Mohawk Nation

Variant name:

Mohawke; Mohauk; Mohocks; Mohoaks; Indians of Kanajohare

Address:

Canajoharie, New York; Grand River, Canada; Kahnawake, Canada

Description:

The Mohawk Nation is one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. As the “eastern door” of the Confederacy, or easternmost Haudenosaunee nation, the Mohawks were perceived throughout the colonial period as a gateway to wider alliances, trade, and religious influence with the Six Nations as a whole. Thus, they received heavy missionary attention from Jesuits, Anglicans, and Congregationalists as early as the 17th century. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the Mohawks and Six Nations more generally were a point of heated competition between Britain and France, as well as between Protestant Christian sects. Wheelock sent several missionaries and schoolmasters to the Mohawks between 1765 and 1767, including Theophilus Chamberlain (Anglo-American), Hezekiah Calvin (Delaware), Abraham Major and Minor (Mohawks), Peter (Mohawk), Moses (Mohawk), and Johannes (Mohawk). The two main towns or "castles" that the mission was based at were Canajoharie and Fort Hunter. Two of the most important figures in Mohawk history as it pertains to Moor’s Indian Charity School were Sir William Johnson and Joseph Brant. Sir William Johnson was the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Northeast, one of the most powerful men in British North America. He married into the Mohawk Tribe and had substantial influence among the Six Nations. Initially he supported Wheelock’s missionary project, but by 1769 he was endorsing Anglican missionaries instead. Joseph Brant was Sir William Johnson’s brother-in-law. He was the first of 19 Mohawk students at Moor’s, where he studied from 1761-1763. Although his time at the school was short, Brant entertained a deep affection for it. He went on to be an influential Mohawk war chief and may have protected Dartmouth College from raids during the Revolution. The Revolution fractured the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, with some tribes siding with the colonists and others with the British. The Mohawks sided with the British, and many of them, Joseph Brant included, relocated to the Grand River Reserve in Canada after the war. There was also a substantial Mohawk settlement established by 1700 at Kahnawake in New France (Canada), which hosted Jesuit missionaries. The Kahnawake Mohawks were often called “Canadian Mohawks” and Wheelock recruited students from them after his move to Hanover.

All related documents: retrieve them
Sources:

Andrews, Edward E. Native Apostles: Black and Indian Missionaries in the British Atlantic World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2013. Axtell, James. The European and the Indian: Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial North America. New York: Oxford University Press 1981. Calloway, Colin G. New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press 1997. Calloway, Colin, The Indian History of an American Institution. Dartmouth College Press 2010. Fisher, Linford. The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America. New York: Oxford University Press 2012. Graymont, Barbara. “Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant).” In Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, Volume V. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1959. Accessed via Google 10/4/2013. Gwyn, Julian. “Johnson, Sir William.” In Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, Volume IV. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1959. Accessed via Google 10/4/2013.