A treasure trove of love letters between President Warren Harding and his mistress Carrie Phillips, during a relationship that took place in the years before he was elected president, is set to go on public display from the Library of Congress, The Washington Post reports.
The collection will be open to the public, and posted on the internet, July 29. The 900 pages of often steamy correspondence, which were kept by Phillips, were bequeathed by the Harding family to the library in 1964 — on the condition that they be kept sealed for 50 years.
On Jan. 2, 1913, Harding wrote to Phillips: "I have been thinking about all those letters you have."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Phillips did not heed those instructions. As for Harding himself, by Sept. 15, 1913, he was writing her yet another impassioned letter recalling one of their meetings:
The collection has also previously been seen by Ohio attorney and author James Robenalt. He was given access to an extra, bootlegged microfilm copy at a local historical society, while researching a book on Harding several years ago. "When I first read these, I felt like a voyeur," Robenalt told The Post. "I shouldn’t be reading this. I should look the other way."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.