No time was lost by the governor in summoning the redskins to an interview. Chief Brant, it appears, was the leading spokesman for the Indians on this occasion, and a sentence or two of the speech made by Carleton has been preserved by Brant himself. ‘I exhort you,’ was Carleton’s earnest request of the Indians, ’to continue your adherence to the King, and not to break the solemn agreement made by your forefathers, for your own welfare is intimately connected with your continuing the allies of his Majesty.’ In reply the Indians asserted once more their ancient pledges. ‘We acknowledged,’ said Brant, ’that it would certainly be the best in the end for our families and ourselves to remain under the King’s protection, whatever difficulties we might have to contend with.’
In order that he might render due service to the army, Brant was put under military discipline, and was given a captain’s commission in the king’s forces. He was in Montreal when Ethan Allen, a colonial adventurer, made an unauthorized attempt (Sept. 24, 1775) to surprise and capture the city. Carleton had been apprised of Allen’s project; the plan miscarried, and Allen, along with other members of his band, was sent to England as a prisoner of war. Meanwhile General Montgomery had been advancing from the south, and, in September, he laid siege to Fort St John, the English stronghold on the Richelieu river. This post was stoutly defended by Major Preston with a force of regulars until Fort Chambly, near by, fell into the enemy’s hands, and further resistance was useless. Whether Brant’s services were employed in or about either of these forts cannot be ascertained, but we know that he had left the neighbourhood and was on his way to England before Montreal capitulated on November 17.
Brant’s visit to Montreal had no doubt an important influence on his career. This was perhaps the first time he had ever seen a sea-port. [Footnote: It is thought possible that he had gone down the St Lawrence as far as Montreal with Sir William Johnson in 1760.] At this time Montreal had some five or six thousand inhabitants and was a walled town of growing commercial importance. It had several commodious religious houses, some large, well-built churches, and a number of handsome residences. As Brant stood on the river’s bank, he saw a medley of craft afloat in the current: ships of the fur traders laden with peltry; transports coming and going with food for the garrisons, or new men for the service; sloops-of-war, lying at anchor with their complement of guns, grim and menacing.
All this gripped as with an iron hand the imaginative nature of the Mohawk chief. The spirit of romance was aglow within him, and he had a wondering desire to see the lands that lay beyond the ocean. He would sail upon the high seas; he would stand in the presence of the Great King. How beautiful was this land called England! and how powerful were its army and navy! Doubtless Guy Johnson and other