Everyone knew President Harding was a cad when it came to his marriage, and now we all will know the details as the love letters he wrote to his mistress years before he was elected to the White House are to be released to the public.
On Christmas Eve, 1910, future president Warren G. Harding got out a photograph of himself, and on the back wrote an impassioned love note to his mistress.
“My Darling,” he began. “There are no words, at my command, sufficient to say the full extent of my love for you — a mad, tender, devoted, ardent, eager, passion-wild, jealous . . . hungry . . . love . . .”
“It flames like the fire and consumes,” Harding, 45, who was married and would be elected the 29th president a decade later, wrote. “It racks in the tortures of aching hunger, and glows in bliss ineffable — bliss only you can give.”
His lover, Carrie Fulton Phillips, 37, who was married to one of Harding’s friends, kept the missive and began keeping dozens more love letters from Harding — some of them 30 pages long — despite his requests that she burn them.
Held at The Library of Congress under court-ordered seal for the last 50 years, the trove of the original, often-juicy letters is scheduled to be opened to the public via the Internet on July 29.
Here is a little background on the mistress Carrie Fulton Phillips .
Born in Bucyrus, Ohio, she was heralded as one of the most beautiful women in Ohio in the 1890’s. Married to James Phillips, a department store co-owner in Marion ,Ohio, the newly wed couple set up housekeeping on Main Street in Marion. By her husband, Carrie Phillips bore two children, a girl and a boy. The boy, James Fulton Phillips died while a toddler. Their daughter Isabel survived into adulthood. It wasn’t long before the young woman came under the eye of Marion Star publisher Warren G. Harding. The Harding’s and the Phillips were friends, however she and Harding began a very well documented affair in 1905 that would last until just before the 1920 Presidential Campaign. Phillips’ documentation of the relationship came in the form of impassioned love letters from Harding, some written on United States Senate stationary. The Republican Party was made aware of the relationship and successfully bought Carrie Phillips silence with a lump sum payment in cash, along with a two year tour of the orient; following her return, she would receive an annual stipend, again, for her silence. As she aged, her sentiments for Germany and German culture became well know – so much so that during both World Wars, she was kept under surveillance.