HARDING, Warren G. Typed letter signed ("Warren G. Harding") as President-Elect, to Hon. Myron T. Herrick, Marion, Ohio, 12 January 1921. 1 page, 8vo (8 1/8 x 6 in.), Harding's personal stationery, some very light fingersoiling, otherwise fine.
THE PRESIDENT-ELECT LOOKS FORWARD TO "A PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT IN THE WHITE HOUSE," AND DESCRIBES "THE SIMPLEST OF INAUGURALS"
Harding writes a revealing letter to Myron Herrick (1854-1929), the powerful Ohio businessman who rose to political prominence as Governor of Ohio (1904-1906). Two months before his inauguration, Harding responds to a letter by Herrick in which he requested that Mr. and Mrs. Parmelee be invited to the event. "... You have noted, of course, that I have taken it upon myself to completely dispose of the entire inaugural celebration, save the very simple program of oath taking and brief address. Matters had so developed and there was so much of criticism and misunderstanding that I felt it becoming to dispose of the entire celebration. I hope you will approve of what I have done. I note you are going to Honolulu. I envy you the pleasure you have in prospect. I had rather be going to the Islands under agreeable conditions than to be journeying toward a period of imprisonment in the White House..."
Arrangements for the inauguration had been entrusted to Ned McLean, an "old friend of Harding's and court jester-designate of the new administration... He himself had planned to make the inaugural day ten times as lively as the Fourth of July, with parades, bands by the score, fireworks, and a mammoth inaugural ball. Never had he worked so hard at anything in his casual life. But Senator Borah and a few more killjoy senators complained to the President-elect about the extravagance, and Harding--to Ned's chagrin--decided to cancel everything, even the parade. This, the simplest of inaugurals, would consist of the swearing-in ceremony, a brief White House reception, and nothing more" (Francis Russell, The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding and His Times, New York, 1968, pp. 166-167). Herrick was named Ambassador to France by Harding.
Provenance: James Lowe, 1982.