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Joseph Tayadaneega called the Brant, the Great Captain of the Six Nations

John Raphael Smith, George Romney1779

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery
Washington, D.C., United States

On the eve of the American Revolution, the Mohawk leader Thayendanegea (also known as Joseph Brant) visited England to request aid in settling land disputes with the American colonists. Educated at a Connecticut missionary school, Brant dazzled aristocratic admirers with his elegant manners and command of English. Artists painted his portrait, and George III presented Brant with the crescent-shaped silver plate (known as a gorget) shown hanging from his neck in this mezzotint. Back in America, Brant persuaded the Iroquois Confederacy to side with the British. Convinced that victory for the colonists meant disaster for Native Americans, he orchestrated devastating campaigns against rebel forces. Following Britain’s defeat, Brant settled more than 1,800 Indian Loyalists on the Grand River in Ontario, where he had been awarded 675,000 acres. His diplomatic efforts to protect Indian territories by creating a unified tribal confederacy ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Details

  • Title: Joseph Tayadaneega called the Brant, the Great Captain of the Six Nations
  • Creator: John Raphael Smith, George Romney
  • Date Created: 1779
  • Physical Dimensions: w35.5 x h50.7 cm (Image)
  • Type: Mezzotint on paper
  • Rights: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Charitable Trust, Amy and Marc Meadows, in honor of Wendy Wick Reaves
  • External Link: https://npg.si.edu/portraits
  • Classification: Print

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