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Lot 59: First Lady Florence Harding Inscribed Illustrated Executive Mansion Card
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: HARDING, FLORENCE. (1860-1924). First lady from 1921-1923. Illustrated Executive Mansion card signed. (“Florence Kling Harding”). 1p. Small oblong 8vo. N.p., N.d. Inscribed with “Greetings and good wishes…” ********** Florence Kling was the daughter of a prominent Marion, Ohio banker and political enemy of local newspaper publisher, Warren G. Harding. Despite her father’s opposition to the match, Harding’s rumored black ancestry, her divorce, and a five-year age difference, the pair married in 1891. Harding admired his wife’s administrative skills and she was intimately involved in his business affairs, even managing the Marion Star during one of his illnesses. ********** Harding served as Ohio’s governor and senator before his 1920 election to the White House. Swept into office by a landslide victory, he oversaw the country’s prosperous post-war years, which were marked by increased employment and peace with the nation’s former foreign enemies. Florence was not only a gracious White House hostess but also an active first lady, advocating for veterans and the poor and influencing her husband’s selection of cabinet members. She also embraced Jazz-Age trends, serving alcohol regardless of Prohibition, showing movies in the White House, flying in airplanes, and driving in her Locomobile. ********** Despite being well liked, Harding’s presidency was marred by the Teapot Dome scandal and the conviction of corrupt appointees in the Justice Department, Veterans’ Bureau and other federal agencies. In 1923, Harding became the first U.S. president to visit Alaska, during a nationwide tour dubbed the “Voyage of Understanding.” The journey encompassed much of the Western U.S., and exhausted the president who became ill and died in San Francisco on August 2, 1923. ********** With a nearly invisible paperclip impression and two staple holes. Very light wear and in very fine condition.