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.