistakes upon the subject-Progress of civilization among the Six Nations-Plan of the campaign-The command offered to General Gates-His conduct-Clinton's preparations at Canajoharie-Transportation of boats and stores across to Otsego Lake-Arrest and execution of Newberry-Attempts to engage the Oneidas-The Indians alarmed by an address from Gen. Haldimand -The address-Intelligence from the enemy-Arrival of Oneida deputies at Clinton's head-quarters-Their speech-Designs of the enemy-Letter of Gen. Clinton to his brother-Remarkable escape of Elerson from an Indian scout- Brave defence of his house by Mr. Shankland-Descent of the Susquehanna- Dilatory proceedings of Sullivan-Junction of the forces-Movement from Tioga to Newton-Battle of the Chemung-Destruction of the crops-Advance to Catharine's town-Message to the Oneidas-Destruction of Catharine's town- Evidences of civilization-Destruction of Kendaia and Kanadaseaga-March upon Kanandaigua-Its destruction-Honeoye destroyed-Melancholy story of the Oneida brothers-Kanaghsaws destroyed-Horrible fate of Lieutenant Boyd -Contrast between the conduct of Brant and Butler in the case of Boyd-Indians in council resolve to fight no more-Sullivan advances to Genesee-Beauty of the country-Conduct of Red Jacket-Origin of Brant's hostility to him-Sullivan sets out on his return-Destruction of the Cayuga towns-Return of the army to Tioga-Strange directions to Colonel Gansevoort respecting the Mohawks of the lower castle-Their capture-Correspondence-Their release-Close of Sullivan's campaign-His resignation-Colonel Brodhead's expedition against the Senecas on the Alleghany-Huron and Shawanese chiefs meet him at Fort Pitt-Their speeches-Severe Indian battle on the Ohio-Closing incidents of the year._______________Page 1


Progress of the war in the South-Fall of Charleston-Brilliant achievements- - Rigorous winter of 1780-Destruction of the Oneida Castle and villages-Third marriage of Brant-Irruption into Harpersfield-Captivity of Captain Harper, Freegift Patchin and others-Conduct of Brant-Consultation whether to put the prisoners to death-Sagacity and firmness of Harper-Marched off for Niagara- Remarkable adventures by the way-Murder of an old man-Cure of the fever and ague-A thrilling scene-Sufferings for food-Justice and impartiality of Brant-Approach to Niagara-The ordeal-Humane device of Brant to save his prisoners from the trial-Arrival at Niagara-Farther irruptions of the Indians- Shawangunk-Saugerties-Captivity of Captain Snyder and his son-Arrival at Niagara-Examination-Guy Johnson, Butler and Brant-Prisoners sent to Montreal-The Mohawk Valley-Bravery of Solomon Woodruff-Irruption to Little Falls-Burning of Ellis's Mills-Incidents on the Ohio-Bold exploit of M'Connel-Attack of Colonel Bird, with his Indians, upon the Licking Settlement- Colonel Clarke takes vengeance upon the Shawanese. ________53


Night invasion of Johnstown, by Sir John Johnson, with an army of Indians and loyalists-The Visschers-The route of Sir John-Arrest of the Sammons family-Destruction of their property-March along the river-Burning of buildings, and murders of aged people-Destruction of Caughnawaga- Return to Johnson Hall-Proceedings there-Thomas Sammons escapes-Sir John moves off-Sampson Sammons applies for his liberty-His speech-The object of the expedition-Recovery of the Baronet's plate-A faithful slave- Character of the expedition-Sir John returns to Montreal-Jacob and Frederick Sammons carried into captivity-Imprisoned at Chamblee-Conspiracy to escape -Prisoners refuse to join them-The brothers escape alone-The pursuit-Separation-Journey, adventures and sufferings of Jacob Sammons-Arrives at Schenectady-The narrative returns to Frederick-Perils of his escape-Prosperous Commencement of his journey-Dreadful sickness-His recapture-Confined in irons at Chamblee-Removed to an Island-Projects an escape-Plot discovered -Ironed again-Second plan of escape-Perilous leap into the St. Lawrence- Swimming the Rapids-Other surprising adventures, by flood and field-Crossing the woods to Schenectady-Remarkable fulfilment of a dream-Direct history of the Mohawk country resumed-Destruction of Canajoharie by the Indians- Conduct of Brant-Case of doubtful courage._______Page 72


General progress of the War-Design against New-York-Glance at the Southern Campaigns-Treason of Arnold-Execution of Andre-Indian deputation to Count de Rochambeau, in Rhode Island-Invasion of the Schoharie-kill and the Mohawk Vallies, by Sir John Johnson, Brant, and the Corn-planter-Surprise of the upper fort-The middle fort invested-Conduct of Murphy in firing upon a flag-Singular prosecution of the siege-Murphy's contumacy-The flags fired upon thrice-Sir John proceeds to the lower fort-After a brief halt, advances again to the Mohawk, destroying every thing in his way-Murder of the inhabitants-The Vroomans-Heroism of a woman-Sir John arrives at Fort Hunter-Ravages the Mohawk Valley-Battle of Stone Arabia and death of Colonel Brown-His character-Remarkable anecdote of General Arnold- Sir John proceeds to Klock's Field-Is pursued by Van Rensaelaer, though with unaccountable delay-Battle of Klock's Field-Flight of the Indians- Strange retreat of Van Rensselaer-Affairs of the night.-Secret flight of the Greens and Rangers-The pursuit-General Van Rensselaer prematurely relinquishes it-Capture of Captain Vrooman and his company, by Brant, in the neighborhood of Oneida-Touching incident at Fort Hunter-Singular story respecting the Corn-planter-Major Carleton's expedition against Forts Anne and George-Correspondence on the subject of prisoners-Affairs at Niagara-Setting in of Winter._____98


Gloomy opening of the year-Distresses of the army-Revolt of the Pennsylvania line-Negotiations-Revolt of the New Jersey troops-Arnold's expedition to Virginia-Progress of the war at the South-Distresses at the North-Active movements of Brant in the Mohawk country-Meditated attack upon the Oneidas-Letter of Colonel Claus-Destitution of the country-Letter of General Schuyler-Destruction of Fort Schuyler by fire and flood-Suspicions of design- General Clinton's correspondence respecting that catastrophe-Hostile indications in the North-Indications of extensive treachery-Arrest of the disaffected at Ballston and its vicinity-Bearing of Washington in adversity-Colonel Willett appointed to the command of the Mohawk District-Slender means at his disposal-Burning of Currie-town-Battle of Durlagh-Defeat of the Indians-Death of Captain M'Kean-Irruption into Palatine-Willett's letter to Washington- Willett's influence upon the broken militia-Battle near the German Flatts- Death of Solomon Woodworth-Story of John Christian Shell-Invasion of Ulster County by Indians and Tories under Captain Cauldwell-Another case of individual bravery-Incidents on the Kentucky border.______137


Increase of disaffection in the North-Seizures of prominent citizens by bands of loyalists from Canada-Captivity of John J. Bleecker-Plot against General Gansevoort-Daring attempt upon General Schuyler in the city of Albany, by John Waltermeyer-Intrepidity of Margaret Schuyler-Arrest of loyalists at the Beaver Dams-Mysterious movements of the enemy on Lake Champlain-Controversy with the New-Hampshire Grants-Sketch of its origin-Outrages of the Vermont insurgents-Declaration of Independence by the Grants-Interposition of Congress-Its authority disregarded--Progress of the controversy-Difficult situation of General Gansevoort-Suspected intercourse of the Vermontese with the enemy-Letter of Governor Clinton-Invasion of the Mohawk country by Major Ross-Warrens-bush ravaged-March of the enemy to Johnstown-Followed by Willett with the levies and militia-Battle of Johnstown-Ross defeated-pursued by Willett, and routed at Jerseyfield-Death of Walter N. Butler -General progress of the war-Arnold in Virginia-Returns to the North, and destroys Groton and New London-Siege of Yorktown and capture of Cornwallis-Affairs of the North-Meditated treachery of Vermont-Message of Governor Clinton--British open a correspondence with the Vermont insurgents- Mission of Ira Allen to Canada-Separate armistice with Vermont-Stipulations for erecting Vermont into a royal colony-Correspondence with the enemy during the Summer-Negotiations renewed at Skenesborough-St. Leger ascends the lake with a strong force-An awkward occurrence for the Vermontese-Excitement at the seat of Government of the Grants-Throwing dust in the eyes of the people-News of the surrender of Cornwallis-Its effect in Vermont-Causes the hasty return of St. Leger to Canada-Insurrection in the north-eastern towns of New-York, in connexion with the Vermontese-Troubles of General Gansevoort -Unable to quell the insurgents-Cherokee Indians-Close of the year. ___172


Character of Joseph Bettys-His exploits-Capture and execution-Progress of the war-Gradual cessation of hostilities-Dwindling down to mere affairs of outposts and scouting parties-Commissioners appointed to negotiate a treaty of peace- Indian battles on the Kentucky frontier-Defeat of Colonel Boon--Destruction of the Shawanese towns-The Moravians on the Muskingum-Their removal to Sandnsky by the Wyandots-Return to secure their crops-Invasion of their towns by Colonel Williamson-Treachery of Williamson and his men to the Indians-Horrible massacre-Invasion of the Sandusky country by Crawford and Williamson-Defeat of their army-Colonel Crawford captured-Sentenced to die by torture-His interview with the sachem Wingemund-His execution- Close of the year-Doubts as to a treaty of peace-Colonel Willett's attempt to surprise Oswego-The news of peace-Sufferings of Tryon County-Return of its population-End of the wars of the Mohawk.______210


The Treaty of Peace-Neglect other Indian allies by Great Britain-Brant's negotiations with General Haldimand for a new territory-The Senecas invite the Mohawks to settle in the Genesee Valley-Declined-The Grand River country granted to the Moliawks by Sir Frederick Haldimand-Indian policy of the United States-Views of Washington and General Schuyler-Treaty with the Six Nations at Fort Stanwix-Corn-planter and Red Jacket take opposite sides-Peace with the Six Nations-Dissatisfaction of the Indians-Of Thayendanecrea in particular-Letter of Brant to Colonel Monroe-Relinquishes his design of going then to England-Returns to Grand River-Differences of opinion with Sir John Johnson -Brant sails for England in the Autumn of 1785-His arrival-Glimpses of his ulterior designs-His distinguished reception-Enters upon the business of his mission-Letter to Lord Sidney-Speech of Brant to Lord Sidney-Letter of Lord Sidney in reply-Question of half-pay-Brant's Letter to Sir Evan Nepean -His associations with the great-Keen sarcasm upon a nobleman-Striking incident at a grand masquerade-Brant's attention to the moral wants of his people-His return to Canada._______ 237


Difficulties between Great Britain and the United States after the Treaty-Refusal of the former to surrender the western posts-Mission of Baron Steuben to Canada-Indications of fresh Indian hostilities -Movements of Captain Brant- Grand Indian Council at the Huron Village-Address to the United States-Let ter of the Secretary at War, General Knox, to Captain Brant-Letter of Sir John Johnson to Brant-Letter of Major Matthews to Brant, disclosing the views of Lord Dorchester respecting the retention of the western posts-Message from the Hurons to the Five Nations, proposing another grand Council-Preparations of General St. Clair for negotiating with the Indians- Brant begins to distrust them all-Letter of Brant to Patrick Langan, Sir John Johnson's Secretary- Letter of Brant to Sir John Johnson-Great Council at Miamis-Letter of Captain Brant to Patrick Langan-St. Clair's negotiations at Fort Harmar-The policy of dividing to conquer-Letter of Captain Brant to Major Matthews-Jealousies of Brant among the Indians-Council against him at Montreal--Letter to him from Major Matthews-Letter of Brant in reply-Letter to Colonel M'Donnell-Suspected plot against the English at Detroit, and Brant and his Mohawks, by the Hurons, Chippewas, and Pottawattamies-Letter to Brant from Sir John Johnson-Brant turns his attention to the cultivation of letters-Endeavors to obtain a stated Missionary-Resumes the preparation of Religious books-Letter from President Willard-John Norton-Land difficulties among the Indians in the state of New-York-Letter from Governor Clinton to Brant.____ 262


Continued troubles with the Indians-English emissaries in Kentucky-Mission of Antoine Gamelin-Preparations for war-Campaign of General Harmar- Successive defeats of Colonel Hardin-Conduct of the militia-Retreat of Harmar-Indian deputation to Lord Dorchester-Letter of Sir John Johnson-Colonel Gordon-Letter of Brant to Colonel M'Kee-Pacific views of Lord Dorchester-Renewed efforts of the United States to bring the Indians to peace-Interposition of Corn-planter-Mission of Corn-planter and Colonel Proctor-British officers wish a mediation-Letter of Colonel Gordon-Colonel Pickering holds an Indian Council at the Chemung-Red Jacket's course-Brant interferes-Indian Councils at Buffalo-Influence of Colonel John Butler and Brant-Mission of Colonel Proctor and Corn-planter frustrated-Important position of Brant-Correspondence between the Secretary of War and Governor Clinton-Colonel Pickering's Council with the Indians at Painted Post-Mission of Hendrick, the Stockbridge chief-Renewal of hostilities-Campaign of General St. Clair-His defeat -Thayendanegea among the Indian captains-The panic that followed-Clamor against St. Clair-His resignation-Wayne appointed his successor-Refusal of Colonel Willett to embark in an Indian war._____ 291


Preparations for an Indian Consultation at Philadelphia-Captain Brant invited to attend-His objections-Letter of the Rev. Mr. Kirkland to Captain Brant- Letter of the Secretary of War to the same-Letter of Colonel Gordon to the same-Letter of Captain Brant to the Secretary of War-The Secretary of War to Captain Brant-Attempts from Montreal to prevent Brant from going to Philadelphia-His journey-Feelings against him in the Mohawk Valley-His arrival at New-York and Philadelphia-Liberal offers made him-Letter to the Count de Puisy-The offers rejected-Undertakes a Mission of Peace to the Miamis- Returns to New-York-Pursued by a German from the German Flats bent on taking his life-Discovered in New-York-Brant returns to Niagara-Murder of Colonel Harden and Major Trueman-Letters of Brant to the Secretary at War-Feelings of the Western Nations-Correspondence between Brant and McKee-Great Indian Council at the Au Glaize-Sickness of Captain Brant -Hostilities deferred until Spring, and a treaty with the United States ordered- Return of the Delegates of the Six Nations-Address to President Washington -Separate organization of Upper Canada-Arrival of Governor Simcoe-Letter to Brant from the Duke of Northumberland-Preparations for the Great Council of 1783-Fresh dissatisfaction of the Indians-Private Councils-They send their ultimatum in anticipation-The American Commissioners depart for the Indian country-Their arrival at Niagara-Friendly conduct of Governor Simcoe -Celebration of the King's Birthday-The Commissioners start for the West- Their progress interrupted-Conduct of General Wayne-Brant suddenly returns from the West with a Deputation-Council held at Fort Erie-Commissioners return to Niagara-Council there-Speech of Captain Brant-Reply of the Commissioners-Speech of Cat's-Eyes-Rejoinder of Brant-Arrival of the Seven Nations-Brant proceeds to the Miami Rapids-Followed by the Commissioners-Arrival at the Detroit River-Their progress interrupted-Unexpected turn of affairs-Explanations with Deputies from the Great Council-Long Debates in the Indian Council-Brant speaks strongly for peace-Governor Simcoe declines advising the Indians-The negotiations suddenly terminated by the Indians-Their address-And sine qua non______318


Suspected duplicity of the British authorities-Conduct of Simon Girty-Disclosures upon the subject by Captain Brant-Council at Buffalo, and Indian report of the doings of the Great Congress-Speech of Captain Brant respecting the Miami council-Mission of General Chapin to Philadelphia, with the speech-Answer unsatisfactory to the Indians-Red Jacket-Indian council-Speech of Captain Brant in reply to the answer of the United States-Troubles thickening between the United States and Great Britain--Inflammatory speech of Lord Dorchester- Question of its authenticity settled-Conduct of Governor Simcoe-Indignation of President Washington-His letter to Mr. Jay-Speech of Captain Brant against holding a council at Venango-The design frustrated-Affairs farther in the West-Singular message from the distant Indians under the Spanish and French influence-Their speech-Operations of General Wayne-Encroachments of Pennsylvania upon the Indian lands-Indian council upon the subject- Address to General Washington-Important letter of Brant to Colonel Smith- Pennsylvania relinquishes Presque Isle-Defeat of Major M'Mahon near Fort Recovery-Indians repulsed in their attack upon the fort-Letter to Brant giving an account of the battle-Advance of Wayne to the Au Glaize and Miamis of the Lakes-Little Turtle apprised of his movements and strength by a deserter-The Chief determines to give battle-Wayne makes one more effort for peace-Failure of the attempt-Advance of Wayne to the Rapids-Position of the Indians-Battle and defeat of the Indians-Little Turtle opposed to the hazard of a battle- Opposed by Blue-Jacket and overruled-Tart correspondence between Wayne and Major Campbell-Destruction of Indian property by fire, and burning of Colonel M'Kee's establishment-Disappointment of the Indians that Major Campbell did not assist them-Letter of Governor Simcoe to Brant-Aggression at Sodus Bay-Simcoe and Brant repair to the West-Interfere to prevent a peace- Indian council-The hostiles negotiate with Wayne-Simcoe's address to the Wyandots-Division in their counsels-Brant retires displeased-Letter of apology from the Chiefs-The distant Indians become weary of the war. ___ Page 357


Thayendanegea in civil life-His activity-His efforts to accelerate the civilization of his people-Difficulties respecting the title to his lands-Successive Councils and Speeches-Governor Simcoe leaves the province-Captain Claus appointed to the Indian Agency-President Russell-Brant's Speeches asserting the absolute Independence and Nationality of his people-Letter to Sir John Johnson- Correspondence with Lord Dorchester-The Count de Puisy-Letter of Brant to Thomas Morris-Sharp correspondence with Sir John Johnson-The St. Regis and Caughnawaga Indians, and the State of New-York involved in the land controversy-Brant's difficulties with the Caughnawagas-Letter to Thomas Morris-Brant's visit to the Caughnawagas-Council-Satisfactory explanations -Fresh difficulties at home-Norton's Mission to England-Plots against the character of Brant-Alienation of some of his friends-Conspiracy to depose him -Red Jacket and Farmer's Brother active in the plot-Character of Red Jacket -Brant deposed by an illegal Council-Letter to the Duke of Northumberland- A legal Council convoked-Brant meets his accusers, and defends himself- Another Council-Speech of Brant-Acquitted of all charges against him- Council after the return of Norton from England-Proceedings of Red Jacket's Council nullified-Brant re-instated-Letter to the Duke of Northumberland- Letter of the Duke in reply-Last letter of Brant to the Duke. _____396


Exertions of Thayendanegea for the moral and social improvement of his people- His religious views-Efforts for the religious instruction of his people-Letter to Sir John Johnson upon the subject of obtaining a resident clergyman-Farther correspondence-Interview of Brant with the Bishop-Disappointment-Letter to the Chief Justice-Appeal of Brant to the Lord Bishop, but without success-Application to the American church-Letter to Colonel Burr-Succeeds in obtain-ing the ordination of Mr. Phelps-Estimate of Brant's character by the clergy- Letter of Rev. Dr. Mason-Rev. Elkanah Holmes-Letter of Brant to the Rev. Dr. Miller-Ardent spirits-Efforts of Brant to prevent their introduction-Letter to Sir John Johnson-Interposition of the women-Address of Brant in reply- Indian games and pastimes-National game of Cricket-Great game at Grand River, between the Senecas and Mohawks-Judge Woodruffs-visit to Brant's residence-Description of his person-Indian funerals-Respect for the dead- Estimate of women-Their influence-funeral speech of Seneca-George--Death of Mrs. Claus-Speech of condolence by Captain Brant-Captain Claus in reply -Brant's visit to New-York, Philadelphia, and Bartford, in 1797-Attentions to him in Philadelphia-Dinner party of Colonel Burr-Talleyrand and other distinguished guests-Letter of introduction from Colonel Burr to his daughter-Dinner party in his honor by Miss Theodosia-His manners described by Dr. Miller and by General Porter-Designs upon his life in the Mohawk country-The late John Wells-Striking incident in Albany-Anecdotes-Brant and General Gansevoort-Brant and Colonel Van Courtlandt- Reasons of Brant for taking up arms for the King-His reasonings in defence of the Indian mode of warfare. ________Page 430


Domestic relations of Brant-Account of his family-Bad character of his eldest son -His death by the hand of his father-Condolence of the Chiefs-Grief of the father at the event-Anxiety for the education of his sons-Proposed memorial to the Duke of Portland-Letter of Brant to Colonel Smith-Correspondence with the Wheelock family-Letter from Brant to James Wheelock-Two of his sons sent to school at Dartmouth-Various letters from and to the Wheelocks-correspondence upon other subjects-Reply to the questions, whether the Indians have beards-Letter from Bishop Peters-Views of Brant on imprisonment for debt- Tumuli-Opinion of Brant touching their origin-Indian tradition of white settlements cut off in a single night-Investigations of Samuel Woodruff-Brant's inquiries in Paris-The discoveries of the Northmen-Review of the life and character of Brant-His death. ______ 463


Account of the family of Brant subsequent to his death-Catharine Brant-The line of descent among the Mohawks-John Brant, the youngest son, appointed to the Chieftainship-The war of 1812-General Van Rensselaer on the Niagara frontier-Preparations for a descent upon Queenston Heights-First attempt frustrated-Arrangement for a second movement-Arrival of Lieutenant-colonel Scott on the line--His efforts to accompany the expedition-Landing of Colonel Soloman Van Rensselaer and his party-Intrepidity of the attack-Van Rensse- laer and others grievously wounded-Captain Wool carries the Heights-Advance of General Brock-His defeat and fall-Arrival of Lieutenant-colonel Scott, upon the Heights-Attack of the Indians-General Sheaffe advances from Niagara with reinforcements-Battle-The Americans driven down the Heights -Attempts of Scott to capitulate-His flag-bearers shot down-Determines to bear a flag himself-A young Indian leaps upon him like a tiger-His rescue- Interview with General Sheaffe-Capitulation-March to Niagara-Remarkable interview between Scott and two Indians at Niagara, the younger of whom was John Brant-Base poltroonry of the militia-Battle of the Beaver-dams-Close of young Brant's military life-Removes to the Brant House with his sister-Account of the family by Lieutenant Hall-Visit of the British Consul to the Brant House-Controversy of John Brant with Archdeacon Strachan-He visits England respecting the ancient land-title controversy-Succeeds with the ministers- Disappointed by the Colonial Government-Correspondence with Campbell respecting the memory of his father-Attention to the moral wants of his people- Correspondence respecting the Mohawk schools-Presentation of a silver cup- His election to the Provincial Parliament-Seat contested-Death by cholera-His character-Farther notices of the family-Description of his sister, and of his successor-Death of Catharine Brant-Conclusion. _____500


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