John Brant (Mohawk leader)

John Brant or Ahyonwaeghs (September 27, 1794 – August 27, 1832) was a Mohawk chief and government official in Upper Canada.

Brant was born near the current site of Brantford, Ontario, the son of Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea) and Catharine Croghan Brant (Adonwentishon). His father Joseph was a Mohawk chief who became famous during the American Revolutionary War. His mother Catharine was from an important Mohawk lineage: while her father was the Irish trader George Croghan, her mother was the sister of Johannes Tekarihoga, one of the hereditary Mohawk civil leaders (or sachems). Because the Mohawks were a matrilineal society, the title "Tekarihoga" did not pass from father to son. Instead, the women in the family selected the next Tekarihoga from their male relatives. As Clan Mother, Catharine Brant would name Johannes Tekarihoga's successor. At a young age, her son John became an obvious candidate for the next Tekarihoga.

The family moved near Burlington Bay in 1802. John Brant studied at Ancaster and Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake). In the War of 1812, Brant and John Norton led native warriors to stop an American attack at the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812. He was made a lieutenant in the Indian Department and was involved in several battles throughout the war.

He helped his uncle try to get a formal deed for grant of land along the Grand River called the Haldimand Proclamation to the Six Nations. In 1821, he went to England with Robert Johnson Kerr after Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland informed them that they had no title to the northern part of the grant. Despite their efforts, the government of the colony managed to retain control over the sale of native lands in the area. Brant encouraged the building of schools for his people. In 1828, he was appointed resident superintendent for the Six Nations of the Grand River. In 1830, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada for Haldimand. He was the first Indian to sit in Upper Canada's parliament as a lawmaker. But a year later, his right to hold the seat was questioned as he did not own the amount of property required under the law at the time to sit in the Assembly, and he was thrown out of office. John Warren was declared elected. [1]

In about 1830 his mother Catharine named him as the next Tekarihoga, succeeding his recently deceased uncle Henry Tekarihoga. Brant held the office for only a short time; he died in 1832 near Brantford, a victim of a cholera pandemic.

John Brant
Ahyouwaighs, Chief of the Six Nations. (15247213164)
Mohawk leader
Personal details
BornSeptember 27, 1794
Near today's Brantford, Ontario
DiedAugust 27, 1832 (aged 37)
Near Brantford, Ontario
Cause of deathCholera
RelationsUncle, Johannes Tekarihoga
ParentsJoseph Brant (Thayendanegea), Catharine Croghan Brant (Adonwentishon)
Known forFirst Indian lawmaker in Upper Canada's parliament; fought in Battle of Queenston Heights, encouraged school construction, resident superintendent, Six Nations of the Grand River


  1. ^ Peter Jones (1860). Life and Journals of Kahkewaquonaby (Rev. Peter Jones,) Wesleyan Missionary. Toronto: Anson Green. p. 292.; Lefroy, On the Probable Number of the Native Population of British North America, 1853, p. 13
  • Kelsay, Isabel Thompson. Joseph Brant, 1743–1807, Man of Two Worlds. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1984. ISBN 0-8156-0182-4 (hardback); ISBN 0-8156-0208-1 (1986 paperback).
  • Kelsay, Isabel T. (1987). "Tekarihogen". In Halpenny, Francess G. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. VI (1821–1835) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.

Brantford (2016 population 97,496; CMA population 134,203) is a city in southwestern Ontario, Canada, founded on the Grand River. It is surrounded by Brant County, but is politically separate with a municipal government of its own that is fully independent of the county's municipal government.Brantford is named after Joseph Brant, an important Mohawk chief during the American Revolutionary War and later, who led his people in their first decades in Upper Canada. Many of his descendants, and other First Nations citizens, live on the nearby Reserve of Six Nations of the Grand River, 20 kilometers from Brantford; it is the most populous reserve in Canada. Brantford is often known as the "Telephone City". The city's famous resident, Alexander Graham Bell, invented the device at his father's homestead, Melville House, now the Bell Homestead.

County of Brant

The County of Brant (2016 population 36,707) is a single-tier municipality in the Canadian province of Ontario. Despite its name, it is no longer a county by definition, as all municipal services are handled by a single level of government. The county has service offices in Burford, Paris and St. George.

It is a predominantly rural municipality in Southern Ontario. The largest population centre (2016 population, 12,310) is Paris. The County is bordered by North Dumfries township, the City of Hamilton, Haldimand County, Norfolk County, and the townships of Blandford-Blenheim and Norwich. The County abuts the provincially-mandated Greenbelt (Golden Horseshoe).

Although the city of Brantford appears geographically to be located in the County, it is a fully independent city with its own municipal government. The Brant census division, which includes Brantford and the Six Nations and New Credit reserves, along with the County of Brant, had a population of 134,808 in the 2016 census.

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