Fauxcahontas and the Trail of Tears

What a strange journey Elizabeth Warren’s decades of defrauding the Harvard “diversity” racket has taken us upon!  Once the viral video darling of the hard Left, Warren has degenerated into a ridiculous caricature of ruling-class snobbery and liberal hypocrisy. 

It was only a few weeks ago that she began nervously trying to deny she ever passed herself off as a Native American.  Then she found herself clinging to the slender reed of widely-reported “evidence” that her great-great-great-grandmother just might have been Cherokee.  Now it looks like even this claim is bogus… but her great-great-great-grandfather apparently helped the Tennessee Militia drag Cherokee from their homes and herd them down the Trail of Tears, where a great many of them died.

Michael Patrick Leahy at and William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection developed the scoop:

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. 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.  

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.

As for O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford, the numerator in Warren’s alleged 1/32nd Cherokee ancestry, there is no real evidence that she was actually a Cherokee.  She was listed as “white” in the 1860 census, and there is no substantiated documentation to the contrary.  Her son claimed in his marriage license application that he had a Cherokee mother, but Mom’s actual marriage license does not support such a claim.

There is more interesting history laid out in Leahy’s piece at  The pertinent question at this point is why Harvard University apparently spent the last quarter-century blissfully ignorant of it, allowing Warren to misrepresent herself as Native American right through April 2012.  It’s also interesting that so much of the media was willing to accept Warren’s flimsy claim of 3 percent Cherokee ancestry at face value, instead of proceeding on the far more reasonable assumption she is a fabulist whose every word should be rigorously questioned.

Three percent Cherokee heritage would have been a ridiculously thin justification for gaming the Harvard diversity system.  It looks like we’re moving on to whatever comes after “ridiculous.”