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Paper Read at the Meeting of the Canadian Institute-Career of the Noted Indian

[Welland Tribune, 9 April 1897]

At the regular meeting of the Canadian Institute held on Saturday night in Toronto, a paper was read by E. Cruishank of Fort Erie, on the life of Joseph Brant. After commencing upon the inadequacy of Mr. Stone’s “Life of Brant,” due to the want of materials which have become accessible since its publication, the paper, which was almost entirely based on documents in the Canadian archives, described Brant’s career in considerable detail, from his birth in 1742 to the middle of the year 1779.

After receiving a fair education at a school in Lebanon, Conn., Brant was engaged as an interpreter in the Indian department at the age of twenty. He distinguished himself by his religious zeal, and was employed by Rev. John Stuart to translate part of the New Testament, the Catechism and a number of sermons into Mohawk. At the commencement of the American Revolution he accompanied Colonel Guy Johnson to Quebec and thence to England, as a representative of his tribe. He was presented to the king, his portrait was painted by Romney, and sketch of his life appeared in the London Magazine, at the instance of James Boswell. On their way back to America the vessel was attacked by a privateer, and Brant was afforded an opportunity of displaying his courage and skill as a marksman. He was present with the British forces at the battle of Long Island as a volunteer, and attracted the attention of Lord Percy. After remaining at New York for two months, he undertook to penetrate through the enemy’s lines to the Indian villages, accompanied by a single companion. He then went from village to village, inciting the Indians to combine against the Americans.  Brant took part in the siege of Fort Stanwix and battle of Oriskany, and subsequently joined General Burgoyne’s army on the Hudson. After the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga, he returned to Niagara, and organized a successful expedition against Schobarie. This was followed by similar enterprises directed against the German Flats, Cherry Valley and Minnesink, in all of which he took an active part and largely contributed to their success.

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