What should we do with Disloyalty?

Blog Post 5- Victoria Myers

            Molly Brant- As a female Mohawk, It is in my religion and belief that there is a battle between good and evil. I am also the house wife and mother of nine of his children, to Sir William Johnson, a very successful official to the British Empire, who has helped the relationship his people and my people. The British empire has also finally been making law and regulation to help my people keep our land, faith, and lives. I am also the sister of Joseph Brant, who is a chief in the Iroquois, which made up of our tribe, the Mohawks, and the others, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, and Tuscarora. We are also the children of a past chief, Peter Tehonwaghkwangeraghkwa. I am a loyalist to the crown because of my family, background, and for my survival.

When I am asked the question of what we should do with disloyalty, I can not help but to think about the many occasions where the rebels have taken out their anger towards my people. The disrespect that was shown when the rebellion started taking lead was the signs of evil intent, and the mockery that was intensified. The fear of living in my own home and the feeling of unknown to what was going to happen to my family or I. Remembering moments of living in Sir Johnson home, Johnson Hall, and the people we use to court there. We would throw parties for Englishmen and Iroquois to come together, where they could meet and work on relations. Of course, there was always the sense of entitled and uptightness that the Englishmen had, but during those times there was a sense of hope and coming to an understanding to our people and theirs. Now flash forward a couple years when, Sir William has passed, and I moved with my family back to Canajoharie’s for a little while trying to live and run a shop, until we had to relocate up to a fort in upper New York, because it was too dangerous for us to stay. I fear what can happen to my and my Brother’s family especially now that my brother is going to stand and act as a Military Officer for the Iroquois and the Englishmen while I step in as an interpreter.

 The question of “What we should do with Disloyalties or rebels?”, is not a difficult question for me to answer. The pain and suffering that was put through my family because of the wants of the rebels is clear to me to be a sign of evil. I think that they should be punish by the highest price and be put to death. The rebels offend would hang loyalist to the crown, by trees and rope, they would also harm and torture. I believe they should be taken care of. My brother and I have no problem and no choice in serving the British empire, if the rebels are not stopped, I fear what could happen to my people and the lost we would have.


Independence!?! The colonies have won! The British have been defeated! Our world and political system is all about to change. The Brant family lives are about to take a turn in a way that they with it would not. How did they react and how did they deal with their whole world being turned upside down.

 As staunch loyalists, the Brant family is not thrilled about this change. My household member Sir John Johnson was the oldest son of Sir William Johnson from his first marriage, making him Molly Brant’s step-son. After his father’s death, he inherited his estates making him a wealthy landowner in New York. From the beginning of the Revolution, Sir John Johnson and the rest of the Brant family had been diligently loyal to the British Crown. Shortly after the start of the war, John conjured other supporters in their town of Johnstown to create a battalion to take on the colonials. His battalion soon became a core regiment known as the King’s Royal Regiment of New York. They played a significant role in rising against the colonials in New York. John was eventually sought after to be arrested which led to him and his family to flee north to Canada. Unfortunately, due to his loyalty all of his property in New York was taken from him after the war was over. Once the 1783 Treaty of Paris was signed, John was exiled for the rest of his life in Canada. Just like John, Molly and her family made there was up to Canada and remined there for the rest of their days. John eventually went into government while in Canada and maintained his loyalist until the end of his days.

            Much like his father William, John had an affinity for the Crown because of all they had done for his family. He fought alongside his father at Fort Niagara and joined the British Army the following year. After serving, the Crown treated them well for what they had done. During a tour of the British Isles, he gave a presentation to King George himself. An educated man, he wanted natural right and limited government. A lot of what had to do with remaining loyal to British rule was the thought that colonists were taking charge and changing the way of the lands that had been paved for them. Just like his father, John actively champion for Native American and Loyalist rights. There was perhaps a belief that the colonists were overruling the lands of the native tribes who had lived there for years in peace. While living in the Mohawk valley, and of course being a step-so to Molly, John developed a strong relationship with the Iroquois people and once he was in Canada maintained his duties in the “Indian Department”. 

 For the majority of Loyalists, they believed that violence was not the necessary answer and that independence would be a loss for the economic benefits that they had with Britain and their trade system. Being that the Brant family came from wealth, there is no surprise that they remained loyal as to try and secure themselves in society and not lose out on perhaps building more within their governmental system. 

            Molly and her brother Joseph had a strong loyalty to the King. Molly cared for loyalists throughout the war and aided in what she could. Joseph led loyalists who were known as “Brant’s Volunteers” against rebels who were betraying them. He also fled to Canada but made a trip to London and met with king George to discuss land discrepancies amongst the Mohawk in the colonies. His loyalty was for the benefit of the Mohawk people and for them to maintain their rightful land that he felt was being taken from them by rebels and the overall cause. Independence of the colonies would surely enhance that and makes things worse. 

            The Brant’s remained true loyalists even when independence was made. All exiled in Canada, they still made efforts to maintain British Civil Law. John regretted his exile from the Mohawk Valley but was still able to acquire large amounts of property in Montreal. He remained inContact with the British government overseas and all continued to thrive in gaining political stature as well as being vocal about the rights that they were owed and deserved. The Brant family may not have gotten the end result that they wanted for fought so hard for, but they remained the loyalists the claimed to be until the very end. 

Blog 3 – Top Down or Bottom Up? By: Nicholas Klar

     We should study the events of the Imperial Crisis from the perspective of those who ran the empire of course! Who else would know the problem better than those who are suffering from it the most? The British Empire was in the midst of an economic and militaristic crisis. While attempting to resolve the monetary problems caused by the previous war, the empire must now deal with multiple colonies coming closer and closer to an all-out denial of British authority. Two problems that would most accurately be depicted from the perspective of the empire. This is primarily because the North American colonies only saw half of the picture. They witnessed a corrupt empire attempting to tax the livelihood out of hardworking colonials because it could not afford to handle the debt of a war that no longer concerns the colonies. With acts and revisions being made in an attempt to “trick” the colonies into paying that tax, they only get angrier and angrier, all the while refusing to see the bigger picture, and why the taxes were being implemented to begin with. When viewing the crisis from the standpoint of the British Empire, the reason for the taxation is made clear along with the desperate situation they were faced with. Looking ahead to the conflict between the British and the North American colonists, it can actually be seen that the British were left with little choice but to contain the situation themselves. They simply could not afford to lose the colonies, the potential revenue they could provide, or the resources the colonies provided. It was a desperate situation that called for desperate measures. No matter which part of the crisis is observed, it is with the British that the larger picture is revealed, mostly free of bias and anger and more full of desperation and calculation.

     My household member, Sir William Johnson, would see himself as an asset to the British Empire within the colonies. He would likely view himself as an integral part of British Support in the colonies, and likely tasked himself with reclaiming order for the British while in the colonies. This is primarily due to everything the Empire provided for him in return for his service. While attempting to pry the colonies away from French forces, Johnson won several decisive battles, securing a British foothold in the lands and allowing the empire to colonize. Due to his service, Johnson was awarded with land, granting him a plentiful amount of wealth. With his military record in mind, along with the generous rewards he was gifted for his service, it would be easy to see that Johnson viewed the Empire as an entity that granted him everything he could have asked for. Wealth, power, and respect were his to enjoy thanks to the empire that granted it to him. Having received so much, he would likely see it as his duty to serve his homeland once more and calm the ferocity of the colonials as the crisis intensified and bring to the light the true intent of the British. His efforts would likely be out of both pride and loyalty to Great Britain, but while he would be committed to the British while believing his cause to be just, it would also be hard to argue that he was not biased or simply protecting his own interests. A man with of his station would likely have foreseen what would happen to everything he has should the British lose. He also could have feared that his properties would have been distributed to the colonies as they were given to him by the country the colonies were avidly fighting against. His attempts to secure British hold on the colonies just as likely been to secure his assets and ensure he and his future descendants would not suffer due to the selfishness of colonials who wanted what he had. His efforts could either be viewed as noble or selfish, more likely being noble but only the man himself could vouch for that side of the argument.

     I believe the other members of Johnson’s household would agree that their alignment belonged with the British. Johnson’s Native American wife, and the tribe she originated from, were on good terms with the colonials thanks to Johnson’s tireless efforts to maintain good relations between them and the British. His family was of British and Native American descent, but the Native Americans associated with Johnson were those with good relations with the British, thus it would likely that they would all support the British in their efforts.

Land or Taxes?

When looking at the lead up to the Revolutionary War, it is important to consider the perspective of Native Americans in the regions that had been affected by the Seven Years War. For them, the dispute was characterized by popular holdings to a governmental alliance that would be most beneficial to their self-preservation. The families of Molly and Joseph Brant are just two examples of the effect of the flames of war on Native families in America. Joseph Brant was Mohawk military and a political leader. Growing up, Joseph Brant and his family grew their own food and rented out their land to German Immigrants to farm upon. This was not only the way they were able to eat- but their source of income. Joseph Bryant had felt so strongly about the white colonizers and his ability to have land and maintain it that he joined the loyalist cause- he had convinced the Mohawk tribe, as well as the Cayugas, Onondagas, and Senecas to join him. Brant’s tribes were considered the barbarians to many colonists who fled from their raids to the coastal towns during the war, but in Brant’s eyes the colonists were invading his native homeland and the ever-growing encroachment of colonial settlers had led to a number of tense moments prior to the war, that was often exacerbated via violence. The Native Americans had their land stolen from them. The colonists refused to trade with them and provide supplies that they may not have access to themselves. Their people were threatened and families were destroyed. The war gave the Native Americans a powerful ally who could stand alongside them and reinforce their grievances: the British.

The British represented a powerful force, who had honoured its agreements with the Native tribes, and the war represented the perfect proxy to find reproach for the colonist’s transgressions. However, they lost. The Indian Tribes were suddenly on English soil, staring down land-hungry colonists who wished to further encroach upon their lands. The Crown, however, realized the tenuous nature of this situation and issued the Royal  Proclamation Line of 1763. This theoretical line, however, did little to deter the colonists from trying to settle in territory that the line had forbidden them from entering. But the Crown had at least tried, and when the flames of war did erupt into the Revolution, the Native tribes would remember the British attempt, and choose to side with those who had at least attempted to prevent the Colonists encroachment: fighting often as loyalists due to the threat of colonists as well as the promise of land and protection.

Land is incredibly important to cultural preservation- and the Native Americans realized this. As many assimilated into American culture- some wanted to keep their culture and their ways of living. Native Americans have emotional and spiritual connections to their lands. Having land to Native Americans means continuity and stability- a way to pass down their stories to children and grandchildren, and a way to honor their ancestors as well.  As the white colonists encroached upon their lands, they not only felt their lives were at stake, but their culture as well.

The Treaty of Paris (1783) ended the war, however, Britain and the United States ignored the sovereignty of the Indians and the Six Nation Lands were claimed by the United States. The promise to protect their land and grant them land had been a huge factor in Native Americans becoming loyalists. Brant’s postwar years were spent attempting to reconciliate for their lands being handed over. In 1784, The Treaty of Fort Stanwix was agreed upon and served as a peace treaty between the Iraquois and the Americans.

Situate Family

Blog 1- Situate Family by Victoria Myers     

Molly Brant’s household is located in Johnson Town, New York, in the county of present-day Futon. Molly Brant, who was one of the leaders in the Mohawk Tribe and stood as a mediator for the British and the Iroquois during the Revolutionary War. She lived in The Johnson Hall with Sir William Johnson. Sir Johnson was the first Baronet for the British, and also founded the town of Johnson in New York, where their home was located at. Johnson Town was a Rockland area on the southern border of the country. The Johnson/ Brant household lived a well-off life in Upper New York, in the colonized Mohawk area, as they served King Charles and remained Loyal to the crown.
After the passing of Sir Johnson’s first wife, Catherine Weisenberg, Molly Brant then moved into the Johnson Hall with Sir Johnson sometime in the year of 1759-1760. Although it is not clear if Molly and Johnson ever married, they lived with their eight or nine kids (the number is not exact). It is understood that Sir Johnson, refer to Molly as his consort or head housemaid. Their first born, Peter Johnson, was sent to Canada to study business. Johnson Hall was a Georgian style house built in 1763, the house was quite large, and Sir Johnson was actually known for being “The largest single landowner in the Colonial Mohawk Valley”. In the Johnson Hall, the household lived well off in Luxury for the 1700s, as Sir Johnson could provide for his many children and family. Sir Johnson and Molly Brant were well like, to their fellow men and would offend host parties and entertain guest in their home. Molly was also known around as a kind and giving Lady, as she would donate and share the wealth to the Mohawk tribe. The Indian Castle Church in Herkimer County, New York was made by the Brant and Johnson Household. Molly and her brother Joseph donated the land, and Sir William erected it in 1769.
In the year 1774, right on the eve of the Revolutionary War, Sir Johnson past away, and Molly Brant was pressure to leave the Johnson Hall who was inherited by Sir Johnson first son by his first wife, John Johnson. Molly Brant and her kids then moved backed, to Canajoharie, the family was left a little money, but they were not living as well off as they once were with Sir Johnson. Molly had grown up in Canajoharie, with her mother and her father, a Mohawk Tribal Chief, Peter Tehonwaghkwangeraghkwa. Canajoharie is a village in the town of Canajoharie, which was where the wolf clan of the Mohawk tribe settled. Canajoharie is located in Montgomery County, New York, it also had the nickname of “The Upper Castle” by the English Colonist. Molly’s Brother, Joseph Johnson, who was a military leader for the Mohawk, live in the village as well. Joseph had inherited almost 300 Arcs of land from his Step-dad, Nickus Brant.
When Molly and her family moved back, it sets the scene up for the Brants to play a crucial part for the British, in the Revolutionary War. Where both Joseph and Molly stayed true to the British and remained loyalist. Upper New York served as a good location for them because it was assessable to the Mohawk tribes and close to the British Forts.

Britannica, T. E. (2019, April 12). Mary Brant. Retrieved January 25, 2019, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mary-Brant
Huyck, H. (2017, April 02). Molly Brant. Retrieved January 25, 2019, from http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2008/12/molly-brant.html