George Johnson's War
Written by Maureen Garvie
Publication Date May 01, 2002
Young George Johnson lives in an extraordinary family in extraordinary times. His father is Sir William Johnson, one of the richest and most powerful men in colonial New York. His mother is Molly Brant, stepdaughter of a Mohawk chief and sister of Iroquois leader Joseph Brant. George spends his early years in a grand mansion called Johnson Hall, but his cloistered life changes as the War for American Independence looms. As the rebel forces gradually take over the valley, George and his family are forced to flee their home and seek refuge with Molly's friends and relatives.
George longs to follow his brother's footsteps into battle. Instead, Molly sends him to boarding school in Montreal, where he spends three miserable years waiting for Peter's return. Finally, at the age of thirteen, he persuades his mother to allow him to join in a last raid on the valley where he grew up.
In a riveting climax, he experiences first-hand the inglorious brutality and futility of the war, and struggles with what it means to be half Mohawk. And at last he learns the hard truth about the fate of his beloved brother.
Maureen Garvie is a writer, editor and teacher. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Mary Beaty lives in New York City.