AP NEWS

Jeanne Shaheen not talking ancestry with Liz Warren

June 7, 2017

New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says her direct lineage to Pocahontas is too touchy a subject to bring up in conversation with Bay State U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who claims her own Native American heritage.

“It’s kind of a sensitive topic,” Shaheen told CNN when asked if she’s told Warren about her ancestry, “so probably not.”

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President Trump has berated Warren as “Pocahontas” because she claimed Native American heritage in law school directories, and Harvard Law School even touted her ancestry to illustrate its diversity.

Warren has pointed mostly to family lore and an anecdote about her Aunt Bea remarking that Warren’s grandfather “had high cheekbones like all of the Indians do,” to back up her claims.

But Shaheen claims to have more concrete evidence of her ties to Pocahontas. She told CNN she has “the family tree to show it.”

Shaheen added that she has not told Trump about her Pocahontas connection.

Warren does not claim to be descended from Pocahontas but has said she’s descended through both Cherokee and Delaware tribes.

Spokeswomen for Shaheen and Warren did not return requests for comment last night.

Pocahontas was born around 1595 and assisted the colonists of Jamestown in Virginia. She was said to have saved the life of Capt. John Smith from execution by her father, Chief Powhatan, in an account that historians still debate the accuracy of.

Pocahontas went on to marry John Rolfe, a tobacco farmer, and they had one child together, Thomas Rolfe, in 1615. She died of illness just two years later on her way back to Virginia from London.

There are as many as 100,000 descendants of Pocahontas alive today, according to the National First Ladies’ Library, which cites Edith Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan, Bess Truman, Frances Cleveland, Jane Pierce and Edith Bolling Wilson among them.