Grand River Branch

United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada

 

 

 

 


Selected Reprints from the

Grand River Branch Newsletter, Branches



 

"The Joseph Brant Monument in Brantford"

Angela E.M. Files, August 1997, Vol.9 No.2, Page 4

 


 

   Located in Victoria Park in the heart of Brantford is an impressive monument erected in 1886, commemorating Chief Joseph Brant, the faithful friend and loyal ally of the British Crown during the American Revolution.  The cornerstone for the memorial was laid at the ceremonies on 11 August, 1886 by Chief Ka-non-Kwe-Yo-Te.

  The unveiling of the Brant Memorial on 11 August, 1886, drew visitors from other parts of Canada and the United States.  The crowd may have exceeded 20,000.  The Six Nations had originally donated $5000 to the monument.  Present at the ceremony was the Lieutenant-Governor J. B. Robinson and the sculptor, Percy Wood.  The British government had donated brass cannons which were used in the representations of Brant and the Native figures depicted at the sides.  Pauline Johnson, the Mohawk poet was also present and listened as one of the participants, Ignatius Cockshutt, read her poem "Ode to Brant".

  The event began with a procession to Victoria Park.  Chief William Wage led the parade followed by the North West Chiefs and Six Nations' Wariors in full war dress.  The procession was marshalled by E. L. Goold, C. S. Bunnell, John McCann, C. M. Nelles and Allen Johnson.

  When the parade reached the park, the huge crowd had already gathered.  The proceedings were opened by the singing of the old 100th Psalm and a prayer by the Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Dr. Cochrane.  Addresses were delivered by various guests.  The memorial was unveiled when the large Union Jacks covering the bronze figures were removed and a loud cheer arose from the gathered crowd.  The Chiefs responded with an unanticipated war dance!  The celebrations concluded with a torchlight recession and a banquet.  Our ancestors valued the preservation of Native and Loyalist heritage.  the Brant Memorial is a significant reminder of our Upper Canadian heritage.