Even before the war, fighting with the French and Indians had accustomed the inhabitants to a regular threat of violent attack.
Beginning with the capture of Fort Ticonderoga indivisions between loyalists and patriots in the area, as well as internal divisions among the Indian tribes, led to some of the most brutal and merciless combat of the war. Most of the loyalists had fled to Quebec. Many of them joined the Burgoyne Campaign to return to the Mohawk Valley and retake the area for the King.
Many Indian tribes also joined the British effort. Others from the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes backed the patriots, leading to a civil war not only between local colonists but also within the Iroquois Confederation.
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Brant was a Mohawk war chief, but was also comfortable in the world of the English. He has visited London and was a Freemason. He was also a relation of the Johnson family, which had lived and served as Indian agents in upstate New York for decades.
Brant had been one of the primary leaders to convince the Mohawk to shed neutrality and join the British effort to crush the rebellion. He had led an army of warriors, under General Barry St. Legerto capture Fort Stanwix in He was a longtime resident of the Mohawk valley, an associate of the Johnson family, and friends with Joseph Vicctory. Like other Tories, Butler had been forced to flee New York for Quebec and had organized a regiment of loyalists to fight for the King. They destroyed Fort Ticonderoga and withdrew back to Quebec.]