Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789


Portrait of Mohawk Indian Joseph Brant.
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon Joseph Thayendaneken, The Mohawk Chief.
Artist unknown.
Mixed method, in The London Magazine, July 1776.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-45500.

Joseph Brant [Thayendanegea] (1742-1807)

Mohawk Indian Thayendanegea, also known as Joseph Brant, was sent to a charity school at an early age. Chosen to serve as an interpreter to Native Americans for a British missionary, he was soon recommended to the British military during the French and Indian Wars, and was eventually made Secretary to the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs (1774).

During the Revolutionary War, Brant led successful attacks on colonists in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania. With the war's end, Brant served as a representative of the Mohawk people to the Continental Congress, and tried to get a fair land settlement for his people. Failing at this endeavor, Brant and his tribe moved to Canada, where they succeeded in obtaining a grant of land at the head of Lake Ontario.