In a June 29 interview with NECN’s Jim Braude on the BroadSide television program, Elizabeth Warren (shown above in this 1950s photograph sitting next to her mother) claimed that her mother’s Native American heritage continued to divide her father’s family from her mother’s throughout her mother’s life. It was so significant to both families, she claims, it was an issue raised at her mother’s funeral in 1995.
She fails to provide details, however, of the context in which this “issue” was raised at her mother’s funeral and by whom.
Here’s a transcript of the first part of the interview:
“Actually, you have it wrong about what it is I believe. My mom and dad were very much in love with each other and they wanted to get married and my father’s parents said absolutely not.
“You can’t marry her because she’s part Cherokee and she’s part Delaware. And um, after fighting it as long as they could, my parents went off, they eloped.
“It was an issue in our family the whole time I grew up about these two families. It was an issue still raised at my mother’s funeral.
“So what I know about my parents is I know that in that little town they grew up in that my father’s parents knew enough about my mother and her family to say I have no doubts.”
It’s not much of an evidentiary standard offered by this Harvard Law School professor. Her recollection of a verbal statement made to her by one of her parents about a statement made by her grandparents decades ago would fail to meet the courtroom requirements for offers of proof. It certainly fails to meet the evidentiary standards applied by amateur and professional genealogists.
It’s also quite odd that in Warren’s telling of this particular tall tale, her father’s parents noted with specificity that her mother’s family had both Cherokee and Delaware heritage. It’s a well known technique among liars to embellish their tales with specifics so as to lend credibility to their tales. Sometimes, however, the details seem so ludicrous they serve only to expose the lie.
No family member who attended the 1995 funeral of Pauline Reed Herring, Ms. Warren’s mother, has yet come forward to corroborate Ms. Warren’s account. William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection has followed up with Ms. Warren’s nephew, Mark Herring, who doesn’t give much credence to these “rumors” of Native American heritage on Warren’s mother’s side of the family.
In fact, none of Ms. Warren’s siblings (all three of her older brothers are still alive apparently) have come forward to corroborate any of her stories in which she claims Native American heritage through her mother’s family.
Perhaps Ms. Warren believes if she repeats her tall tales loudly enough and often enough people will start believing her due to the sheer force of her own will and desire. She would be well advised to offer some real proof instead, or alternatively, to merely confess that her entire “Native American heritage” story is false.
Michael Patrick Leahy is a Breitbart News contributor, Editor of Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, and author of Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.