History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Warren G. Harding

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Scarce The White House card with black ink signature

Warren Gamaliel Harding, 18651923.  29th President of the United States.  2¾” x 4¼” The White House card, signed Warren G. Harding.

This is a scarce example of President Harding‘s signed The White House cards.  Because he served as President less than 2½ years before his untimely, unexpected death on August 2, 1923, Harding’s cards “were never common,” and they &ldqo;have become somewhat scarce in recent years.”  Lynne E. Keyes & Stephen Koschal, The History of Collecting Executive Mansion, White House, and The White House Cards 54 (2d ed. 2006).

Harding, an Ohio Republican, was a newspaper publisher turned politician.  He served in the Ohio Senate and later as Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor.  He was elected to the United States Senate in 1914.  Six years later, when the Republican convention deadlocked, party leaders meeting at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago picked the dark horse Harding.

Harding’s pledge of a “Return to Normalcy&rdqu; appealed to Americans tired of the preoccupation with World War I and its aftermath.  Harding, who like William McKinley waged the campaign from his front porch in Marion, Ohio, rode into the White House on a landslide victory.  Harding and Calvin Coolidge defeated their Democratic opponents, Ohio Governor James M. Cox and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, by margins of 60%-34% in the popular vote and 404-127 in the electoral vote.   

Harding’s cabinet included luminaries such as Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, a former Supreme Court justice and Republican presidential nominee who would later serve as Chief Justice of the United States; Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon; and Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, who would later be elected President of the United States himself.  But Harding also surrounded himself with others who proved unworthy of his trust. Administration officials were convicted of accepting bribes and other illegal activities.  The most prominent was Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, who was convicted of leasing public oil reserves to business associates in exchange for bribes and illegal no-interest loans in a scandal that became known as the “Teapot Dome Scandal.”  It is unclear whether Harding himself knew of the wrongdoing.

Harding did not survive his elected term.  He died in San Francisco after becoming ill on a West Coast trip, and Coolidge succeeded him.

This card is illustrated in Keyes & Koschal, supra, at 55.

This card is in fine condition.  Harding has signed it with a nice black fountain pen signature.  The card is uniformly toned.  A few minor stains, which are smaller than they appear on the enlarged scan below, do not detract from the overall appearance of the card.

Unframed.    Please click here for information about custom framing this piece.


This item has been sold.

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