US President Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920 and passed away in office three years later, had several mistresses. Among the women with whom he had extramarital relations is Nan Britton, with whom he eventually fathered a daughter: Elizabeth Ann Blaesing. For almost a century this lineage was not known, until in 2015 a match between the DNA of the woman’s son, James Blaesing, and that of two descendants of Harding, concluded the kinship and made their link with the president official. Now, five years later, Blaesing has gone to a court in Ohio to ask that the remains of the Republican be exhumed so that he can “establish with scientific certainty” his blood relationship.
The descendants of the Hardings don’t want to get into a legal battle. Not because they do not want to recognize Blaesing as his relative, but precisely because they have done so since 2015, without leaving room for doubt. They don’t need any more proof. The request came after Blaesing felt ignored during preparations for the centennial celebration of Harding’s election. Neither he nor his immediate relatives have been contacted for the new presidential center in Marion (Ohio), a city near where the president was born in 1865. The grandson defends that he deserves “to have his story, the story of his mother and the story of his grandmother included in the sacred corridors and museums “.
“I auditioned [de ADN] and we presented it to the public in 2015. Now we are in 2020 and nobody has asked me anything, “said Blaesing in an interview with the AP agency, in which he describes that his mother’s legacy has been reduced to a kind of footnote in the new museum. “I am not part of anything. Nothing. My brothers, me. We are invisible. They treat us like they treated my grandmother. “The president’s grandson believes that if they exhume the remains of his grandfather from the presidential monument where they have been since 1927, and he manages to prove more clearly that they are related, they will be taken more into account. AncestryDNA, a DNA testing division of Ancestry.com, already confirmed this five years ago.
The Ohio History Connection museum and research center, which manages the Hardings home and memorial, has been cautious in the dispute. Spokesperson Emmy Beach clarified that the organization accepts the 2015 DNA results “as fact” and plans a section of the new museum “on Harding’s relationship with Nan Britton and his daughter, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing.” She also warned the courts to consider a number of factors before opening the sarcophagus containing Harding’s remains and also those of her wife, First Lady Florence Kling Harding.
In 2011 it was the president’s great-nephew, Peter Harding, and his granddaughter, Abigail Harding, who approached the Blaesing family to tie up the loose ends about their blood relationship. “Unfortunately, the widespread public recognition and acceptance by descendants, historians and biographers (and Blaesing himself) that Blaesing is the grandson of President Harding is not enough for him,” family members complained in a cited court file. by AP, in which they described the lawsuit as a tactic to get attention.