Before the Revolutionary War, John Butler was a wealthy landowner in the Mohawk valley. A loyalist, who spoke several Indian languages, he formed his Rangers from pro-British settlers and their Indian allies, achieving a string of successes in the war, some of which were infamous for their brutality. When the war ended, he averred he ‘would rather go to Japan than back amongst the Americans’. He and his fellow loyalists were awarded land-grants near Niagara by the British in reward for their services, on territory purchased from the Mississauga Indians. Ex-Rangers proved energetic pioneer settlers; additional land was purchased along the Grand River for Six Nations Indians who had fought with the Rangers, after the Mohawk chief Joseph Brant travelled to London to petition George III. Brant built a stately mansion on his 3,500-acre estate, employing 20 white and black servants.
— OR —