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February 10, 2005

Winston Churchill Was Not an Indian, It Seems

Like so many people, I find Winston Churchill fascinating. Like Margaret Thatcher, he was a Tory leader whose individualism, bravery, and high principle puzzled his timid Wet fellow party leaders, made them suspicious and treacherous, and made him stand out among them. He liked to flaunt, and they liked to whisper, his half-American and part-Indian ancestry ("What else can you expect from a Wild Indian like Winston?"). I googled this, thinking it would be a nice connection to the Ward Churchill affair, but it turns out that actually, despite family tradition, Churchill did not have Indian ancestors.

The fact remains true, however, that many people who look mainly white or black, are part-Indian, despite having no official records and not having the privileges of being an official member of a tribe. This is one of the good things about America. Just as I can be Scottish when I want, pointing to great-great-grandpa Andrew Brodie, or Welsh if that is more convenient, pointing to great-great-grandma Margaret Jones, or a descendant of one of the first settlers of New Haven, Connecticut, pointing to great-great... great-grandpa Thomas Monson, so many people can legitimately lay claim to a few drops of Indian blood.

Posted by erasmuse at February 10, 2005 10:04 AM

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