Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) great-great-great grandfather Jonathan Crawford served in Major William Lauderdale’s Battalion of Tennessee Volunteer Militia from November 1837 to May 1838, a six month time period during which it fought two battles in Florida against the Seminoles.
Today, there are two federally recognized Native American Seminole tribes, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which has 4,000 enrolled members, and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, which has more than 18,000 enrolled members.
Lauderdale’s battalion fought against the Seminoles at the Battle of Loxahatchee River, in present-day Jupiter, Florida, on January 24, 1838. Then on March 22, 1838, they fought against the Seminoles again at the Battle of Pine Island, in present-day Fort Lauderdale.
A native of Virginia, Lauderdale moved to Tennessee, where he was known as the latest in a long line of Indian fighters, as the Daily Press reported in 1992:
Like other Virginians of his day, Lauderdale developed into an Indian fighter. In 1803 he marched as a Tennessee volunteer to the Louisiana Territory to fight for the United States against the Spanish and the Indians. In the War of 1812 he served under Gen. Jackson and fought against the Indian allies of the British in what are now Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
William Lauderdale became Gen. Jackson’s trusted understudy in the War of 1812. When the Creek Indians rose up to massacre white settlers in Alabama in 1813 and President James Madison ordered Jackson to defend the area, Capt. Lauderdale and his Tennessee Vols helped win the battle of Talladega. Lauderdale went on to play a part in Jackson’s defeat of the British in the battle of New Orleans in 1815, which ended the War of 1812.
Evidence supporting Jonathan Crawford’s service under Lauderdale in Florida was brought by his widow, Neoma O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford, also known as Neona Crawford, to the Bledsoe County Commission of Bledsoe County, Tennessee in 1850 and 1851, when she applied for a pension from the U.S. government for her husband’s service during the 1837-1838 Second Seminole War.
Thursday is debate night in Houston, and Warren is one of the ten candidates seeking the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination who will be on stage. The debate is hosted by ABC and Univision and will be moderated by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, Linsey Davis, and Univision’s Jorge Ramos.
In the first two debates among candidates vying for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, hosted by CNN and MSNBC, Warren faced no questions about her false claims of Native American ancestry.
Neoma O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is Sen. Warren’s great-great-great-grandmother. She and Jonathan Crawford were parents of Sen. Warren’s great-great-grandfather Preston H.Crawford.
In that time period, widows of soldiers who served the United States in the Tennessee Militia began their request for pensions at the county level. William Brown, the chairman of the Bledsoe County Court in 1851, offered these observations about Neoma O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford’s request for a pension when it was brought to his attention.
According to an entry in Sequatchie Valley Revolutionary War Soldiers, which was confirmed to Breitbart News on Wednesday by James Douthat, who compiled and published the book at his company, Mountain Press:
Wm. Brown, Chmn of County Court, requests increase in Sibby Reed’s pension; mentions Thomas Pope of Sparta; and on October 12, 1851 writes that JONATHAN CRAWFORD was a Private in Capt. Richard Waterhouse’s Company in the “Florida War” and died shortly after his return, from disease contracted there. Is not his widow entitled to a pension?
Douthat also confirmed that records show Jonathan Crawford was enrolled in Captain Richard Waterhouse’s company during the Second Seminole War from 1837 to 1838.
The pension for which Neona Crawford, widow of Private Jonathan Crawford, applied in Bledsoe County in 1850 and 1851 was granted by the U.S. Department of War for Neona in 1853. She received a pension of $3.50 per month for a period of six years, ending in 1859. The pension was apparently administered out of the U.S. Department of War’s offices located in Knoxville, Tennessee.
You can see the image of the record of that pension here:
Jonathan Crawford is the same ancestor of Elizabeth Warren who one year earlier in 1836 served in the Tennessee Militia that rounded up Cherokees living in Tennessee at the beginning of the Trail of Tears.
Crawford was among 600 Tennesseans who volunteered to serve in the battallion recruited by William Lauderdale to fight against the Seminoles in Florida.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida offers this description of the Second Seminole War in which Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great grandfather fought against them:
Through the Treaty of Moultrie Creek (1823), the Treaty of Payne’s Landing (1832), and numerous “talks” and meetings, US Indian Agents sought to convince the Florida Indians to sell their cattle and pigs to the US government, return runaway slaves to their “rightful owners,” leave their ancient homelands in Florida, and move west of the Mississippi River to Arkansas Territory. In 1830, soon after Jackson the Indian fighter became Andrew Jackson, the president of the United States, he pushed through Congress an Indian Removal Act. With this Act, the determination of the government to move Indians out of the Southeast and open the land for white settlement became the official policy of the US, and the willingness of the government to spend monies in support of military enforcement of this policy increased.
The clash that inevitably resulted from this policy finally began in 1835, and the seven years that it lasted frame the last, the greatest, and arguably the most tragic years in the history of US-Indian relations east of the Mississippi River. Known to history as the Second Seminole War, the US government committed almost $40,000,000 to the forced removal of slightly more than 3,000 Maskókî men, women, and children from Florida to Oklahoma. This was the only Indian war in US history in which not only the US army but also the US navy and marine corps participated. Together with the desultory Third Seminole War, a series of skirmishes that took place between 1856 and 1858, the United States spent much of the first half of the 19th century in trying, unsuccessfully, to dislodge about 5,000 Seminoles from Florida.
Unlike the “Trail of Tears” that took place in a single, dreadful moment, in 1838, in which several thousand Cherokee people were sent on a death march to the West, the removals of the Seminole people from Florida began earlier and lasted 20 years longer. Just like that other event, however, the toll in human suffering was profound and the stain on the honor of a great nation, the United States, can never be erased. The Seminole people – men, women, and children, were hunted with bloodhounds, rounded up like cattle, and forced onto ships that carried them to New Orleans and up the Mississippi. Together with several hundred of the African ex-slaves who had fought with them, they were then sent overland to Fort Gibson (Arkansas), and on to strange and inhospitable new lands where they were attacked by other tribes, in a fierce competition for the scarce resources that they all needed to survive.
William Lauderdale, the commander of the battalion in which Warren’s ancestor fought, was a close ally of Andrew Jackson.
“Lauderdale was a friend of President Andrew Jackson. The two were neighbors in Tennessee. Jackson asked Lauderdale to take his Tennessee Volunteers to Florida to help in capturing the Seminoles in South Florida to make the area safer for settlers,” the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported in this 1988 article:
Lauderdale arrived on March 5  and began to build a military post, named Fort Lauderdale, on the banks of New River at Southwest Ninth Avenue.J
The city of Fort Lauderdale, named after the fort, was founded 57 years later in 1895. Forts in those days were named after the commanding officer of the men who built them
On March 22, 1838, Lauderdale and 600 men participated in a skirmish of the Second Seminole War on Pine Island. They drove 50 to 100 Indian warriors and their women and children off the island. The soldiers had pushed and pulled their boats through 15 miles of the shallow Everglades and arrived at the settlement exhausted, according to Fort Lauderdale historian Cooper Kirk, who has written a biography of Lauderdale. . .
Kirk says after the Seminole wars there were only 299 Indians left in Florida. Before the wars he says there were not a great number, only 4,500 to 4,800. About 4,000 Seminoles were taken to settlements in Oklahoma. Today, 1,700 Seminoles reside in Florida.
Jonathan Crawford mustered out of Lauderdale’s Battalion at New Orleans, Louisiana, in May 1838, and returned to Tennessee. He died there in 1841.
Breitbart News asked Sen. Warren for comment on this story multiple times through her presidential campaign but did not receive a response.
Specifically, Breitbart News asked Sen. Warren’s presidential campaign this question:
In light of her long record of false claims of Native American ancestry, is Sen. Warren prepared to apologize to Native Americans around the country for making those false claims and acknowledge that her personal heritage includes a direct connection to those who rounded up Cherokees for the Trail of Tears, as well as those who fought against the Seminoles in Florida?
As Breitbart News reported earlier, Sen. Warren is a direct descendant of Jonathan Crawford, “Indian fighter.”
Here are the five generations between Elizabeth Warren and Jonathan Houston Crawford, as documented by Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes at her website, Polly’s Granddaughter, which is summarized here:
Generation 1 (1/2 or 50 percent ancestry), Elizabeth Warren’s mother:
Pauline Louise Reed, the mother of Ms. Warren, was the child of Harry G. Reed and Bethania “Hannie” Crawford. She was born in Hughes County, Oklahoma, on February 14, 1912. She was found on the 1920 US Census living in Hickory Ridge, Okfuskee County, Oklahoma with her parents and siblings, race listed as white. She was found on the 1930 US Census living in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma with her parents, race listed as white. She married Don Herring on January 2, 1932 in Hughes County, Oklahoma. She was found on the 1940 US Censusliving in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma with her husband and children, race listed as white. She died July 18, 1995.
Generation 2 (1/4 or 25 percent ancestry), Elizabeth Warren’s grandmother:
Bethania Elvina “Hannie” Crawford: born 29 Oct 1875 in Laclede County, Missouri; died 11 Nov 1969 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, was the child of John Houston Crawford and Paulina Ann Bowen. She married Harry Gunn Reed on June 2, 1893 in Sebastian, Arkansas.
Generation 3 (1/8 or 12.5 percent ancestry), Elizabeth Warren’s great-grandfather
John Houston Crawford: born 26 Mar 1858 in Laclede County, Missouri; died 23 Jan 1924 in Hughes County, Oklahoma, was the child of Preston H. Crawford and Edith May Marsh. He married Paulina Ann Bowen.
A 1907 newspaper article described John H. Crawford as a “white man” who shot at an Indian.
Generation 4 (1/16 or 6.25 percent ancestry), Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-grandfather
Preston H Crawford:born 1824 in Tennessee; died 1875 in Laclede County, Missouri, was the child of Jonathan H. Crawford and O.C. Sarah Smith. He married Edith May Marsh.
Generation 5 (1/32 or 3.125 percent ancestry), Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great grandfather
According to findagrave.com, Jonathan Houston Crawford was born in Tennessee in 1795, married Neoma “Oma” C. Sarah Smith in Bledsoe County, Tennessee in 1819, and died in Jackson County, Tennessee.
They had 8 children, including Preston J. born about 1824, and William J. Crawford born about 1838, who married Mary Longworth in Oklahoma in 1894.
The Battle of the Loxahatchee will be re-enacted at Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park in Jupiter, Florida on January 24 and 25, 2020.
You can see a YouTube video of earlier re-enactments here:
Jonathan Crawford may not have been the only ancestor of Elizabeth Warren who either rounded up or fought Native Americans.
Last month Rebecca Nagle, a Native American progressive activist who has been critical of Sen. Warren’s false claims of Native American ancestry and the professional benefit she obtained from making those claims, stated that William Marsh, another great-great-grandfather of Warren, also served in the Tennessee Militia that rounded up Cherokees in 1836.
William Marsh’ sdaughter, Edith May Marsh, married Jonathan Crawford’s son, Preston H. Crawford. John Houston Crawford, Elizabeth Warren’s great-grandfather, was their son.