For nearly a decade, he acted as an interpreter for Johnson and his successor in the British Indian Dept, Guy Johnson; aided missionaries in teaching Christianity to the Aboriginal people, and helped translate religious materials into Mohawk. With the outbreak of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, Brant immediately rallied to the royal cause and visited England in
On his return Brant fought throughout the war with an Aboriginal-Loyalist band. He was greatly admired as a soldier and was commissioned a captain by the British in 1780, but fought as a war chief. Beginning in 1783 and through the mid-1790s Brant worked to form a united confederation of Iroquois and western Aboriginal peoples in order to block American expansion westward. His dream ultimately was undermined by factionalist jealousies among the FIRST NATIONS, by American opposition, and finally by British betrayal.
About 1779 Brant married Catharine, a Mohawk from a prominent family. In May 1784, following the war, Brant led the Mohawk LOYALISTS and other Aboriginal peoples to a large tract of land on the Grand River [Ont] granted them in compensation for their losses in the war. Convinced that Aboriginal people would have to learn white agriculture to survive and thinking that the tract was too small for hunting, Brant wanted to lease or sell land to whites, which would provide an income as well. A complicated controversy with the government over the nature of Aboriginal land tenure then arose; at the same time there was discontent among some of the Grand River Aboriginal people over disposition of the money. In his later years Brant lived quietly in his magnificent house at Burlington Bay in an English style and translated parts of the Bible into Mohawk.
Author ROBERT S. ALLEN
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge
The website for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge, which features Canada's largest essay writing competition for Aboriginal youth (ages 14-29) and a companion program for those who prefer to work through painting, drawing and photography. See their guidelines, teacher resources, profiles of winners, and more. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
The website for the Galafilm documentary series "CHIEFS," which is devoted to the life stories of First Nations leaders, including Sitting Bull, Pontiac, Joseph Brant, Black Hawk, and Poundmaker.
Joseph Brant Museum
A brief profile of Joseph Brant from the Joseph Brant Museum in Burlington, Ontario.
This Ottawa memorial honours fourteen valiant men and women who gave outstanding wartime service to Canada.
Four Directions Teachings
Elders and traditional teachers representing the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi’kmaq share teachings about their history and culture. Animated graphics visualize each of the oral teachings. This website also provides biographies of participants, transcripts, and an extensive array of learning resources for students and their teachers. In English with French subtitles.
This series is the saga of five great First Nations chiefs -- Sitting Bull, Pontiac, Joseph Brant, Black Hawk and Poundmaker. Their stories form a central drama of the history of the North American continent. Features still photos and video clips. A National Film Board website.
Face to Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall
"Face to Face" features outstanding Canadians whose ideas and contributions have transformed this country. Click on the photos in "Meet the Personalities" to see their biographies. From the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
See page 7 for a brief profile of Joseph Brant in this digitized copy of "A genealogy of the Brant family from Ontarian families." From openlibrary.org.
See page 51 for a portrait of Red Jacket. Also includes an account of the tenuous relations between Iroquois leaders and British and American officials in the 18th century. From the New York State Museum.