Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

In Honor of Brant
From an old paper of undetermined origin, in group of papers from "The Mohawk Valley Democrat"

Note: The beginning of this article is not with the rest of the clipping.

....Canby had paid neither principal nor interest.

The township of Sherbrooke appears to have been given to Mr. Dickson, on his agreement to transact all necessary business of a professional character for the Indians.

15,000 acres comprised in the township of Pilkington, were sold to Captain Pilkington.

The commissioners reported: "Whether Captain Joseph Brant did or did not on all occasions execute the trust reposed in him faithfully towards the Indians the trustees are unable to judge, no evidence having been laid before them upon that subject: and it is indeed only right to observe that no improper conduct whatever has been imputed to him before the trustees; and they are therefore, bound to assume that he discharged his duty with due fidelity."

Until long after Brant's death, that is to say, until 1830, the entire area of what is now Brantford township remained in possession of the Six Nations Indians, but at that date the town plot of Brantford and the north part of the township were deeded away and further surrenders were made from time to time until the whole township was ceded and settled.

Brant the Patriot

Brant was to the day of his death, and Indian chief, owing his first duty to his kindred and his nation. He was ready to contest Indian rights with Governor Simcoe, Agent Claus or any other disputant. Nor were his sympathies confined to the Six Nations. For years he was active on behalf of the Indians west of the Detroit river, and only gave up the struggle when he became convinced that the cause could expect no assistance from Great Britain. It was Brant's proud boast that he had never taken pay for work done on behalf of the Indians. He also claimed that his loyal devotion to the British cause during the was of the Revolution was in fulfillment of the pledges given by his forefathers.

One of his biographers says that the interests of his people, which were ever uppermost in his mind while in the fulness of health and strength, seemed to be the foremost in his thought. "Have pity upon the poor Indians; if you can get any influence with the great, endeavor to do them all the good you can." With these sentiments paramount in his thoughts, Joseph Thayendanegea died. His remains were brought to the burying grounds which surround the old Mohawk church, (near Brantford in Canada) and there interred among those of many of his kindred.

Forty-three years passed away. The flight of time and the corroding hand of neglect were fast obliterating the little mounds of earth which marked the last resting place of Joseph Brant and his son and successor, John Brant. In the year 1850 the remains of the two chiefs were re-interred in one common vault. The Brantford Herald of Nov. 27th, 1850 said:

"On Monday last the remains of Thayendanegea, which had been previously exhumed, were placed in the tomb at the Mohawk that had been recently prepared for their reception. This was done with no small degree of pageantry. The vast multitude of people who had assembled from different quarters went in procession from the town of Brantford to the Mohawk village. Addresses were delivered by Rev. N. Nelles, Rev. P. Jones, Sir Allan McNab, D. Thorburn, Esq., and others, among whom was an American gentleman whose father had many years ago been most generously treated by Brant. After the speaking was concluded the interment took place, when three volleys were fired over the grave of the brave and faithful Indian soldier, Captain Joseph Brant."

In his address on that occasion Rev. Peter Jones said that Brant's adherence to Great Britain was strong and sincere; and in consequence of that attachment the Six Nations lost their extensive fertile country, now the garden of the State of New York. No one can dispute his bravery. In Indians language it may be said of him: "His eye was like the eagle's--his motions like arrows from the bow--his enemies fell before him as the trees before the blast of the Great Spirit." Brant was the principal means of the erection of this church, now the oldest in Canada, and procured the bell which has so often summoned the people to together to worship in his holy courts; and has tolled for hundreds of those whose bones now lie in that sacred yard. I am informed that it tolled when Brant died, 24 hours, I am happy to learn that our white friends have it in their hearts to erect a monument to the memory of the Indian brave, that succeeding generations may see and know the hero, after whom the town of Brantford is named."

Brant, The Gentleman

Mr. Stewart, denies that the family of Brant occupied a preeminent position in their village on the Mohawk River, and contends that Joseph's influence was acquired by this uncommon talents and addresses, his activity and his courage--possessing in point of stature and symmetry of person that advantage of most men even among his own well formed race--tall, erect and majestic,with the air an mien of one born to command--having, as it were, been a man of war since his boyhood--his name was a tower of strength among the warriors of the wilderness. Regarding his first visit to England in 1776 it has always been said that he was not only well received, but that his society was courted by men of rank and station--statesmen, scholars and divines. He had little of the ravage ferocity of his people in his countenance; and when as he ordinarily did, he wore the Indian dress, there was nothing besides his color to mark wherein he differed from other men. He was provided with a splendid costume after the manner of his own nation, in which he appeared at court.

On his second visit to England in 1785-86, he was received with even greater favor, for he had made the acquaintance of many officers of the army and other persons of prominence who vied with one another to do honor to Brant. Lord Dorchester, Earl Moira, General Stuart, the Duke of Northumberland, the Earl of Warwick, Charles Fox, the Bishop of London and the Prince of Wales were among his intimates. With King George III and the royal family he was a great favorite. Speaking of the people he met at the table of the Prince of Wales--Fox, Burke and Sheridan, and others of that splendid galaxy of eloquence and intelligence--Col. Stone says that, "though deficient in his literary acquisitions, Brant, with great strength of mind and shrewdness of observation, had moreover sufficient taste and cultivation to appreciate society, even of this elevated and intellectual character. The natural reserve of the Indian he could assume or throw off at pleasure and with a keen sense of the ludicrous he could himself use the weapons of humor and dexterity." Brant's method of impressing the Turkish diplomat who had allowed his curiosity to bet the better of his caution is too well known to require repetition.

Brant's Religion

About the time of Brant's second marriage 1772-3 he became the subject of serious religious impressions. He attached himself to the church, was a chastened and regular communicant at the celebration of the Eucharist: and from his serious deportment, and the anxiety he had ever manifested to civilize and Christianize his people, great hopes were entertained from his future exertions in that cause. No doubt has ever been entertained of his sincerity at that time: and it has been attributed tot he counteracting influences of the dreadful trade of war, in which it was his fortune afterward again so actively to become engaged, that those manifestations of Christian utility were effaced; entirely eradicated they were not as was shown at a subsequent stage of the career of this remarkable man. As far back as 1762, Rev. Charles J. Smith, missionary to the Mohawks, took Brant as an interpreter. Rev. Dr. Wheelock receiving a report from Rev. Mr. Kirkland that on account of the outbreak of the war; Mr. Smith was obliged to return, but Joseph tarried and went out with a company against the Indians and was useful in the war; in which he behaved so much like the Christian and the soldier that he gained great esteem; adding"he now lives in a decent manner, and endeavors to teach his poor brethren the things of God, in which his own heart seems much engaged. His house is an asylum for the missionaries in that wilderness." (Joseph Brant's house was located at Indian Castle.)

Brant assisted in translating the prayer book and portions of the Scriptures into the Mohawk language, and after he came to reside in Canada his efforts for the moral and religious improvement of his people were indefatigable. One of his first stipulations which the commander in chief, on the acquisition of his new territory was for the building of a church, a school house and a flouring mill and he soon made application for a resident clergyman. It is no less interesting than true that the first Episcopal church erected in Upper Canada was built by Brant, from funds collected by him while in England in 1786. The communion service is of beaten silver, each piece bearing an inscription stating it to have been given to the Mohawks for the use of their chapel by Queen Anne. The church bell was made by John Warner, Fleet street, London, 1786. Brant died in Wellington Square (now Burlington) on Nov. 24 1807 at the age of 64, and his remains were interred by the side of the Mohawk church on the Grand river. Not far away is the institute for the education of Indian children, maintained by the New England company, which was originally constituted a corporation under the name of "The President and Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England" by and ordinance issued in 1649. It was this Company which supported various missionary undertakings in New England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, until interrupted by the war between Britain and her colonies. The operations of the Company have since been carried on in what is now the Dominion of Canada.

The Man Brant

As a warrior, Brant was cautious, sagacious and brave; watching with sleepless vigilance for opportunities of action, and allowing neither dangers nor difficulties to divert him from his well settled purposes. His constitution was hardy, his capacity of endurance great; his energy untiring and his firm (The article is not complete and ends here.)

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