by Abby Mulvihill
Joseph Brant-Thayendanegea, a Mohawk war chief, died in 1807 in Upper Canada.
Before the American Revolution he lived in what is now the United States, where he fought in the Seven Years’ War and was an interpreter in the British Indian Department.
He actively assisted Christian missionaries as they worked with aboriginal peoples.
Joseph Brant fought in the American Revolutionary War with an Aboriginal-Loyalist group. He was a talented soldier, and in 1784 after Britain’s loss, he brought the Mohawk Loyalists and others to land on the Grand River. He believed that First Nations people had to learn farming in order to survive.
In his old age he translated sections of the Bible into Mohawk.
His friend, the Reverend John Stuart, died in 1811 in Kingston, Upper Canada.
In 1771 John was appointed a minister of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel at Fort Hunter, New York. There he held services for both First Nations and white settlers.
He met Joseph Brant and collaborated on the translation of St. Mark’s gospel into Mohawk.
John’s political sympathies were with the British during the American Revolution, and in 1781 he moved to Quebec, bringing not only his wife and children, but also black slaves.
He spent four years in Montreal where he was a military chaplain and ran a school.
When he could not get a parish in Quebec, he moved to Cataraqui, Upper Canada, where he hoped to become rector, as well as a military chaplain once again.
He was an energetic missionary, travelling many miles.
John was the Rector when St. George’s Church in Kingston was built in 1792.
John was not paid by his parishioners, but instead cobbled together an income from a variety of church and government sources. He also farmed.
Ontario Anglicanism owes him a great debt.
Abby Mulvihill, one of the newer members of the Church of the Ascension Hamilton, has been involved with the Fundraising Group and the Sunday School, as well as sharing the responsibility of being a projectionist at Sunday services.
As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we look back at the role of the church as told through stained glass windows.
The Church of the Ascension Hamilton has 10 stained glass windows in their Chapel of the Holy Spirit dedicated to Canadian Anglican pioneers. For more information about the windows go to www.ascensionchurch.ca.
Note cards featuring the historic windows can be purchased through the church.
The Niagara Anglican will feature others in the coming months.