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Chief George Henry Martin “Onwanonsyshon” Johnson

Chief George Henry Martin “Onwanonsyshon” Johnson

Brant, Brant County Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Death 19 Feb 1884 (aged 68)
Ohsweken, Brant County Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Burial Brantford, Brant County Municipality, Ontario, Canada
Memorial ID 105082151 · View Source
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s/o Chief John Smoke Johnson / Helen Martin

Chief George Henry Martin Johnson
born 7th of October 1815, at what is now known as Bow Park, then a part of the Grand River Reservations, where his parents resided. [Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation]. The Six Nations Confederacy Council appointed Mohawk Chief George Henry Martin Johnson to the position of Interpreter in 1859.

In 1868, George rode in full regalia to the Mohawk Church as escort to Quenn Victoria's son Arthur, later Duke of Connaught when he was make a Mohawl Chief.

He died his residence, Chiefwood, on the Grand River Reserve, in the Province of Ontario, a few miles from the city of Brantford. Cause of death: An attack of erysipela, following a long drive in a drenching rain, seemed at first so slight as to cause no apprehension. After a few days, Pyaemia set in. Buried in the churchyard of the ancient Mohawk church near Brantford.

*The Chief was accustomed to annex to his signature a peculiar hieroglyphic, somewhat resembling the letter "Z" enclosing a dot, which he explained as an arm embracing a heart--an ancient Indian symbol of friendship

Engaged 21 Jun 1848 - Married 27 Aug 1853 - Miss Emily Susanna Howells - Sister of Eliza Howells, wife of his missionary patron and teacher, the Rev. Adam Elliot.

They had 4 children - Henry Beverly, Helen Charolotte Eliza, Allen "Wawanosh", Emily Pauline "Tekahionwake"
Sword - The Sword seen in the picture was presented to Mr. Johnson in 1849 by T. D. Beverly, Esq., of Three Rivers, Canada, because of the chief's speech to the Six Nations[when assembled on the queen's birthday], in deprecation of the action of the Canadian Parliament in paying Mr. M'Menzie and "other rebels" for their losses during the civil war in 1837 and 1838. It is an elegant sword.

Silver Calumet - The silver Calumet, or peace pipe, used at councils and in making treaties, above delineated, was quite old. On the broad, ornamented silver plate under the bowl and part of the stem was the following inscription" To the Mohawk Indians, from the Nine Patentees of the Tract near Schoharie, granted in 1769." On one side of the bowl was the figure of a white man, and on the other that of an Indian. These were connected with the representation of the sun on the front of the bowl by a union chain. Suspended from the stem in a festoon was, first, a silver chain, and then strings of wampum. The stem was eighteen inches in length.

Ornamental Tomahawk - These ornamental tomahawks are not for practical use. The handle, fourteen inches in length, contains a tube that answers the purpose of the stem of a pipe, and the head of the tomahawk is arranged as a pipe-bowl. In this specimen the blade and the handle are connected by a silver chain. The blade is brass except the steel edge.

Deer Shank Weapon - Ancient Scalping Knife - When George was about to break ground for a foundation of his house, the venerable Whitecoat, a centenarian chief then living at Tuscarose Village, came to him, and, pointing to the huge stump of a tree, "Dig there, and you will find a scalping knife that I buried 70yrs ago. Stating before the law of the white man, it was the duty of the nearest kin of a wounded man to avenge his death by shedding the blood of the murderer in like manner, and that the weapon so employed was never afterward used but buried. I thus took vengeance for my brother's blood, and at the foot of that tree I buried the fatal knife. Dig, and you'll find it. Johnson did so, and found nothing but the rust blade, to which he has a fixed a wooden handle, made like the original.

ref: The Pictorial field-book of the War of 1812 Benson John Lossing 1896
Contributed by: BluMoKitty

Family Members

Gravesite Details Mohawk Church was the first of the kind erected in the Province
  • Created by: BluMoKitty
  • Added: 12 Feb 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 105082151
  • d gansworth
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Chief George Henry Martin “Onwanonsyshon” Johnson (17 Oct 1815–19 Feb 1884), Find A Grave Memorial no. 105082151, citing Mohawk Chapel Cemetery, Brantford, Brant County Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by BluMoKitty (contributor 46830270) .