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William Jacobson, who is one of the more creditable bloggers this time around, has completely jumped the shark with his ongoing persecution of Elizabeth Warren and continued coverage of a sham story.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to see Scott Brown re-elected.  The Pink Flamingo is among those who donated to his original campaign.  I was thrilled to see him elected, and will be equally thrilled to see him re-elected.

BUT – this said… you don’t go around destroying someone, and their family, simply because you think they are wrong about something.  Conservatives don’t.  Liberals do it all the time.  This story is driving me crazy because of the stupidity, the ignorance of facts, and the abject bigotry of the right.  They don’t know much about Native America, so they take what is spoon fed to them, and have made fools of themselves.

I am the author of 4 books, two of them very detailed histories dealing with the wild west.  I have also had a semi-regular column for a now defunct genealogical publication.  My resume also includes teaching courses in genealogy and family history at a local college.  I have also been a registrar in the DAR, and have taken their courses in genealogical research. These are my credentials.  Along with this, I have spent the past quarter century doing family research.

The way Jacobson has presented this sordid story, and it is sordid, is deplorable.  It is lacking in all perspective, simply attacking Warren (who deserves being attacked) because she is liberal.  I think she is on very thin ice on her genealogy, but NOT for the reasons mentioned by the idiots of the right.

First, the Cherokee blogger everyone is using is a terribly liberal activist who even wants to do away with team mascot names.  She is what I consider “One of Those” Native American researchers.  Her work is biased, chauvinistic, and is done from a single point of view. The irony here is that, if her work was not being used to destroy Warren, she would be considered just another liberal activist.

I have several good friends, one of whom is 1/4 Choctaw, the other who is 1/8th Cherokee.  My friend who is Choctaw has his papers. My other friend, Larry, does not.  Ms. Barnes is so biased I doubt she would even recognize Larry’s family story as valid.

That is the problem here.  Up until “recently” there was horrific discrimination against Native Americans.  My friend, James, who is 1/4 Choctaw finds the term “Native American” insulting, as does my friend Larry.  (Both men are conservative Republicans).  Until the 1960s in many parts of this country, Indians were NOT allowed to vote.  If they owned property, it could be taken away from them.

For example:

Blue Ridge Highlander

If they even admitted to having even an “ounce” of Indian blood, they would find themselves harassed and out of work. THIS is the reality of why many families DO NOT have “papers” and only have “hear-say” evidence to back up their family history.

The situation was created on purpose, to keep families from being discriminated against.  Until it can be conclusively proven that Warren’s ancestors came from Europe, her claim should not be dismissed.  There is no proof, and it is hear-say.  That is what I was working with when dealing with a ggg (whatever) named Sally Smith. My grandmother had a note in her papers stating that they thought Grandma Sally had some Indian blood in her.  It took me nearly 20 years to basically prove that at least 90% of her family came from England.  I’m just not seeing it in our family.

Until every single ancestor can be literally tracked to the point of origin with Warren, she deserves the “benefit” of the doubt.  Sorry, but that’s how the game works.  That’s it.  Hear-say means absolutely nothing – until it can be proven.  I have a letter from Stuart Lake to Bob Mullins detailing an affair Mattie Blaylock had with Frank McLaury.  That’s all I have.  I footnote the letter and use it as a for what it is worth.  I suspect, from “hear-say” family stories, that it is true, but I can’t prove a darn thing.  It changes the entire dynamics of the Earp-Clanton feud.  I can’t prove a darn thing.    It does not mean I am a fool, nor that my research should be discounted.  It says that I am cautious and honest as a researcher.

True genealogy, based on the DAR, which has some of the nastiest standards in the world, is perhaps the strictest branch of history.  NOTHING can be used unless it is proven.

I think the whole “minority” scam is just that – a scam.  Warren should be held accountable for that, but this entire genealogical argument is idiocy.  The fact that the son or grandson did not list himself as “Cherokee” on his marriage license is normal for the age.  If you are familiar with the musical “Showboat”, then you might understand how people during that era tried to pass as white.  It was one thing to have black ancestry, but even worse to have Indian ancestry.  You were considered sub-human and treated as such.

Frankly, I find the letter by Twila Barnes to be terribly offensive, bigoted, and simply another salvo in the liberal AIM war against anyone who might dare trod on what they consider the role of the Native American to be.  I suspect my friend James would feel the same way.

You might also want to take note that I’ve been banned from researching in the Navajo tribal archives because I have written positively about Kit Carson.  Barnes’ liberal prejudice is showing.  As a historian, I’ve been dealing with this prejudice for the past fifteen years.  She is no different.  I would caution against taking her chauvinism too seriously. She mentions the tribal rolls, but is ignoring the massive oral tradition of many full blood Cherokee marrying into white families, and quickly forming and joining little churches all over western South Carolina and eastern Georgia to keep from having their lands stolen from them.  They are every bit as Cherokee as she, but liberals with her point of view will never acknowledge them.

There are a heck of a lot of people in the US who are of native ancestry, but are not on any tribal roll.   Perhaps it would help for the historically ignorant among us to have a little history lesson.

“…Before the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, the region known as the “Enchanted Land,” was home to the Cherokee and Creek Nations. Two of the five tribes called the Civilized People that lived in the Southeastern United States. The mountainous lands and valleys of North Carolina, Tennessee, and North Georgia were the homelands of the Cherokee and Creek people since before the time of DeSoto’s Expedition in the mid 1500’s.

Between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Cumberland Mountains to the west is a valley corridor, averaging 30 miles across. The valley begins in North Georgia and continues northeast, past the western wall of the Great Smoky Mountains and travels further northeast into Virginia. Today this geographical land mark is often referred to as the Tennessee River Valley.

At the far southern end of this valley and ridge corridor, in North Georgia, there was a heavy concentration of tribal towns. This region is highly fertile with a mild winter climate, ideal for cultivation with trade routes along the valley floor’s river waterways. Until the 1830’s this was the center of power and commerce.

The Creek Nation, a major tribe of the Creek Confederacy, migrated into this region from the Southwest sometime in the 18th Century. Their large towns, ceremonial plazas, customs and government were similar to the Etowahians, their predecessors. Because of their similarities in customs and government the people of the Creek Nation are believed to be the descendants of Etowahian’s who lived in the area until the early 1700’s.

The Cherokee people were also late arrivals to the Southern Appalachian Mountains. They are the descendants of the Iroquoian lineage who occupied the Great Lakes region of the Midwest. After the Cherokee were defeated by the Delaware and Iroquois, the Cherokee people moved south into the mountain lands of the Southern Appalachains and surrounding foothills. By 1650 A.D. they had a population of 22,500 people in 200 towns over an area of 40,000 square miles. Cherokee towns consisted of 30 to 60 homes, windowless log cabins with bark roofs. A council house was located in every town, there, the sacred fire of the Cherokee burnt unceasingly before general meetings and sacred ceremonies.

Animosities between the white settlers and Creek and Cherokee were always brewing. The Creek and Cherokees showed loyalty to the British and French during previous war campaigns. After losing vast tracts of land as a consolation for backing the wrong party, the Cherokee Nation decided to, in there own way, join the winning team. Keeping to their treaty lands, the Cherokee began to assimilate the white culture. They formed a government modeled after the U.S. and aided Andrew Jackson against the Creek. The Cherokee also used white methods of farming, wore European style of clothing, owned stores, built modest to luxurious homes and churches, develop plantations and were slave owners.

The Cherokee syllabary was invented by Sequoyah in 1821. Syllabary, a system of writing in which each symbol represents a syllable, a method that caught on quickly with the Cherokee people. A prosperous native people could now keep formal records for a flourishing time, translate Christian scriptures, create a written constitution and print the first Native American newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix in 1828. All this happened in North Georgia.

Things seemed to good to last, by the late 1820’s and early 1830’s, gold was discovered in North Georgia and a large population of agitated white prospectors and profiteers were determined to force the Cherokee off their land. Hence forth came the infamous Trail of Tears brought about by the Treaty of New Echota in December of 1835. This is the end of the Nations’ way of life in a land they called the “Enchanted Land.”…”

Elizabeth Warren has a “leg to stand on” because of this often ignored bit of history.

Wikipdeia


“…There were some exceptions to removal…. Those Cherokees who lived on private, individually owned lands (rather than communally owned tribal land) were not subject to removal…”

Further, their names were never, ever ever included on any tribal roll.  They were hiding the fact that they were Cherokee, in order to protect their homes and families.  There is a group now trying to get these individuals to come “out” as Cherokee, and help them discover their ancestry.

“…”Just to make sure everyone who is considering joining with us understands who we are. This is The United Cherokee Nation (UCN); we are not the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band of Oklahoma nor the Cherokee Nation of North Carolina (Eastern Band). We are a Worldwide Tribal Membership Organization, we are not a Federally recognized tribe. We are your Brothers and Sisters and all of Tsalagi (Cherokee) decent and blood. You will receive no government benefits that I know of, from joining with us. We stand on our own feet, we pay our taxes and do not receive any government handouts.

You will be able to meet and learn about your ancestors from those who are just like you. We are some of the 750,000 “Un-documented Cherokee”; we wish to “Gather” all of those who want a place to call home and a family to celebrate their heritage with. It’s what is in your heart that makes you a Tsalagi, not the card issued to you by the Federal Government that says you have enough blood quantum and / or your ancestors were counted like sheep in a specific place, at a certain time in the 1800 or 1900’s. Although we do have some Federally registered members who have also joined the UCN, some due to dissatisfaction to what is now happening with the Federal tribes. Any and all Tsalagi are welcome, period. We do not discriminate in anyway. We do not care from where you come, or how you got to this place in time, as long as you now are on the White Path with us.

The right to call yourself an Indian, specifically a Cherokee Indian is guaranteed to you by the Constitution of the United States and may not be limited in any way by those that do not agree with you or who are so young or so foolish as to remain brainwashed by the very leaders that lead them down the path to their own final destruction, as a Nation. Ask the Creator and you will be shown the “White Path of Peace”, seek and ye shall find. I would hope some day to have all one million Tsalagi (Cherokee) as members.”…”

You see, it is entirely possible Elizabeth Warren is right and William Jacobson is very very wrong.  Is anyone bothering to make a comment on one little salient fact?

“…The credibility of Massachusetts Democratic  Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took another hit today as Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr released evidence that appears to confirm Ms. Warren may have plagiarized at least three of the five recipes she submitted to the 1984 Pow Wow Chow cookbook edited by her cousin Candy Rowsey…”

If her cousin is an accepted Native American…well, you draw the logical conclusion here.  Evidently the book she edited was a big deal.  It was written in 1984 and published by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum.  Looks to me like the book would not have been published by such a reputable museum unless Warren’s cousin was “authentic” in her genealogy.

Ed Morissey is the only person who appears to be treating this subject with a bit of reasonable wisdom.  I agree with him, completely.

“...I don’t disagree with this, but I’d like to put it into some perspective and context.  First, it might still be possible that Warren has some small amount of Native American ancestry; we have seen quite a bit of negations of positive claims, but not necessarily a conclusive negation that traces every ancestor back to the Mayflower, or some such.  It does sound as though Warren heard some family lore along those lines, unless she just flat-out lied for the last several decades, which could also be true.  But it’s worthwhile to point out that there is a large difference between being wrong and lying, which is a difference conservatives like myself have pointed out for years when it came to George Bush’s belief that Saddam Hussein had stockpiled WMDs prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

However, the real problem in this case is the system that incentivized Warren, Harvard, and everyone else to make claims like this in the first place.  Affirmative action programs (and later Equal Opportunity additions) had a well-intentioned purpose to right actual wrongs against certain populations — and it’s hard to imagine two populations with more legitimate grievances than Americans of African or Native heritage.  What started out as a well-intentioned purpose became a mockery in almost no time at all, though, and worse.  These programs incentivized division in America rather than unity.  Instead of just being Americans, we all ended up as hyphenations, the latest of which is “bow-tying white boys.”….”

 

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2 Comments

  • jose maria says:

    I have a friend who is a full blooded Cherokee Indian. As for myself, according to records, I am a full blooded European. My father did a lot of genealogical research on both sides of my family in the United States and Europe. I have plenty of French and Spanish ancestry, but there is no evidence of any Indian (or native American)descent….Interesting about James Vann and the Cherokees. What many people do not know is that the last Confederate general to surrender was not Robert E. Lee, but General Stand Watie of the Cherokee nation…. Some of my ancestors fought with Andrew Jackson in the Creek Indian War and then later at the Battle of New Orleans. The Creeks were very interesting people. Did you ever hear of Lachlan McGillivray and Alexander McGillivray? The Creeks were light skinned people to begin with and by the time of the Creek War they had intermarried a great deal with whites. According to some of the stories of my ancestors it was hard to tell who the enemy was by means of color. And at that time they didn’t wear feathers and deer skins. Their chief was Lamochattee or Red Eagle, who was actually William Weatherford, a dignified southern planter…..If Warren wants to claim a small amount of Indian ancestry. I have no problem with that. She has as much right to do so as I have to claim ancestry from the Alba family of Spain. But I have never referred to myself as Hispanic, even though the women in my family, who were decidedly French, spoke only Spanish at the time of the Creek War. They happened to grow up in New Orleans, when it was under the control of Spain.

  • SJ Reidhead says:

    It’s too bad people don’t know much about our cultural history.

    The light skin holds true in the upstate of South Carolina. I would suspect that well over half the population, who had ancestors there by 1800, are part Cherokee. No papers, though.

    SJR


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