National Geographic : 1947 Jul
Drums toDynamos ontheMohawk Catherine became Johnson's housekeeper, and later his wife, bore him a son and two daughters, and died at 25. The son became Sir John Johnson, who fled to Canada earlyin the Revolution and led raids on the Valley. To the Indians Sir William was a combi nation of ambassador, father confessor, and Santa Claus. His gifts - and an Irish gift of the tongue-kept the Iroquois off the necks of the English, and ac tually fighting on their side when needed, throughout Sir Wil liam's lifetime. When he finally collapsed of apoplexy in the midst of a long speech to complaining tribesmen at Johnstown in 1774, his last words were an appeal to Joseph Brant to control his people. One Brant Burned, Another Builds Though schooled in the white man's ways, Brant was a Mohawk above all. Sick at heart, his depleted peo-ADescendant of pie had taken to star- InMohawk costume ing into the fire as set- great-great-granddaughl tiers took their huntingBrant, Indian wife ofS andtra smansion stillstanding grounds and tradersand research worker debauched them with Chalmers, 2d,ofAmst rum. Brant roused novel, West totheSett, them for one last fight. Taking his Mohawks toCanada and stir ring up other Iroquois tribes, heraided the Valley again and again with anunswerving twofold purpose: todestroy thefarms and crops of the Mohawkand Schoharie Valleys, vital granaries for Washington's armies, and to drive the whites from theMohawk home land (page 92). "Brant's in the Valley!" Half a dozen generations agothat shouted news was enough to prickle thescalp ofthe bravest settler alongthe Mohawk. Men snatched up musket and powderhorn; warn ing guns boomed from thelittle stone forts; Joseph Brant Enters Historic Johnson Hall ,Mrs. Ethel Brant Monture, ofRochester, New York, terofthechief, seems thereincarnation ofMolly irWilliam Johnson, who presided atthestately baronial inelm-shaded, historic Johnstown. Lecturer, teacher, inbiology, Mrs. Monture collaborated with Harvey erdam, inwriting therecent Joseph Brant biographical ingSun. and theluckier families fled forthestockades ajump ortwo ahead ofBrant's tomahawk swinging, torch-bearing redskins and "blue eyed Indians"-nearly naked, war-painted white Tory renegades. Today Joseph Brant isapeaceful contractor living inGloversville. Direct descendant ofthedreaded warrior, hebuilds houses where hisancestor burned them. Hecame here from Canada, where theBritish gave theMohawks land fortheir help intheRevolution. Did any inner compulsion draw this new Joseph Brant back tohisancestral valley? Not that heknows orwill admit.