Grand River Branch

United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada

 

 

 

 


Selected Reprints from the

Grand River Branch Newsletter, Branches



"The Sacred Tomb of Loyalist Joseph Brant

and His Youngest Son, John"

Angela E.M. Files, May 1998, Vol.10 No.1, Pages 5-6

 


 

    At the left side of the burial grounds beside the Mohawk Chapel, stands the impressive stone tomb of Chief Joseph Brant and his youngest son, John.  On November 24, 1807,  Chief Joseph Brant died at his home at Wellington Square (next to the present Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington, Ontario).  In 1850, a relay of Natives carried the bones of Joseph Brant to his final resting place beside the Mohawk Chapel, Brantford.

  Chief John Brant, son of Chief Joseph, was born on September 27, 1794.  At 38 years of age, he died of the dreadful disease, cholera.  His remains were placed beside his father's in the tomb.

  The two inscriptions on the tomb reads as follows:

Thayendanegea, or Captain Joseph Brant, Principal Chief and Warrior of the Six Nations, born on the banks of the Ohio River 1742, died at Wellington Square, Upper Canada, 1807

Ahyouyaighs or Captain John Brant who succeeded his father, Tekarihgged, and distinguished himself in the War of 1812-14, born at the Mohawk Village, Upper Canada 1794, died at Mohawk Village in 1832.

  The tomb was erected in 1850 by their fellow subjects, admirers of their fidelity to the British Crown.  Attached to the fence around the tomb is an iron plaque which reads as follows:

This Tree was planted at the Foot

of Joseph Brant's Tomb

By HRH The Prince of Wales

On his visit to the Mohawks

October 20, 1917

Brant Chapter

Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire

  Nearby a simple memorial stone reads:

To the Blessed Memory of

My Beloved

Great Great Grandmother

Catherine Brant

Wife of Joseph Brant

Thayendanegea

Who Departed This Life

  1832

The Evening Sun Has Gone

Down on the Gracious Lady

of the Brant House

erected by Solomon Lewis

  In the past years, royal visitors and commoners have paid their respects to the Brant tomb; today many sojourn to the site and reflect upon the Loyalist settlements along the Grand River.

  Some of the lettering is fading on both the tomb and plaque, so it is a good idea to preserve the information in our Loyalist newsletter.



" Thirty years ago [1850], the wooden vault in which Brant's remains and those of his son John were interred had become dilapidated.  The Six Nations resolved upon constructing a new one of stone, and re-interring the remains.  Brant was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity in his day, and the various Masonic lodges throughout the neighbourhood lent their aid to the Indians in their undertaking.  The project was finally carried out on the twenty-seventh of November, 1850.  There was an immense gathering at Mohawk village on the occasion, which is generally referred to as “Brant's second funeral.”  The Indians and whites vied with each other in doing honour to the memory of the departed chief.  The remains were interred in a more spacious vault, over which a plain granite tomb was raised.  The slab which covers the aperture contains the following inscription:

This Tomb
Is erected to the memory of
THAYENDANEGEA, or
CAPT. JOSEPH BRANT,
Principal Chief and
Warrior of
The Six Nations Indians,
By his Fellow Subjects,
Admirers of his Fidelity and
Attachment to the
British Crown.
Born on the Banks of the
Ohio River, 1742, died at
Wellington Square, U.C., 1807.

It also contains the remains
Of his son Ahyouwaighs, or
CAPT. JOHN BRANT,
who succeeded his father as
TEKARIHOGEA,
And distinguished himself
In the war of 1812-15
Born at the Mohawk Village, U.C., 1794;
Died at the same place, 1832.
Erected 1850.



This sketch would be incomplete without some allusion to the project which was set in motion about six years ago, having for its object the erection of a suitable monument to the great Chief's memory.  On the 25th of August, 1874, His Excellency, Lord Dufferin, in response to an invitation from the Six Nations, paid them a visit at their Council House, in the township of Tuscarora, a few miles below Brantford.  He was entertained by the chiefs and warriors, who submitted to him, for transmission to England, an address to His Royal Highness Prince Arthur, who was enrolled an Honorary Chief of the Confederacy on the occasion of his visit to Canada in 1869.  The address, after referring to Brant's many and important services to the British Crown, expressed the anxious desire of his people to see a fitting monument erected to his memory.  Lord Dufferin transmitted the address, and received Prince Arthur's assurances of his approval of, and good will towards, the undertaking.  A committee, consisting of many of the leading officials and residents of the Dominion, was at once formed, and a subscription list was opened at the Bank of British North America, at Brantford.  A good many contributions have since come in, but the fund is still insufficient to enable the committee to carry out their project in a fitting manner.  We have referred to the fact that no village is now in existence at Mohawk.  The Indians have deserted the neighbourhood and taken up their quarters elsewhere.  Brant's tomb by the old church, being in an out-of-the-way spot, remote from the haunts of men, has fallen a prey to the sacrilegious hands of tourists and others, who have shamefully mutilated it by repeated chippings of fragments which have been carried away as relics.  It is proposed to place the new monument in the centre of Victoria Park, opposite the Court House, in Brantford, where it will be under the surveillance of the local authorities, and where there will be no danger of mutilation.  That Brant's memory deserves such a tribute is a matter as to which there can be no difference of opinion, and the undertaking is one that deserves the hearty support of the Canadian people.  We owe a heavy debt to the Indians; heavier than we are likely to pay.  It does not reflect credit upon our national sense of gratitude that no fitting monument marks our appreciation of the services of those two great Indians, Brant and Tecumseh. "

Source:      

Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1

                      by John Charles Dent

                            ISBN: 1414273401

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext06/8cnn110.txt


HM Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, Brantford

Joseph and John Brant tomb is to the right side of the church.