Dismissed as a “degenerate,” denounced as a “pervert’ and publicly shamed for what was termed as a diabolic campaign to tear away at the legacy of former U.S. President Warren G. Harding, Nan Britton can now rest in peace after science has proven she did in fact have a child with the former President. The revelation will both legitimize her family and give her historical prominence.
Before Lucy Mercer or Monica Lewinsky, there was Nan Britton. Britton was rebuked by an entire nation for publishing “falsehoods” about their beloved president. Her claim that she had an affair with the president and that she even sired a daughter with former President Harding were labeled “diabolical” and that she was intent on ruining the legacy of America’s 29th president.
Nan died having never found recognition and her family line has never gotten to know the truth until recently when ancestral DNA testing proved the two did have a daughter together.
The genetic tests revealed that Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, Britton’s daughter, was indeed the daughter of President Harding.
Peter Harding and Abigail Harding, great nephew and great niece of the former president made contact with James Blaesing, grandson to Britton and conducted a genetic DNA test.
Testing by AncesryDNA, an Ancestry.com division, revealed that Blaesing was indeed the second cousin to Peter and Abigail, proving beyond all doubt that Elizabeth Ann Blaesing was truly Harding’s daughter.
Abigail said, “I have no doubts left. When he’s related to me, he’s related to Peter, he’s related to a third cousin – there’s too many nails in the coffin, so to speak. I’m completely convinced.”
Nan Britton grew up in Marion where her father knew Harding. Britton was sprung by Harding, who was 30 years her senior. She hung pictures of him on her wall and even sought his help in finding a job. Harding agreed to meet her in New York in 1917 when she was 20 and ever since she became “Mr. Harding’s bride.”
Harding, at the time, was married but childless, something that made him very attractive back then. Britton’s affair with Harding went on even after he became president. The two found time to meet and even “made love” in “a small closet in the anteroom.” Later on, she became pregnant with his daughter.
Britton said Harding never met their daughter but he did provide financial support.
When Harding died in office in 1927, Britton was devastated. She was more shocked to realize she could neither get recognition nor financial support for her daughter. She resorted to publishing a tell-all book “The President’s Daughter,” leading to years of public rebuking and outright condemnation.
For Blaesing’s family, the truth has finally brought validation to their extended family. For avid American historians, history can finally be rewritten.