Cornell Law School professor William A. Jacobson, citing a genealogist, claimed Tuesday that Massachusetts Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren‘s ancestry includes a great-great-great grandfather who helped round up Cherokees in the days leading to the Trail of Tears.
Warren has struggled to prove her American Indian ancestry since it was revealed more than a week ago that she referred to herself as a Native American minority in the 1980s and ’90s.
“In what may be the ultimate and cruelest irony … it turns out that Warren’s great-great-great grandfather was a member of a militia unit which participated in the round-up of the Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears,” Jacobson wrote on his blog.
The Trail of Tears is the name given to the forced relocation of Native Americans after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. It led to the deaths of thousands of Indians.
Jacobson explained that this information was learned after Warren’s campaign claimed last week that her great-great-great grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford, was herself a Cherokee Indian.
Citing writer and genealogist Michael Patrick Leahy, he reported that a review of that ancestor’s heritage revealed that her husband, Jonathan Crawford, apparently participated in the removal of the Cherokees from Georgia. (RELATED: More on Elizabeth Warren)
Leahy also doubts that O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is Native American, reporting that she was listed in the Census of 1860 as “white.”
A spokeswoman for Warren’s campaign didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Daily Caller on the report.
Warren found herself caught up in controversy after the Boston Herald revealed that the American Association of Law Schools directory described her as a “minority” from 1984 to 1995, and that Harvard later followed suit.
Her campaign has struggled to prove her ancestry and rebut accusations that she self-identified as a minority then to improve her chances of being recruited by prestigious universities.