King Hendrick was a Mohawk Indian chief. He was also known as Hendrick Peters, which was his Christian name, and as Theyanoguin.
Hendrick played a pivotal role in relations between the Iroquois nation and the British in the first half of the 18th century. He was a prominent public speaker, and spoke on behalf of the Iroquois at the Albany Conference in 1754. He died a year later in the French and Indian War during the Battle of Lake George, in the engagement known as the Bloody Morning Scout.
Facts About His Early Life and Family
- Born in Westfield, Massachusetts.
- Father was a Mohegan.
- Mother was a Mohawk and a member of the Bear clan, which also made him a member of the same clan, per Mohawk tradition.
- Baptized as a Christian by a pastor from the Dutch Reformed church as Hendrick when he was one year old.
Facts About His Political and Professional Career
- Eventually became the leader of the Bear clan.
- Participated in councils of the Fifty Sachems of the Iroquois League, even though he was a local sachem (chief) not a League sachem.
- He was a prominent public speaker and spoke on behalf of the Six Nations to colonial authorities.
- He had a strong relationship with Sir William Johnson, the Superintendent for the British Indian Department.
- Spoke on behalf of the Iroquois at the Albany Conference in 1754.
Facts About His Role in the French and Indian War
- Led the Iroquois Confederacy as an ally of the British, even though he hoped to remain neutral in the conflict.
- Died on September 8, 1755, during the Bloody Morning Scout portion of the Battle of Lake George.
Facts About the Two King Hendricks
There are two Mohawk Indians that were referred to as King Hendrick. Many articles written about ‘King Hendrick’ confuse the two, and mix the facts about them together.
The first King Hendrick (Theyoninhokawaran) was a Sachem (chief) of the Wolf Clan. He was born around 1660 and died around 1735. It was this King Hendrick that was one of the “Four Mohawk Kings” that went to England in 1710 with Peter Schuyler and Francis Nicholson to meet Queen Anne.
The second King Hendrick (Theyanoguin) is the one discussed in this entry. He famously spoke on behalf of the Iroquois at the Albany Conference and then, sadly, died during the Battle of Lake George in 1755.
The book, The Two Hendricks: Unraveling a Mohawk Mystery, by Eric Hinderaker, provides detailed research on these famous Mohawk Indians and unravels the confusion.