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Joseph Brant
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    (March 1743-November 24, 1807)
    Born in Ohio
    Birth name was Thayendegea
    Mohawk political and military leader
    Named war chief and primary spokesperson for the Mohawks (1772)
    Led Brant’s Volunteers, a group of pro-British Indians and Loyalist settlers during the American Revolution
    Settled in Ontario after the Revolution
    He rose to power partly because his sister was the consort of William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in New York.
    He was nicknamed ‘Monster Brant’ by American colonists who accused him of perpetrating the massacres at Wyoming Valley (July, 1778) and Cherry Valley (November, 1778).
    He conspired with Aaron Burr and New York Governor George Clinton to overthrow British rule in Ontario and annex the province to the US (1800-02).
    He owned slaves.
    He was not present at the Wyoming Valley massacre.
    At Cherry Valley, he tried to prevent non-combatants from being killed but was ignored by a contingent of Seneca Indians.
    While the American colonists labeled Indian attacks on their settlements ‘massacres,’ they viewed their own destruction of Indian villages as a normal part of war.
    At the end of the American Revolution, he was sold out by the British.
    He was probably the best-known Native American of his day.
    During his travels, he met both King George III and George Washington.
    The Americans were so fearful of the possibility that he could unite and lead the tribes living in the Northwest Territories that George Washington told Henry Knox to ‘buy Captain Brant off at almost any price.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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