by A Roy Petrie
Joseph Brant, the greatest Iroquois leader, was a powerful organizer of his own people and a loyal ally of the British colonial forces. Born in 1742, Brant gained his first battle experience at the age of thirteen, in the wars against the French. His loyalty to the British continued and by 1757 he had earned a commission as captain.
It was Brant who encouraged the Six Nations Confederacy to ally with the British against the French, and then against the rebelling American colonists. With the retreat of the British after the revolution, Brant and his people were forced to emigrate to a tract of land along the Grand River in Upper Canada. Here Brant began a new struggle against colonial domination and restrictive land regulations which was to continue until his death.
The biography presents Brant’s story as a focus for a broader issues of the time: the converging of two very different cultures, the expansion of settlement in the New World, and the violent struggles for colonial power.