Betrayal and Compensation
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Joseph Brant
Betrayal and Compensation
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Betrayal and Compensation
Betrayal and Compensation
In 1783 with the Treaty of Paris, Britain finally recognized the independence that America had declared seven years earlier.
Joseph Brant, a Mohawk chief, was Britain's key Indian ally during the American Revolution. (As portrayed by Eric Schweig in Canada: A People's History)
Joseph Brant, a Mohawk chief, was Britain's key Indian ally during the American Revolution. (As portrayed by Eric Schweig in Canada: A People's History)
But the Indians were not even mentioned in the treaty. Joseph Brant felt that England had sold the Indians to Congress.

"[Given] what friendship we had shown to the English," he wrote to Lord Sydney, secretary of state for the Home Office of the British Government. "And being conscious of the active part... we have taken in their favour in every dispute they have had with their enemies, we were struck with astonishment at hearing we were forgot in the treaty. We could not believe it possible such firm friends and allies could be so neglected by a nation remarkable for its honour and glory whom we had served with so much zeal and fidelity."

The Six Nations had effectively been destroyed as a political and military force, but there was concern in Britain that they might rally to avenge their shabby treatment.
Brant and 1,800 Iroquois who had joined him in supporting the British resettled north of Lake Erie in autumn 1784. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
Brant and 1,800 Iroquois who had joined him in supporting the British resettled north of Lake Erie in autumn 1784. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
As compensation, 675,000 acres in the country north of Lake Erie was granted to them.

Brant and 1,800 followers settled along the Grand River in the fall of 1784. He had a vast home with several slaves and servants and favoured fine European clothes.

In 1792 American president George Washington sought Brant's help to arrange a "peace with the Ohio Indians." Instead, Brant visited the Indians and encouraged war.

He returned to London, again meeting with the King, seeking compensation for Mohawk losses during the War of Independence. He also got money to build the first Episcopal Church in Upper Canada.
But he refused to kneel to the king. "I bow to no man," Brant said, "for I am considered a prince among my own people. But I will gladly shake your hand."

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