Report: Original document proving Elizabeth Warren’s Cherokee ancestry doesn’t exist? Update: 1999 Harvard report lists one female Native American faculty member

posted at 6:28 pm on May 11, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via Legal Insurrection, Michael Patrick Leahy of Breitbart.com keeps on digging:

The slender thread upon which Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she is 1/32 Cherokee rests—a purported 1894 marriage license application—has been exposed as non-existent. Based on a review of the original marriage records found in the files of the Logan County, Oklahoma Court Clerk’s office in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and the statements of ReJeania Zmek, the Court Clerk of Logan County, Oklahoma, it is likely that the ephemeral 1894 marriage license application never existed.

“In modern times we keep marriage license applications,” she said. “The way they’re issued now, you do the application, then you do the license. We currently do keep records of marriage license applications,” she said, explaining that this practice didn’t begin until around 1950.

When asked specifically if marriage license application documents were created in Logan County in 1894, she said she is almost certain they were not. She added that, when looking at the records of marriages in Logan County, Oklahoma in the 1890s, “if there’s a license and then a certificate I would think the license would be the application as well. That would be my thought. I’m thinking they came in, got a license, got married.”

There’s more — a lot more — at the link so take 10 minutes to read Leahy’s post. The nutshell version: The only documentary evidence he can find that Warren is 1/32 Cherokee is a 2006 newsletter by an amateur genealogist who claims she found a marriage application in which one of Warren’s ancestors said he was part Native American. Leahy found a marriage license for that ancestor, but there’s nothing about race on it. Two questions, then. First, is there a separate marriage application somewhere that does mention race? Second, if so, er, where is it? Leahy himself can’t find it and the amateur genealogist who cited it in that newsletter isn’t replying to e-mails. And what about the professional genealogist who told the media a few weeks ago that Warren was indeed 1/32 Cherokee? Turns out he isn’t replying to e-mails either, and the genealogical society for whom he works says they’re done talking about Warren. Surely he had some hard evidence on which to base his claim, though, right? Actually … maybe not. Leahy points to this paragraph in a CNN story from May 3 that I hadn’t noticed until now:

The New England Historic Genealogical Society provided CNN with initial research showing several members of Warren’s maternal family claiming Cherokee heritage. The Native American link extends to Warren’s great-great-great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith, who is said to be described as Cherokee in an 1894 marriage license application. NEHGS gathered that information through a 2006 family newsletter, and says the original application cannot be located.

In other words, it seems that the sole existing “proof” of Warren’s claim is … that amateur genealogist’s newsletter. Which means, unless and until the original documents on which the newsletter was based are provided, there’s actually no hard evidence at all of Warren’s heritage. I’ve asked this question before but let me ask it again: If you’re going to claim minority status in a professional directory, knowing that that status is a bona fide credential in your industry, shouldn’t it be based on something more than “family lore” or “high cheekbones”? Before you even reach the question of whether 1/32 is enough to qualify, you should probably take five minutes to nail down whether that 1/32 is real or not, huh?

Exit question: Why would the professional genealogist rely on evidence this thin in a case this prominent? Yeah, yeah, I know: “He’s probably a Democrat and in the tank!” Really, though? So far in the tank that he’d risk his reputation over it? Granted, he likely didn’t expect to have his work fact-checked, but he’d have to be quite the Warren fan to do her that kind of favor.

Update: Another good one from the Breitbart team. If Warren never told Harvard about her background and she quit listing herself as “minority” in those professional directories in 1996, who’s the Native American woman professor noted in this Harvard EEOC report three years later?

A newly revealed document taken from a 1999 Affirmative Action Plan Book published by Harvard University indicates that Elizabeth Warren was officially listed as a Native American by Harvard Law School. Though Warren is not mentioned by name, the report shows just one Native American member of the law school. Reports in the Harvard Crimson from 1996 and 1998 both identify Warren as the Native American member of the staff…

Warren has said that she was not aware Harvard was using her minority status to publicly deflect criticism over the school’s hiring practices. However, the fact that she was officially recognized as a Native American by the school raises the question of how they first obtained the information which led them to classify her as one.


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My grandmother always said that we were related to the Royal Stuarts, Presidents Buchanan and Roosevelt, although I don’t remember which Roosevelt. I took that “family lore” as her recollections of something her mother or father told her, nothing more.

Then, after my aunt died, I found a handwritten family tree that, sure enough, shows the relationship to President Buchanan. It makes no difference to me. I don’t care enough to check on the other possible relationships. I am what I am. Elizabeth Warren is just what she is. For her to take some vicarious status to enhance her career potential is duplicitous and craven. Same for Harvard’s “fake but accurate” diversity score. Shame on them.

Qzsusy on May 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Mika Brzezinski hardest hit.

GOPRanknFile on May 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Let it be so.

Jaibones on May 12, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Is Warren still claiming this is “politics as usual?”

If she’s not Indian, isn’t this FRAUD?

faraway on May 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Yes, it is. She used it to get her job at Harvard, Harvard advertised that fact in the EEOC paperwork and the NY times. She used it more than once.

If any of us did this on an employment app, we would be FIRED.

dogsoldier on May 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Many moons Affirmative-Action handouts make bad medicine.

Make Harvard quota joke.

viking01 on May 12, 2012 at 9:39 AM

My dad always said I was royalty.
He said I was a Royal pain in the butt.
My sister’s ex said she was a Royal Bitxx.
I wonder if I can borrow the Crown Jewels for a party nnext weekend?

barnone on May 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I actually have a family tree document that shows me related to Lady Godiva (although the research that got there is being questioned) but some facts are really too good to check. In my case, I’m not suing Godiva Chocolates for using my great, great, great, great…………….grandmothers name.

If you’re actually getting something, by claiming your relative is someone, you should be able to prove it. I don’t believe you could get a D.A.R. scholarship without documentation.

bflat879 on May 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

I actually have a family tree document that shows me related to Lady Godiva

bflat879 on May 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Does streaking run in the family?

viking01 on May 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Where it becomes an issue is the fact is when somebody like Warren, who clearly is qualified for the job, decides she needs to become a native American to get hired.

Happy Nomad on May 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Turns out she may not be so qualified after all. I heard on the radio the other day that her “work” on bankruptcy massively overstated the reason for bankruptcy is medical costs. This was then used by Obama to justify ObamaCare. Turns out her research is faulty. It’s not true, but Obama used it and then chose her to be in charge of the NEW FEDERAL AGENCY to protect consumers. Why? I’m thinking because she could use her Harvard cred to come up with anything he wanted her to come up with in the way of justifying his crap.

Night Owl on May 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Academia should seek diversity in thought, not diversity in superficial physical appearance.

wildcat72 on May 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Thanks, wren. It’s already been surmised that she listed herself as a minority in the directories so that she could get a better job, but I think it will emerge that the immediate need was to be able to follow her husband to Penn. Her CV alone wasn’t going to cut it; she needed something more.

Missy on May 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Elizabeth Warren is just what she is. For her to take some vicarious status to enhance her career potential is duplicitous and craven. Same for Harvard’s “fake but accurate” diversity score. Shame on them.

Qzsusy on May 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Exactly. “Courage” as Danny ‘would’ Rather say.
This gets more funny, and sad, by the day.
For decades, the Cherokee Tribe allowed pretty much anyone to claim tribal membership as the numbers of members translated into sucking up even more of our tax dollars. It eventually occurred to the tribe several years ago that they didn’t have the money to pay for all of the “Indian Entitlement” programs.
All Lizzy had to do was apply with the BIA for a CDIB (certified degree of Indian birth) card, but she never did. I wonder why? /sarc
One of my ancestors served with John Paul Jones on the Bonhomme Richard during The Revolution – and I can prove it. I think I should be entitled to something. Like NOT killing all of the Cherokees, we just gave them an entire State along with vast tracks of OUR land. Oklahoma License Plate: “Native America”. Well, isn’t that special.
Lizzy, The ball is in your court.
(btw, liz, there is no such thing as a “Cherokee Princess” as much as you want to be one)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on May 12, 2012 at 10:33 AM

For libs and other leftists, the ends justify the means.
Whatever promotes leftism is fine with them.
Being a pale-faced liar is therefore a resume enhancer to a lib/Dem/leftist and will never, ever keep a Democrat from voting for their candidate.

Oops, make that bald-faced liar.

justltl on May 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Kowabunga, Buffalo Bob! Is Prof. Warren bucking for the Ward Churchill El Fako Native American Award? I’d say she’s won it, hands down!

Scriptor on May 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Elizabeth warren will tell us that this is nothing more than an overblown “Tempest in a Tee-Pee”… hahaha!

Conservalicious on May 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

I’m the King of England.
I’m the King of France.
And if you don’t believe me,
I’ll punch you in the pants.

(National Lampoon, the 70′s)

Red State State of Mind on May 12, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Well, I thought Warren’s cheekbones looked pretty low anyway.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

My family lore is that I am 1/32nd Chickasaw. I guess I should start claiming it and put my hand out for some cash.

I wonder how many “minority” students at Harvard are also liars?

Labamigo on May 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Hey Labamigo, wonder how many “foreign” students have become President of the U.S.?

BigAlSouth on May 13, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Warren’s great-great-great grandmother

Laughable. If I’m not mistaken, even the biggest racialists of all time, the Nazis, wouldn’t consider Warren anything but white, given the remoteness of that ancestor even if real.

ddrintn on May 13, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Thank God she’s dumb. This issue won’t go away. Thanks Liz!

StevC on May 15, 2012 at 11:19 AM

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