25 September

Joseph Brant (1742-1807)

Allen Taken Prisoner

Among the great Indian chiefs who fought for the British was Joseph Brant, whose name is commemorated in a number of places in Canada, notably Brantford, Ontario. His dedication to the British cause came about through a spectacular development.

Early in the American Revolutionary War, General Washington sent a column under Benedict Arnold to capture Quebec, while another under General Montgomery moved against Montreal. One of Montgomery's officers was Ethan Allen, who led the Green Mountain Boys from New Hampshire.

Allen was impetuous and would not wait for Montgomery's campaign to develop. Instead he made a sweep against Montreal with his own Green Mountain Boys. They arrived at a point across the river from Montreal and sent a message to the city demanding that it surrender at once. A loyal force led by Major Cardin, who had been one of Wolfe's officers, crossed the river and engaged Allen at Long

Point. There was sharp fighting on September 25, 1775, in which Cardin was killed, but Allen and eighty of his mountain boys had to surrender. They were taken to Montreal and Allen was shipped to Britain where he spent two years in prison.

Aboard the same ship was Joseph Brant, a young Mohawk chief, who was invited to visit England by the British garrison in Montreal. In Britain, Brant was treated as though he were royalty. He was the honoured guest in every drawing room of society. His portrait was painted by Romney, one of the great artists of the day. The famous biographer, Boswell, became one of his friends. He was given a remarkable gun for the age; it could fire fifteen shots from a single loading!

When Brant returned to his own country in 1776, he was convinced that no nation could defeat the British, even though the Americans had captured Montreal while he was away. The Mohawks, members of the Iroquois nations, fought loyally with the British, although it was a losing cause.


25 September

-1726    Acadians signed a British oath of allegiance, on condition that they did not have to fight against the French.

-1759    The ship Tilbury of St. Esprit was lost off Cape Breton with 200 lives.

-1872    The Interoceanic Company was organized for the construction of the C.P.R.

-1888    Ottawa Exhibition opened for the first time.

-1911    Conservative leader Sir Robert Borden was drawn through . the streets of Ottawa after winning the reciprocity election (see September 21).

-1950    A federal-provincial conference was held in Quebec City.

-1956    The first three-way telephone service was opened between Ottawa, London and New York.