Sir William Johnson, Johnstown, New York
Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
Sir William Johnson was the first official representative of the British Crown to the Iroquois Confederacy. This man, strong in body and friendly in manner, attended and showed an interest in the Mohawk Councils. He also took an active part in the Indian sports and games and learned the Mohawk language. Johnson’s fair dealing with the Six Nations became recognized by the Confederacy. His appointment as Superintendent of Six Nation Affairs, won the approval of the Chiefs, Warriors and Women of the Six Nations. Colonel Johnson was given the highest honour the Six Nations could give a leader or chief. He was given the Mohawk name of W-re i-ya-ge ‘Chief of Affairs’. Sir William Johnson exerted all his authority and influence to interest the British in the betterment of the Indian People. He did much to improve farming and education among them. The last act of Wraiyage was to call a great council of the Six Nations at Johnson Hall to deal with questions arising from the breaking of the Fort Stanwix Treaty by the whites. He died during this council on July 11, 1774.
After visiting the scene where the great councils were held, the monuments to Sir William Johnson and his grave before the church that he had built in Johnstown, the Akwesasne Warriors headed south to the Mohawk River. Crossing the river they visited a monument erected near the Village of Auresville. This monument was erected in memory of Kateri Tekakwitha, a Huron-Mohawk girl of the early days of Indian life along the river.