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An Early Look at Warren G. Harding's Love Letters

OSUStu's picture
July 8, 2014 at 10:21am

For our own beloved Marionaire:  

DJ mentioned in Friday's Skull Session that on July 29th Warren G. Harding's love letters to his mistresses will be released from a trust.  However, the New York Times has a sneak peek now and the letters contain quite a bit of innuendo and some borderline explicit material.  Some of it is actually romantic.

Some of the interesting bits:

The president often wrote in code, in case the letters were discovered, referring to his penis as Jerry and devising nicknames, like Mrs. Pouterson, for Phillips.

Oh, Carrie mine! You can see I have yielded and written myself into wild desire. I could beg. And Jerry came and will not go, says he loves you, that you are the only, only love worthwhile in all this world, and I must tell you so and a score or more of other fond things he suggests, but I spare you. You must not be annoyed. He is so utterly devoted that he only exists to give you all. I fear you would find a fierce enthusiast today.

Jerry — you recall Jerry, whose cards I once sent you to Europe — came in while I was pondering your notes in glad reflection, and we talked about it. He was strongly interested, and elated and clung to discussion.

Wish I could take you to Mount Jerry. Wonderful spot. Not in the geographies but a heavenly place, and I have seen some passing views there and reveled in them. 

When Carrie Phillips threatened to release their letters prior to his run for president the Republican National Committee paid her between $20-$25,000 to keep quiet.

Now to specific things. I can’t secure you the larger competence you have frequently mentioned. No use to talk about it. I can pay with life or reputation, but I can’t command such a sum! To avoid disgrace in the public eye, to escape ruin in the eyes of those who have trusted me in public life — where I have never betrayed — I will, if you demand it as the price, retire at the end of my term and never come back to [Marion, Ohio] to reside. . . . I’ll pay this price to save my own disgrace and your own self-destruction to destroy me. That is one proposal, complete, final, and covers all.

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