See It Now: Historians Discuss Significance of President Harding’s Letters

The Library of Congress will open a collection of approximately 1,000 pages of love letters between 29th U.S. President Warren G. Harding and his mistress, Carrie Fulton Phillips, on Tuesday, July 29. The collection has been locked in a vault in the Manuscript Division since its donation in 1972.

The letters were written between 1910 and 1920 during an affair that began in 1905 between then-Ohio Lt. Gov. Warren Harding and family friend Carrie Fulton Phillips. The vast majority of the letters were written by Harding—many while he served in the U.S. Senate (1915-1921). Additional material from the Phillips/Mathée family will also be accessible to the public on July 29.

On July 22, the Library hosted a symposium on the historical significance of the Harding/Phillips correspondence. The following is a webcast of the program.

Manuscript Division Chief James Hutson moderated the panel, which included Library of Congress archivist Karen Linn Femia, Ohio lawyer and historian James D. Robenalt and Dr. Richard Harding, a grandnephew of President Harding, who made this statement on behalf of the Harding family. Members of the Mathée family provided a statement that can be read here.

2 Comments

  1. C.Sung
    July 30, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Outstanding presentation.

    Is the exhibit they refer to available on the website. A tour thorugh the accompanying display would enrich this presentation since the speakers refer to it several times.

  2. Erin Allen
    July 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for your comment. The papers opened to the public yesterday, as well as went online. You can view them here: http://www.loc.gov/collection/warren-harding-carrie-fulton-phillips-correspondence/about-this-collection/
    You can also read a bit more about them in yesterday’s blog post: http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2014/07/president-hardings-letters-open-to-the-public/

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