PRESIDENT WARREN G. HARDING - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 285934
WARREN G. HARDING Rare signed, 4-page autograph letter to his wife during a vacation with Senate colleagues in Augusta, Georgia, describing the good food and his golf and poker winnings and losses Rare ALS: "W.G.", 4 pages, 6x9½, separate sheets.
Sale Price $8,500.00
WARREN G. HARDING
Rare signed, 4-page autograph letter to his wife during a vacation with Senate colleagues in Augusta, Georgia, describing the good food and his golf and poker winnings and losses
Rare ALS: "W.G.", 4 pages, 6x9½, separate sheets. On pictorial stationery of the Hotel Bon Air, Winter Resort, Augusta, Ga., picturing golfers and motorists. Friday eve, no date but circa 1917-1920. To his wife, Florence. In full: "Am tired tonight. Played 36 holes again today - a foursome over the hill course this morning and two threesomes in match play over the Lake course this p.m. Made a good score this morning and gathered in $17.50. Played like a dub this pm and lost $12.50. Only five to the good for the day. We had poker last night. I fared well. No complaint to make. My luck came back for one evening. We see very little of Mrs. Frelinghuysen - only at lunch. She breakfasts and dines in her room, and spends her time with the nurse. So far as I can observe, she sees little of Joe except when he sleeps. Really we are busy all the while. We go to golf after breakfast, return for lunch, start again at 5, and get in time for a bath, then dinner. After dinner & scribble you a line, then it is cards till bed time, and so it goes. The golf is mental rest and good physical training. I am certainly vastly better. The only thing we do wrong is to eat excessively of sweets - there are so many alternative things. We have doughnuts and [illegible] every third day and I never ate better ones. We make few acquaintances - I have met no feminines except Mrs. Hitchcock, Mrs. Frelinghuysen, and Mrs. Butler and daughters. I suppose I shall meet Mrs. Taft. Kellogg is said to be coming tomorrow. I do not know since it is agreeable to you I think I shall stay till next Wednesday, and arrive home on Thursday. It is bully good here, the loaf is helping me, and I am glad you are agreeable to extending the stay. Had you not suggested it I would have started home on Sunday. This is a bully good hotel, it is quiet and exceedingly respectable, and the golf is the greatest ever. Sorry you are not feeling fit. Hope things are turning for the better. It is a fright to be out of sorts and more or less invalided all the time. If you can think of any thing that will help, we will go the limit to have it. I have had two Stars here. Perhaps more are enroute. Still have telegrams asking for speeches-that is why I prefer to stay. Lots of love, and greetings to Hetta and Ethel." Likely written while Harding was Senator from Ohio (1915-1921) as Harding, who thoroughly enjoyed the club-like atmosphere of the Senate, mentions a number of colleagues. JOSEPH FRELINGHUYSEN was Senator from New Jersey from 1917-1923. GILBERT M. HITCHCOCK was Senator from Nebraska from 1911-1923. FRANK B. KELLOGG was Senator from Minnesota from 1917-1923. MRS. TAFT, who enjoyed playing golf, was the wife of the former President, who was a law professor at Yale from 1913-1921. Butler may be PIERCE BUTLER, the Minnesota lawyer whom President Harding appointed to the Supreme Court in 1922. During Harding's six years in the U.S. Senate, he entered into an affair with Nan Britton, who frequently accompanied him on trips as his "niece", and at least one other illicit romance came to light after his death. His wife knew about at least one of his affairs, and, as LuAnn Paletta wrote in The World Almanac of First Ladies: "Jealous, suspicious, and vindictive, Florence kept a little red book that listed Harding's and 'her' enemies." In this letter, her husband mentions the "feminines", as he calls them, who are at the hotel and identifies them by name to his wife. He also mentions two of his other passions, playing golf and cards. His wife often accompanied him to his poker games, where she tended bar. Harding, elected President while he was serving in the Senate, continued playing golf and played poker twice a week, once losing an entire set of White House china in a card game. The Hotel Bon Air, where he was vacationing, opened in Augusta, Georgia in 1892. In 1897, the hotel, with the aid of a group of prominent citizens, organized the Bon Air Golf Club. In 1899, the Country Club of Augusta was organized and in 1901, an 18-hole course was laid out on "The Hill". C.G. Trussel, the Bon Air's manager from the start (his name is on the stationery), worked out a deal where the hotel sent its golfing guests to the club to play a round. An additional 18-hole course was laid out because of the increasing number of golfers coming to Augusta. The so-called "Lake course" not to be confused with the original "Hill course", both mentioned by Harding, had some fairways extending as far as nearby Lake Olmstead. A remarkable letter handwritten by the future President to his wife. Lightly creased. Fine condition.
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