Overview of Chapter Two
Captain Joseph Brant

Joseph Brant had the mind of a statesman and the soul of a warrior and had the British prevailed, New York might have remained his homeland. Instead, he wreaked ferocity upon it within America and brought vengeance down on it from Canada. After the war, he settled the town of Brantford in what is now Ontario and ironically was later called upon by George Washington to advise on matters relating the natives of the American northwest.


Joseph Brant’s Mohawk name of Thayendanegen translated as “he who binds two sticks together” and corresponded with his dream for the Iroquois Confederacy to live in peace and equality with whites. It implied that his calling card was diplomacy to British, French and American whites, just as it was with the other Indian nations of the confederacy—the Senecas, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and (later) Tuscaroras.

But Brant’s name had a more ominous duality: he negotiated with those he could and waged war against those he couldn’t. The only exception among the whites was the British, for they had raised and educated him to be loyal, learned, and gallant.