1906: Warren’s ‘White’ Great Grandfather Shot Indian

Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes has discovered an August 17, 1906 article from the Muskogee (Oklahama) Times Democrat which states that John H. Crawford, the great-grandfather Elizabeth Warren claims was part Cherokee, shot and probably mortally wounded an Indian who had attacked his son.

The 1906 article, which can be seen here, clearly states that Crawford is white. As Barnes describes it:

Elizabeth Warren is the granddaughter of Hannie Crawford, daughter of John H. Crawford. Warren says the Crawfords were Cherokee.

According to the Boston Globe,

“Rosco Crawford, Hannie Crawford’s brother, told (his granddaughter) that as a young boy living in the Creek Nation of Indian Territory, the Indians were “pretty mean.” Once, when a Creek was hitting Crawford’s younger brother, their father shot and wounded the Indian, according to her biography, on file at California State University at Fullerton.”

The story Hannie’s brother, Rosco, told his granddaughter is true.

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection elaborates: “This clipping also helps further debunk the elopement story, as Warren’s mother’s family was identified as white even in the local paper.”

John H. Crawford was the grandfather of Ms. Warren’s mother, Paula Reed Herring. Her mother, Bethania (“Hannie”) Crawford Reed, was John H. Crawford’s daughter and Rosco Crawford’s sister. It is Bethania (“Hannie”) Crawford Reed in the famous “high cheekbone” family photograph so frequently mentioned by Ms. Warren as evidence of her Cherokee heritage.


Complete text linked here.

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