• 1 Joseph Brant

    Joseph Brant, or Thayendanegea, was a prominent Mohawk war chief, scholar and statesman. Brant was born near Akron, Ohio. By the outbreak of the American Revolution, he was living in the Mohawk Valley in what is now New York State. He and many other Iroquois supported the British during the Revolution and, after the war, he led a group of nearly 2,000 Iroquois to a tract of land on the Grand River in Upper Canada. At Brant’s request a chapel was built there in 1785 to serve the community’s Anglican population. Known as the Mohawk Chapel, it is the oldest surviving church in Ontario. Brant himself was a devout Christian. As a young man, he was sent to the Indian Charity School (a forerunner to Dartmouth College) in Connecticut, where he received a religious education. Throughout his life, Brant befriended missionaries, evangelized among First Nations groups and translated hymns, catechism, Anglican liturgy and portions of the Gospels into the Mohawk language. For years, he worked unsuccessfully to procure a regular pastor for the Mohawk Chapel. On his death, Brant was buried in Burlington, Ontario. In 1850, his remains were moved to a tomb at the Mohawk Chapel.

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