Overview of Chapter Six
Captain John Deserontyon

Captain John Deserontyon was among the leaders who stood in opposition to the Patriots during the American Revolutionary. The Johnsons, Sir William and his son John, and the Brants, Joseph and his older sister Molly, relied heavily on Deserontyon as they knew him to be predictable and brave. He alerted Sir John Johnson and his tenant farmers to the approach of the Continental Army in 1777 and six years later led a stealth party from Canada into New York to retrieve vital pieces of Mohawk provenance. After the war he settled the Tyendinaga territory near the aptly named town of Deseronto just to the north of Lake Ontario.


Despite the dangers to Loyalists in New York in 1783, a Mohawk party descended stealthily from Canada on a secret mission: to recover the Queen Anne silver that been secretly hidden from Patriots who attacked Fort Hunter during the height of the Revolutionary. The silver had been given to four native ‘kings’ who had traveled to London to meet with the British sovereign in 1710. It had been passed down through several tribal generations as a symbol of the Church of England’s devotion to the Mohawk nation.

Decades later in 1777, the natives buried their treasure in the Mohawk River Valley prior to making their escape to Canada. Leading the secret mission to retrieve it was a youthful veteran of the British army, Captain John Deserontyon.