The Slatest

DNA Testing Confirms That Warren G. Harding Was a Real Dog With the Ladies

Warren G. Harding.

Library of Congress/Wikipedia

The New York Times on Thursday published a story about Dr. Peter Harding, a 72-year-old grandnephew of president Warren G. Harding who, via DNA testing, appears to have confirmed the account of a woman named Nan Britton who wrote after President Harding’s death that she’d had a daughter with him during a years-long affair:

Dr. Harding and his cousin, Abigail Harding, decided to pursue the matter and made contact with James Blaesing, a grandson of Ms. Britton and son of the daughter she claimed to have conceived with the president. Testing by AncestryDNA, a division of, the genealogical website, found that Mr. Blaesing was a second cousin to Peter and Abigail Harding, meaning that Elizabeth Ann Blaesing had to be President Harding’s daughter.

And how did Dr. Harding come to believe Nan Britton might have been telling the truth? Because he read her book—and its description of Harding reminded him of letters, made public by the Library of Congress, that the married president had written to another mistress.

After finding Ms. Britton’s book, “The President’s Daughter,” among his father’s belongings, though, he concluded that the man described in it resembled the writer of the letters to Ms. [Carrie] Phillips, an expressive romantic who doted on women.

Harding, the Times writes, “was seen by women of the time as attractive.” I guess so!