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View Full Version : Elizabeth Warren’s embattled campaign: Cherokee tie found 5 generations ago



Rockntractor
05-01-2012, 09:33 AM
Cherokee tie found 5 generations ago
Hillary Chabot By Hillary Chabot
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - Added 3 hours ago


Desperately scrambling to validate Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage amid questions about whether she used her minority status to further her career, the Harvard Law professor’s campaign last night finally came up with what they claim is a Cherokee connection — her great-great-great-grandmother.

“She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said, referring to the candidate’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, who is listed on an Oklahoma marriage certificate as Cherokee. Smith is an ancestor on Warren’s mother’s side, Child said.

The missing link comes after Warren’s embattled campaign faced sharp questions about her Native American background in the wake of Herald stories that showed both Harvard Law School and Warren herself had touted her tribal lineage and claimed she was a member of a minority for years.

Warren’s shaken campaign faced another crisis yesterday when it was revealed that beginning in 1986 and continuing through 1995, Warren had listed herself as a minority professor in the Association of American Law Schools desk book, a directory of law professors from participating schools.

Warren had flatly denied that she ever touted her Native American background professionally.

Child — who originally could find no Native American lineage in Warren’s family when the Herald broke the story last Friday — said he uncovered a marriage certificate at 4 p.m. yesterday after fielding calls from countless media outlets and even Warren’s own campaign.

Child said he plans on further verifying the records today. “There is a possibility that their Native American ancestry could have been hidden at one point,” he said.

The campaign also hastily produced an undated newspaper clip last night from the Muskogee Sunday Phoenix detailing a “Mrs. James P. Rowsey” — who they said is Warren’s cousin — and her involvement with the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, which is dedicated to preserving Native American art.

“Mrs. James P. Rowsey was Elizabeth’s first cousin — shared the grandparents in question,” a campaign official said in the statement.

Meanwhile, Warren’s camp issued statements from five faculty members at the four universities where she’s taught, including Harvard Law School and University of Pennsylvania, to knock down any suggestion she used her Native American background to get hired.

“To suggest that she needed some special advantage to be hired here or anywhere is just silly. She was hired for her great abilities as a teacher and a scholar. Her family tree had nothing to do with it,” wrote Jay Westbrook, chairman of the business law school at the University of Texas at Austin, who hired Warren.

Suzan Shown Harjo, a former executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, expressed outrage yesterday after learning that Warren had identified herself as a Native American on law school records without documentation.

“If you believe you are these things then that’s fine and dandy, but that doesn’t give you the right to claim yourself as Native American,” said Harjo, who said Warren might have taken a job another Native American could have received.
http://bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view.bg?articleid=1061128421

If you should not be judged by the color of your skin why should this matter?

Novaheart
05-01-2012, 10:22 AM
For a variety of reasons a number of people are quite attached to their claims of Amerindian ancestry. For the record, I do not use "native american" as I consider it a culturally aggressive and racist term.

I call it the Myth Of The Cherokee Grandmother. A great many Americans believe that they have Amerindian ancestry based on nothing more than family lore, often started by doting grandfathers or uncles who seek to tickle the imaginations of young children. This is how you end up with people saying, "Our family history says that we are descended from a Cherokee princess (a term we don't even need to discuss, do we?)".

There is a grand tradition of Virginians proudly claiming to be descendants of Pocahontas, in respectable terms being 14 generations ago. Of course, few of these same people would be wearing the button if they were descended from a less famous, less desirable, more recent, or less American ancestor.

The truth is that we have adequate records for most caucasian people to establish whether or not they have colorful ancestry. If the 1850 census says that your ancestors were "white", they probably were to a reliability factor nearing 100%. These were small towns, local people doing the census, and any deviation in this regard would be a matter of local knowledge. People keep forgetting that being nonwhite came with penalties. We went through this a few years ago with Oprah's misunderstanding of common ancestry meaning that everyone is mixed race. If your great great grandmother were an Indian, then your family would have been segregated in various ways in most places in this country. In short, there wasn't a lot that was charming about how people were treated back then, and you would have more to go on than some grampa telling you a fairytale to spark your imagination when you were a kid.

Another problem is the old tintypes. They make everyone look dark skinned and exotic. My own great great grandmother looks like she could be an American Indian or an East Indian in her 1860 photo, but her pedigree contains no unknown contributors. Her maiden name is common amongst Nanticoke Indians and some people base their claim on little more than that.

DumbAss Tanker
05-01-2012, 10:39 AM
If the 1850 census says that your ancestors were "white", they probably were to a reliability factor nearing 100%. These were small towns, local people doing the census, and any deviation in this regard would be a matter of local knowledge. People keep forgetting that being nonwhite came with penalties.

That might be true in Virginia, though it's kind of hard to tell where your Pocahontas example stops and jumps the bridgee to all-encompassing assumptions about the whole continent. In the middle of the US, the people answering the questions in 1850 would have been born before 1830, less than a generation after the States in the upper midwest were even admitted to the Union, still very largely populated by settlers and adventurers who were anything but homogenous and living in a world with very high mortality for both sexes and women relatively scarce, with Indian women being pretty readily assimilated into bloodlines and not too many questions asked to upset mutual applecarts when everyone claimed they were white later.

Odysseus
05-01-2012, 12:42 PM
The missing link comes after Warren’s embattled campaign faced sharp questions about her Native American background in the wake of Herald stories that showed both Harvard Law School and Warren herself had touted her tribal lineage and claimed she was a member of a minority for years.

Warren’s shaken campaign faced another crisis yesterday when it was revealed that beginning in 1986 and continuing through 1995, Warren had listed herself as a minority professor in the Association of American Law Schools desk book, a directory of law professors from participating schools.

Warren had flatly denied that she ever touted her Native American background professionally.

http://bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view.bg?articleid=1061128421

If you should not be judged by the color of your skin why should this matter?

Because in college admissions and hiring, it is one of the criteria that puts you at the head of the line. Falsely claiming minority lineage in order to boost your hiring prospects is fraud, and may even be criminal. However, if Warren is 1/32nd Cherokee, then she may have every right to be pushed to the head of the line. After all, what can a Chinese kid with a 4.0 GPA whose parents survived the Cultural Revolution say to that? :rolleyes:

Zeus
05-01-2012, 12:57 PM
Going back 5 generations a lot of Americans would find some Indian blood in the family line.

My family lineage is Interesting. My dad was full blooded 100% Icelandic and my Mother was what she called Heinz 57 or mutt, a little bit of everything.

Rockntractor
05-01-2012, 01:11 PM
We have many progressives begging for higher taxes yet they want to be included into groups exempted from much of the taxes and given special advantages.http://planetsmilies.net/confused-smiley-17432.gif (http://planetsmilies.net)

Odysseus
05-01-2012, 01:44 PM
Going back 5 generations a lot of Americans would find some Indian blood in the family line.

My family lineage is Interesting. My dad was full blooded 100% Icelandic and my Mother was what she called Heinz 57 or mutt, a little bit of everything.

Five generations back, we'd have had to travel a long way to find Indians. Cossacks, Tatars and the odd Mongol, perhaps, but no Indians.

Novaheart
05-01-2012, 01:50 PM
Five generations back, we'd have had to travel a long way to find Indians. Cossacks, Tatars and ..Mongols,.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_THosNXNQORw/SoPhhzC-HJI/AAAAAAAAIB8/ko0tfluD7w8/s400/oh+my.jpg

noonwitch
05-02-2012, 11:11 AM
Is it enough heritage to get casino profit shares? I've got a second cousin who lives totally off of his casino money, he's part Mohawk (not from my side of the family).