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FIRST LADY FLORENCE K. HARDING - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 06/10/1922 - HFSID 276574

The First Lady writes to Richard W. Child, the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, in 1922, shortly after the Teapot Dome scandal was uncovered by the "Wall Street Journal". Because of the furor that followed, the Hardings' trip "to the West and Alaska" looked "very uncertain".

Sale Price $500.00

Reg. $625.00

Condition: lightly creased, lightly soiled
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FLORENCE K. HARDING
The First Lady writes to Richard W. Child, the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, in 1922, shortly after the Teapot Dome scandal was uncovered by the "Wall Street Journal". Because of the furor that followed, the Hardings' trip "to the West and Alaska" looked "very uncertain".
TLS: "Florence Kling Harding" as First Lady, 2p, 5x8, conjoined leaves. Washington, D.C., 1922 June 10. On embossed "The White House" letterhead to Honorable Richard W. Child, The American Ambassador, Rome, Italy. Begins: "My dear Mr. Ambassador". In full: "I was very glad indeed to have your letter of some weeks ago, and it would have had an earlier answer but for my busy days. Theoretically I should be having much more leisure now that the season has passed, but actually each day is always full to overflowing. I am pleased and rejoiced to hear how well you are doing everything - and the best reports come from all sides. You take such good care of everyone, and they feel you have such good understanding of diplomatic matters. I am sure it must be a very fascinating experience from every point of view, and I was interested by the photograph and the pen picture you gave me of Lloyd George. I am going to make this a joint letter to your wife also, for she wrote me such a nice note of Christmas greeting, which I have long been promising myself to answer. I hear how delightful she makes the Embassy, which they say is one of the most attractive places in Rome. The little girls must be at the most beguiling age, and I imagine will be picking up Italian as easily as English. I hope you are all going to be able to get away into some invigorating air for at least part of the summer, as the Roman summer must be almost as trying as Washington in July and August. We had hoped to be able to go to a real change for the West and Alaska, but it all looks very uncertain. With greetings and best wishes to you both. Sincerely yours". On April 14, 1922, the "Wall Street Journal" reported that New Mexico U.S. Senator Albert B. Fall, in a secret arrangement, leased oil fields on public lands to a private oil company without competitive bidding. Although there was no public outcry at the time, Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. arranged for an investigation into the matter by the Senate Committee on Public Lands. The investigation would lead to a series of civil and criminal lawsuits throughout the 1920s. Harding, whose administration was already known for corruption, set off on a "Voyage of Understanding in June 1923, a full year after his wife wrote this letter that mentions their proposed trip to the West. President Harding, who fell ill during the trip, died at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on August 2, 1923. RICHARD WASHBURN CHILD (1881-1935) was U.S. Ambassador to Italy from 1921-1924. FLORENCE MABEL KLING DeWOLFE (1860-1924), known as "Flossie" by her friends, was a 30-year-old divorcée with a young son (Marshall Eugene De Wolfe) when she married 25-year-old newspaper publisher WARREN G. HARDING in her hometown of Marion, Ohio on July 8, 1891. Florence soon took over the business side of her husband's newspaper, and her domineering manner led Harding to refer to her as "the Duchess". When Harding became President, his First Lady, although ill with a chronic kidney ailment, opened the White House to visitors and threw herself into entertaining. She also traveled with her husband whenever possible and undertook the strenuous 1923 trip to the West with him. After the President's sudden death in San Francisco, she endured the train trip back to Washington with his body. After the state funeral, she accompanied the body back to Marion for burial. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Ink has spread on the "F" of Florence and the "i" in Harding. Lightly soiled. Pencil notes (unknown hand) at upper right margin of first page. Overall, fine and interesting.

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