Elizabeth Warren is riding high, raising tens of millions of dollars and serving as the designated warm-up speaker for Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in early September. But she’s still an ethnic fraud who misappropriated Native American heritage as her own for professional purposes.
The only question approaching the convention is whether Warren’s wealth and power can drown out the truth.
And the truth keeps getting worse for Warren, as new evidence demonstrates the falsity of her claim that her parents were forced to elope because her father’s family rejected her mother due to her mother being part Cherokee and part Delaware.
To recap, all the genealogical evidence, including Warren’s mother’s census records which reported her as White both before and after marriage, points to Elizabeth Warren having no Native American ancestry.
Nonetheless, Warren claimed to be Native American, specifically Cherokee, for professional purposes in a national law faculty directory, at Penn. and Harvard Law Schools for federal reporting purposes, and at Harvard when she was a visiting professor when she was listed in the Women’s law journal as a “woman of color.”
None of the above facts were known when The Boston Herald broke the story in late April that Harvard had promoted Warren as a Native American hire in the late 1990s. Over time, as more and more facts were uncovered showing that Warren had created a professional narrative of being entitled to minority status, Warren’s campaign and Warren herself fell back on a familiar refrain — that Warren simply was repeating family lore.
Warren expanded on that lore in a series of interviews in which she claimed that being Native American was how she was raised and who she was. Warren pointed to one aspect of that lore in particular, that Warren’s parents had to elope in 1932 because her father’s family would not accept her mother because her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware. Warren claims that the family tensions were so great that the problem persisted through her mother’s death in 1995.
I have been unable to find an instance of Warren telling this story of her parents elopement prior to May of this year. It is a story as to which everyone with firsthand knowledge now is dead and cannot contradict her.
Yet not a single family member of Warren who would have the same second-hand knowledge has come forward to back her up. To the contrary, an adult nephew in 2002 described the claims of Native American ancestry as being rumor.
There are, however, documents recently uncovered by the Cherokee genealogical group which cast serious, if not conclusive, doubt on Warren’s elopement story. This is the same Cherokee group which has traced Warren’s ancestry with great detail, and demonstrated that Warren’s mother and her mother’s ancestors always were listed as White on census forms and all other known documentation.
The evidence is laid out at Twila Barnes’ website. Here is a summary:
Warren’s parents were married in 1932 in a church not far from their home town by a respected and prominent pastor, who was unlikely to have performed ceremonies for runaways seeking to elope. The witness on the marriage certificate was a family friend of Warren’s mother, not some stranger rounded up by the pastor at the last minute for an unexpected elopement.
The young couple then immediately returned home where their marriage was announced in the local paper in a celebratory fashion, with extensive descriptions of the prominence of the two families in the local business community. Perhaps most important, the announcement mentions that the marriage was a surprise to many of the young couple’s friends, but said nothing about it being a surprise to family.
The marriage of Donald Herring and Miss Pauline Reed, two of Wetumka’s most popular young people, came as a surprise to many of their friend when they returned from Holdenville late Saturday afternoon and announced their marriage.
Both of the young people were reared in Wetumka and are popular members of the younger set.
Specifically as to Warren’s mother, the announcement detailed:
Mrs. Herring is the daughter of H.G. Reed, building contractor of this city, and has always been prominent in the social and church activities of the younger people and being a gifted singer has identified herself with the music lovers of the community.
The announcement then indicated that the couple are returning separately to their respective colleges for the next semester, and concluded:
The Gazette joins a host of friends in wishing for these young people a long and happy life together.
Barnes correctly asks:
If Ms. Warren’s parents eloped due to her mother being “Cherokee and Delaware” and it was such a disgrace, why did they rush back to Wetumka the same day they were married and proudly announce it to everyone? If there was shame associated with the marriage and it caused so many problems, why was it happily announced in the local paper and why did the town seem to celebrate the marriage of the two popular young people? Though a surprise to their friends, the excitement and happiness that seemed to show in the announcement makes one think it may have been a small ceremony typical during the Great Depression.
The joyful marriage announcement is not consistent with the story told by Warren of a family torn apart because her mother was Native American.
Nor is later evidence uncovered by the Cherokee group showing that Warren’s mother was not rejected in the father’s family. Warren’s mother attended the 25th wedding anniversary party for Warren’s paternal grandparents in 1936, just four years after the supposed elopement.
Because the events took place in a time and place where there was scant documentation of life, and because all the persons with first-hand knowledge were long dead by the time Warren told the story publicly, we cannot know conclusively about the circumstances of Warren’s parents’ marriage.
But what we can know is that the dramatic story told by Warren is inconsistent with the wedding announcement in the local newspaper.
Read that joyous announcement and listen to Warren’s story telling, and then ask yourself whether you believe the local newspaper at the time or Elizabeth Warren today.