President Harding’s Love Child

Send the man a box of cigars! President Warren G. Harding, often considered one of America’s most scandalous presidents, is a father. Yes, he’s been dead for 92 years. But DNA tests just confirmed that he IS the father of a long-rumoured love child.

President Warren G. Harding

The married Harding started a long-term affair with Nan Britton, a woman 31 years his junior, while serving as a U.S. senator from Ohio. It continued through his presidency and until his death in 1923. The couple met for adventurous sexcapades in his senate office and even in a small coat room off the Oval Office.

HArding britton
Nan and Elizabeth Britton

One of those trysts in the senate resulted in Britton giving birth to their daughter, Elizabeth, in 1919. Harding never acknowledged his parentage but did offer the two financial  support.  After his death, Harding’s family refused to continue the support- they doubted Britton’s claim as they were convinced that a childhood bout with mumps had left Harding unable to have children. Britton needed money and so she wrote a tell-all book about her affair.

Historians, journalists, and scandal-lovers debated Britton’s claim over the years. After all, it’s a juicy story. Now, thanks to technology, it seems that we know for sure. Here’s a New York Times article that gives more details on the DNA test:

Speaking of juicy….randy-handy Harding’s love life made news last year with the release of a batch of love letters to ANOTHER MISTRESS, Carrie Phillips.

harding and philips
Carrie Fulton Phillips and a younger photo of Harding

The impressively passionate and dirty letters were donated to the Library of Congress by the Harding family in 1964 with the restriction that they remain sealed for 50 years. That expired last year, so we can all read bawdy excerpts such as:

Dec. 24, 1910

I love you more than all the world and have no hope of reward on earth or hereafter, so precious as that in your dear arms, in your thrilling lips, in your matchless breasts, in your incomparable embrace.

Sept. 15, 1913

Honestly, I hurt with the insatiate longing, until I feel that there will never be any relief untilI take a long, deep, wild draught on your lips and then bury my face on your pillowing breasts. Oh, Carrie! I want the solace you only can give. It is awful to hunger so and be so wholly denied. . . . Wouldn’t you like to hear me ask if we only dared and answer, “We dare,” while souls rejoicing sang the sweetest of choruses in the music room? Wouldn’t you like to get sopping wet out on Superior — not the lake — for the joy of fevered fondling and melting kisses? Wouldn’t you like to make the suspected occupant of the next room jealous of the joys he could not know, as we did in morning communion at Richmond?. . .

In this letter, Harding describes his “mad, tender, devoted, ardent, eager, passion-wild, jealous, reverent, wistful, hungry, happy love” for Carrie Phillips

Hard to believe the man in the photos is the author, let alone actor, in the steamy affair he carried on with one of his best friend’s wife. This affair almost cost Harding the presidency. The tale of blackmail, spies, and payoffs are covered in the articles listed below.

And these were just two of the many scandals connected to Harding and his presidency! Since the recent news focuses on his love life, we’ll lcover more on Harding’s other escapades in a later post. In the meantime, with my condolences to the long-suffering Mrs. Florence Harding….

Happy Father’s Day, President Harding!

The Letter That Warren G. Harding’s Family Didn’t Want You to See:

Warren Harding’s Love Letters Finally Give Us Something to Remember Him For:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s