Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Fauxcohontas Story Gets Worse

Over at Breitbart.com, Michael Patrick Leahy says that further investigation finds that the claim that Elizabeth Warren's great-great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee turns out to be wrong:
O.C. Sarah 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. (Note, the actual 1894 marriage license makes no claim of Cherokee ancestry.)
Even worse:
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. 
There are some really shameful parts of American history.  While not every interaction with the Indians was as disgraceful as the left wants to imagine, the Cherokee removal is about as bad as it gets.  For Warren to claim to be an Indian is pretty embarrassing.  But this makes the story even more outrageous.  It would be like claiming to be a descendant of a Holocaust survivor to get a scholarship--and then have it turn out that you were actually a descendant of a concentration camp guard.


  1. I had a grandfather that died in Auschwitz.

    He fell off of the guard tower.


  2. In a just society, whether or not someone's distant ancestor was an Indian or an Indian hunter would be irrelevant to how we thought of her today or in determining what her opportunities might be.

    Sadly, we do not live in that society.

  3. It's hypothetically possible that O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford was hiding whatever Cherokee heritage she had.

    However, depending on the evidence for her supposed Swede/English/Scot/German background, that assumption may be very shaky.

    I'm being generous here: one set of assumptions about Elizabeth Warren will lead to an automatic claim that this ancestor was hiding her Cherokee heritage. Maybe they will claim that she was rescued from the Trail of Tears by John Crawford.

    Another set of assumptions will lead to the conclusion that this piece of family history was not based on truth.

    The best way of resolving this is to connect Sarah Smith Crawford to some parents of known origin. Without that, all that can be had is guesswork. (And family tradition...)

  4. "Without that, all that can be had is guesswork." Easy to settle it - do a DNA test.

  5. On the subject of Family Tradition (capitals intentional), my Mother's family lived in St. Louis during WW2. My grandfather, naturally enough, worked there too. It had long been a family tradition that at some time he said something about the proscution of the war that someone didn't like, so the FBI came to his work one day to question him about it, being a native German speaker and all. My Grandmother, the story goes, was terrified of this attention, not quite understanding the difference between America and the old country
    To verify this, and get a copy of the report, I wrote a letter to the FBI office both in St. Louis and in the National HQ. No record of such questioning exists. Now it might be that it was really the SLPD who questioned him, but I have to put this in the category of urban legend.

    As for Ms Fauxahontas, I think that someone would have seen to it that Grandma was not able to pass, so the whole native American ancestry thing passes into myth.
    Much like Johnny Cash's belief that he had native American ancestry has been proven false.