Nan Britton, The President’s Daughter, Scarce Dust Jacket
The Suppressed Story of Harding’s Love Child!
The President’s Daughter is the heart-warming story of an innocent young girl who became pregnant and gave birth to a child whose father happened to be the President of the United States. No. This is not a tawdry fable. This is fact. The President was Warren G. Harding.
In Chapter 18 Britton describes how on July 30, 1917, she finally lost her virginity to the future president after a long courtship, in a New York City hotel on 30th Street overlooking Broadway. Only moments after, the New York City Vice Squad broke down the door. Harding was forced to identify himself. When the police realized that their target was a United States Senator (he was not yet president), the Vice Squad apologized and beat a hasty retreat.
It was not before long that Nan Britton discovered that she was pregnant. Senator Harding set her up in a house in Asbury Park, New Jersey near a casino where he sometimes played poker, and he sent her money through messengers. She was able to keep her pregnancy and the subsequent birth to her of an illegitimate child a secret from everybody, except for her actual lover. The child, Elizabeth Ann, was born on October 22, 1919, not in a hospital but in the same house in Asbury Park NJ where Nan Britton had been staying. This was not uncommon in the era.
In August of 1923, Harding died suddenly. Harding had promised to support their child, but Mrs. Harding refused to honor the obligation. Britton needed to support Elizabeth Ann, and wanted to help other illegitimate children gain some respect. The idea of the “tell-all book” was born.
The President’s Daughter has a story all its own. Bills were introduced in Congress to stop the publication or to make possession of it illegal. On June 10, 1927, an agent of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, accompanied by New York Police seized and carried off plates and printed sheets from the publisher. A few weeks later the plates were returned by court order and one of the more intriguing episodes of attempted censorship in the United States came to an end. Finally, the book was published. Naturally, as the book featured sex romps in the White House, it became a bestseller.
Recently genetic testing confirmed that Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, Britton’s daughter, was also Warren Harding’s daughter.
Light foxing and damp stain; minor chip in dust jacket. Very unusual in original dust jacket.
Britton, Nan. The President’s Daughter. New York: Elizabeth Ann Guild, 1931. Later edition, 399p., frontispiece, illustrations, dust jacket.