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William Johnson

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Do you think good King George lies awake at night hoping that no harm comes to his native subjects? Or that the people of the city care one whit about them? Oh, sure, the colonists are happy to trade when they need food or shelter or a bit of extra padding for their armies. But when the walls of the city constrict - when there's crops that need soil - when there's... when there's no more enemy to fight - we'll see how kind the people are then.
~ Johnson to Connor Kenway, attempting to convince him that what he was doing was the right thing.

William Johnson is a prominent character in the video game Assassin's Creed III. He is a member of the Templar Order and a representative of the government of the British Empire.

As a Templar, he was placed in charge of acquiring and managing land and properties for the Templars to make use of.

Biography

Sometime in 1754, Johnson, along with his assistant Thomas Hickey, officially became part of the Templar Order. At the direction of Charles Lee they traveled to Boston and stayed at the Green Dragon Tavern, where they were to be recruited into an expedition by Haytham Kenway. Haytham and Lee met with Johnson at the tavern, where Haytham explained that he would need his knowledge of the land to locate the precursor site. However, Johnson explained that his research had been stolen by bandits. Haytham and Lee set out and met with Hickey, successfully retrieving the research from a nearby fort and returned it to Johnson.

Johnson studied his notes, maps and the Haytham's amulet however he was unable to pinpoint a precise location. The Templars concluded that they would need to befriend and earn the trust of the Kanien'kehá:ka people, in order to gain favor with them and information that would lead them to the precursor site. Haytham and Lee gathered the remaining recruits, Benjamin Church and John Pitcairn and assembled them at the Green Dragon Tavern. Haytham proposed his plan to infiltrate Southgate Fort and assassinate Silas Thatcher to free the Kanien'kehá:ka slaves.

Johnson and the others proceeded to ambush a slave cart transport, killing the escorts and disguising themselves in their uniforms, where they then escorted the cart to the fort. Inside, Haytham stealthily freed the slaves while Johnson and the others blended with and distracted the guards. However, upon realizing that the slaves had escaped, Silas raised the alarm. To this, Johnson and the others triggered a battle, fending off the guards while Haytham and Church killed Silas, allowing them to free the remaining slaves.

Nearly a year later, on July 9, 1755, Haytham had been in contact with a Kanien'kehá:ka woman, Kaniehtí:io, and the two formulated a plan to kill General Edward Braddock. Johnson assisted in the attack of Braddock's expedition, allowing Haytham to kill Braddock. After discovering the Precursor Site, Haytham changed the overall plans to focus on establishing permanent bases, as well as expanding power and influence throughout the colonies.

In September later that year, Johnson participated in the Battle of Lake George to expel the French. He also negotiated and recruited Iroquois warriors for the British side. For his efforts, Johnson was rewarded £5000 and given the honorary title of Baronet. By 1756, Johnson was officially named Superintendent of Indian Affairs, acting as a liaison and between the Iroquois clans and the British Government.

In 1760, Lee, along with Johnson, Hickey and Church, attempted to once again find the precursor site. They searched for Kanatahséton to speak with the village elders. While in the forest they encountered a young boy. Lee assault and forcibly demanded the village's location from the boy, but to no avail. Johnson knocked out the boy with the butt of his musket and left him. Soon after, Lee and the others found the village and attempted to negotiate with the tribe's elders, to no luck, prompting them to give up their search.

In 1763, after the end of the French and Indian War, Johnson remained in close relations with the Kanien'kehá:ka, and was donated more than 300 square kilometers of land in gratitude. With the land, Johnson had up to sixty slaves construct a new manor and homestead, that would be known as Johnson's Hall.

During a territory dispute between the colonists and Iroquois people, Johnson negotiated with the Iroquois Confederacy a new boundary line and to prevent armed conflict. In the signing of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, Johnson conceded more land for the colonists than the British actually authorized. This damaged Johnson's relations with several Iroquois clans and would later lead to a brief conflict known as the Dunmore's War in Virginia.

In 1773, Johnson arranged for more negotiations and intended to purchase all of the Iroquois land under Templar control in order to protect the Mohawk people from conflict with the colonists. Johnson had been gathering funds with the aid of Hickey's black-market connections, by smuggling British tea, which was heavily taxed at the time. Johnson gathered funds illegally by selling the smuggled tea crates through his contacts and lowered the tax return to the British Government. At the same time, he had his men go throughout the city of Boston as tax-collectors, stopping at people's houses and gathering more money from the civilians.

The Assassin, known as Connor, discovered Johnson's intentions and hindered his plans by killing Johnson's tax collectors and tea smugglers with the aid from Stephane Chapheau. The citizens of Boston also revolted against the British Parliament's taxation and destroyed the supply of tea in defiance of the Stamp Act. Connor assisted Paul Revere and William Molineux in dumping the tea over the ships and into harbor. During this event, Johnson watched from the docks with Charles Lee and John Pitcairn. Johnson later used other means and resources to procure enough money for the purchase.

At Johnson Hall, atop the cliff in John's Town, Johnson met with the Iroquois leaders under the protection of his mercenaries and several British Regulars to make his negotiations to buy the land. However, most of the Iroqiuos leaders refused to be subjugated and stated they were prepared to defend their lands by force. Realizing his attempts were failing, he threatened the leaders with murder, hoping that they would concede.

Connor, who had infiltrated the area, silently sneaked to the top of Johnson's manor, leapt down and assassinated him before he could kill any of the Iroquois Clan Leaders. With his final words, Johnson explained that his intention was to protect the Iroquois and warned Connor that the colonists would become a threat to his people.

Personality

Johnson could easily be seen as an intelligent man among the crowd, fluent in difficult arithmetical workings and negotiation. Throughout his life, Johnson consistently gave out the etiquette of a noble, but unlike his leader, was relatively well-mannered to everyone, even in difficult situations. When speaking with the Iroquois leaders before his death, he seemed genuinely reluctant to have to resort to death threats, and even was well-mannered in so doing.

In most cases, he was also a very calm individual, not taking difficult times into much fear or irritation, just simply embracing them. Even when employing threats, he never raised his voice nor show displays of altered concentration. This was probably the evidence of his abilities to negotiate, since the skill has the feature as a practical requirement.

Johnson was an honorable man, dedicated, just as Haytham Kenway was, to the Templar vision and ideology. He truly believed in the righteousness of his cause and his duty to protect the natives from harm, though the Assassins and certain Natives tend to view his methods as being 'evil' or 'wicked'. Despite his sometimes questionable methods, his private conversations with Haytham had shown that he certainly meant well for the people he aimed to protect, and also showed his dedication to his role as a protector.

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