So, it’s the day after Elizabeth Warren tried yet again to prove that she’s at least a little bit Native American. How did that work?
Did the Cherokee Nation welcome her with open arms? No. Did President Trump give her a heartfelt apology? Did skeptical American voters finally nod their heads and say they were wrong this whole time?
Well, not quite. See, it turns out that Sen. Warren’s Pocahontas moment was roughly as successful as Cory Booker’s Spartacus moment, with the test proving she’s anywhere from 1/64th to 1/1024th Native American. Assuming the upper range, that’s a solid 0.09765625 percent. Way to prove ’em all wrong, Liz.
However, we now enter Day Two of Elizabeth Warren trying to convince us that she really did hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon and that she plans to ask the grinning bobcat why he grinned at the first primary debate, and she’ll demand an answer. As we laugh at her ability to repeatedly embarrass herself over this issue, let’s also remind ourselves that one report claims Warren actually has as much Cherokee-killer as Cherokee in her lineage.
That piece of work was assembled by Michael Patrick Leahy for Breitbart News during Warren’s 2012 senatorial campaign, where her decision to list herself as a minority during her time in academia drew criticism from Republican opponent Scott Brown.
The assumption was that Warren used it to get ahead in a university environment where certain voices were demanding that women of color be hired in greater numbers to diversify the faculty. Warren herself has given a number of reasons she decided to classify herself as Native American, but seems to have settled on the excuse that, as the Boston Globe put it, “many of the matriarchs of her family were dying and she began to feel that her family stories and history were becoming lost.”
In 2012, Warren’s explanation was that her great-great-great grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford, was Cherokee. However, Leahy noted that Smith Crawford “had no Cherokee heritage, was listed as ‘white’ in the Census of 1860, and was most likely half Swedish and half English, Scottish, or German, or some combination thereof.”
However, if Smith Crawford somehow thought she was Cherokee, she was definitely one of the self-hating variety.
“But the most stunning discovery about the life of O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is that her husband, Ms. Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, was apparently a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee – the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837,” Leahy wrote.
The Trail of Tears, the forced migration of the Cherokee people east of the Mississippi River to Oklahoma under the administration of Andrew Jackson, ended with over 4,000 men, women and children dead, according to the Cherokee Nation website.
And apparently, if we can even assume Warren is correct about her ancestry and that this report is accurate, one of the men who played a part in it married her “Cherokee” relative.
“Jonathan Crawford, O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford’s husband and apparently Ms. Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, served in the East Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteer Militia commanded by Brigadier General R. G. Dunlap from late 1835 to late 1836,” Leahy wrote.
“While under Dunlap’s command he was a member of Major William Lauderdale’s Battalion, and Captain Richard E. Waterhouse’s Company.
“These were the troops responsible for removing Cherokee families from homes they had lived in for generations in the three states that the Cherokee Nations had considered their homelands for centuries: Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee,” he continued.
“While these involuntary home removals were not characterized by widespread violence, the newly displaced Cherokee mothers, fathers, and children found an oppressive and sometimes brutal welcome when they finally arrived at the hastily constructed containment areas. An estimated 4,000 Cherokees were warehoused in Ross’s Landing stockades for months awaiting supplies and additional armed guards the Federal Government believed necessary to relocate them on foot to Oklahoma.”
Crawford wasn’t one of the men who helped bring the troops to Oklahoma, but given the end result of the effort — something all involved likely had some inkling of it — he was certainly implicated in the slaughter. Crawford also served in the Battalion of Tennessee Mounted Infantry Volunteer Militia during the Second Seminole War in 1837, a conflict that ended with even more dead Native Americans (as one might expect).
So the best-case scenario involves her having as much oppressor blood in her as oppressed. And as Leahy points out, that’s not an incredibly likely scenario: “Neither O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford, Jonathan Crawford, nor any of their seven other children, apparently ever claimed that O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford had Cherokee heritage.”
“It is time for Ms. Warren to publicly acknowledge the truth of her ancestry,” Leahy concluded his report six years ago.
“It is time for her to admit that she has no Native American heritage that she can prove; and it is time for her to acknowledge instead, that she is likely a direct descendant of a Tennessee Militiaman who apparently rounded up the ancestors of those who truly have Cherokee heritage, the first step in their forced removal from the Southeastern United States to Oklahoma over the long and tragic Trail of Tears.”
So, what has she done instead? She hasn’t admitted it. She hasn’t even stayed quiet about it. It would have been much smarter if she left it alone and hoped most voters forgot about the whole thing. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Can’t wait to see what Day Three is going to bring…
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.