As an old history buff, I find it fascinating to add this postscript to the Elizabeth Warren saga. While the claim of 1/32 native American is still up for grabs, the irony cannot be lost that after research, her great-great- great-grandfather was indeed not of Indian origin, but was part of the round-up of the Cherokees. For those who enjoy history and share my interest, follow the links and enjoy the tale. Most all of the claims in the ad have been disproven with a modicum of effort. Warren, a law professor, removed her claim of a minority in a directory of professors more than a decade ago after she achieved tenure.
The most stunning discovery about the life of O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is that her husband, Ms. Warren’s great-great-great grandfather, was apparently a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee–the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837.
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.
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