A remarkable historical detective story that unearths the life and times of a “trickster” African-American who was able to “pass,” and strive spectacularly, as Latino. …
[The book follows] the life of nimble businessman William Henry Ellis, aka Guillermo Enrique Eliseo—born in 1864 to biracial slaves in Victoria, Texas—whose olive skin and facility with Spanish allowed him to move freely between the porous U.S.–Mexico border and reinvent himself in an extraordinary manner. Ellis’ ability to pass as Mexican or Cuban (or even Hawaiian) while on business above and below the border is only one facet of this fascinating story. He rode in first-class cars, stayed at length in the British-owned Hotel Gillow in Mexico City, built a trading firm on Wall Street, and married a white woman. Ellis was surely a kind of confidence man …
Another review states that
William Ellis had an apartment on Central Park West and a Wall Street office. His frequent trips to Mexico City were by first-class rail.
He corresponded with President Teddy Roosevelt. He hobnobbed with Mexican dictators. He did, or tried to do, deals involving diamonds in Ethiopia and cotton, rubber and hydroelectricity in Mexico.
If Ellis were around today, he might have his own reality show. …
In Mexico, he once said he was the illegitimate son of railroad magnate Collis Huntington.
According to the author, Ellis was an “ordinary American mulatto” who passed himself off, quite successfully, as an “upper-class Mexican,” “the wealthiest resident of the City of Mexico,” and “a prominent Mexican politician.”
Ellis began life about as poor as a person could be in this country–as a slave. But by adopting a false persona, he ended up among the wealthy elite.
After reading a review of this book about Ellis, I was reminded of recent news concerning another conman and trickster: Barack Hussein Obama Sr. (BHO Sr.), declared father of Barack Hussein Obama II (BHO II).
A story in the New York Times documented discovery, about three years ago, of a “treasure trove” of letters and documents belonging to BHO Sr. Before long, somebody at the Schomburg Center, where the papers were found, notified the White House.
In the original version of their story, the New York Times reported that BHO II’s staff claimed at the time that he would read the documents only after he left the White House in 2017. The story was later updated to state that BHO II himself learned of these documents only “recently,” mimicking a narrative that we’ve heard many times before–that BHO II was unaware of something until he read it in the paper or saw it reported on television, making one wonder why his staff keep him in the dark so much of the time. Apparently it became difficult for them to explain BHO II’s seeming indifference to this “treasure trove.”
The director of the Schomburg Center, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, is the great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad, leader for more than 40 years of the Nation of Islam. About 11 years younger than BHO II, Muhammad grew up, like Michelle Obama, on the South Side of Chicago. Were the Robinson and Muhammad families acquainted?
How did these records happen to be at the Schomburg Center in the first place? They were
preserved among the papers of a foundation that provided scholarships to African students at the time …
A researcher found the papers there, sometime in 2013. Why their existence is only just now being reported, is a question left unanswered by the NY Times.
We’re told that BHO Sr. never mentioned his alleged first American wife in these letters and documents. Alleged first, because there’s speculation that BHO Sr. had another American wife before BHO II’s mother, and because we know for certain that he had at least one other American wife after BHO II’s mother: Ruth Baker.
The New York Times article refers to BHO II’s mother as “Ann Dunham”, despite that her legal name is supposed to have been Stanley Ann Dunham.
These newly reported papers show that when applying for financial aid from Harvard in 1963, BHO Sr. pointedly left blank the section asking for his marital status and names of dependents. Why would he do that?
A man with a wife and children to support is more likely to need financial aid than a single man, but perhaps he didn’t want to admit to bigamy or explain his apparent polygamy. The NY Times referenced this Harvard financial aid application, but did not link to it nor include it in the article, so readers could read it for themselves.
Similarly, in April 1964, BHO Sr. did not fill out marital status on his I-539 (an INS form to change immigration status).
One letter, from less than a week after BHO Sr.’s alleged marriage to Ann Dunham, also failed to mention Dunham, his new wife, even though BHO Sr. was explaining in the letter that he couldn’t perform scholastically as well as expected over the previous semester and was now asking for financial assistance.
As one Obama researcher pointed out, there were indications–based upon BHO Sr.’s rather notorious promiscuity after his alleged marriage to Ann and despite the existence of another wife and at least two children back home in Kenya–that he may have participated in a “sham marriage” to Dunham that could be mutually beneficial: BHO Sr. might be able to stay in the U.S. and obtain a green card or even citizenship, while Ms. Dunham would have a father for her child, at least on paper.
Further evidence supporting the possibility of a sham marriage: The two did not live together at the time of the birth, if ever; according to INS records the mother was giving the child up for adoption through the Salvation Army in April 1961, after the alleged marriage (“Miss Dunham” was making the arrangements); BHO Sr.’s visa extension allowed him to stay in the U.S. only until August 8 (just a week after the impending birth); and Ann had moved to Washington state, without her husband, perhaps even without her son, to attend college when that son was only three weeks old. As the aforementioned Obama researcher states:
INS documents indicate authorized government immigration agents suspected the evidence for an Obama-Dunham marriage was thin, and doubts that the Kenyan was the biological father were substantial.
A letter of reference, written on BHO Sr.’s behalf, was dated April 1, 1961–around the same time that BHO Sr. was telling the INS that Ann planned to arrange for the child to be adopted. The letter writer makes no mention of BHO Sr.’s pregnant wife in the USA.
The aforementioned (and most excellent) researcher speculates that the reason BHO Sr. never claimed Ann and son to help him remain in the USA is because the INS had basically tipped him off that to do so would cause them to initiate an investigation into the legitimacy of the alleged marriage and birth.
According to the NY Times:
[F]or now, the records reside in Box 214 of the Phelps Stokes Fund collection in the Schomburg’s temperature-controlled, off-site storage facility.
One can read about the Phelps Stokes Fund collection here, where access to the records is “restricted,” although I see no explanation for why they’re restricted or how records in a public library can be restricted. But of course we can guess.
This link explains the fund and reveals that
From 1959-63, Weiss was executive director of the African-American Students Foundation (AASF), whose mission was to raise money to help African students attend colleges in the United States. Among the noteworthy recipients of AASF education grants were Wangari Maathai and Barack Obama, Sr. (the father of future U.S. President Barack Obama). …
During the Vietnam War, Weiss was a leader of Women Strike for Peace, an anti-nuclear/antiwar group that, according to a congressional study, “enjoyed the complete support of the Communist Party.” Throughout the mid- to late Sixties, Weiss organized numerous anti-war demonstrations, the largest of which was held in Washington, DC on November 15, 1969.
Weiss also participated in numerous meetings with Vietnamese Communist officials in Paris and Hanoi. After one particular trip to Hanoi in December 1969, during which she had visited the infamously brutal “Hanoi Hilton,” …
In 1978 Weiss was invited by William Sloane Coffin, the activist left-wing minister at Riverside Church in Manhattan, to run Riverside’s Disarmament Program, which, in the name of “peace,” sought to help consolidate Soviet nuclear superiority in Europe. In this role, Weiss in 1982 helped organize the largest pro-disarmament demonstration ever held. [Did Barack H. Obama II attend that demonstration? He was at Columbia University at the time and wrote an article for the student paper about nuclear disarmament. His missing thesis was also about the same topic.]
During her decade-long tenure at Riverside, which was situated across the street from the headquarters of the National Council of Churches, Weiss regularly received Cuban intelligence agents, Russian KGB agents, and Sandinista friends.
The bottom line is that there remains something very mysterious about BHO II’s life history and “strange career”. Was BHO Sr. truly his father or was he a convenient, willing stand-in? Was Ann Dunham really his biological mother, or did she adopt, rather than give up for adoption, a child now known to us as Barack Hussein Obama II, who was once known as Barry Soetoro, just as William Ellis was also known as Guillermo Eliseo?
We know which identity truly belongs to Ellis. What, then, is BHO II’s true identity?
One thing we do know: whereas Ellis began life as the poorest of the poor and pretended later in life to be born to Mexican aristocracy, BHO II’s trajectory was the opposite.
BHO II was born into the progressive elite, spent his entire life rubbing elbows with the elite in Indonesia and later in Hawaii, now spends much of his free time in the company of long-time, wealthy and privileged friends from his elite high school, and yet began his own very strange career pretending to be a poor, lower middle-class child whose mother had to rely on food stamps.
See here for the truth about BHO II’s privileged upbringing.
And here’s a blast from the past, wherein we fact checked FactCheck for their obfuscations about allegations Donald Trump made concerning the sketchiness of Obama’s life story.
Wouldn’t it be fitting if Trump were to follow Obama into the White House?