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Exhume the Body of Warren G. Harding? A Judge Says That Won’t Be Necessary

Exhume the Body of Warren G. Harding? A Judge Says That Won’t Be Necessary

A request by a grandson of Warren G. Harding to show his lineage with “scientific certainty” by exhuming his grandfather’s physique has been denied by a decide in Ohio.

James Blaesing, whose grandmother, Nan Britton, wrote a tell-all ebook in 1928 about her affair with the twenty ninth president, had already had the connection established with assist from Ancestry.com and DNA samples from two Harding descendants.

However one faction of the Harding household that was dismissive of Mr. Blaesing had forged doubt on the Ancestry family tree, ostensibly as a result of it was a comparatively new, although dependable, methodology. So Mr. Blaesing sought to go additional to determine direct proof that President Harding was his grandfather.

As the specter of an exhumation loomed, nonetheless, the resistant family members wrote letters to the court docket accepting the Ancestry outcomes, stated Dr. Peter Martin Harding, whose father is among the former president’s nephews. Dr. Harding is among the family who offered DNA to verify Mr. Blaesing’s lineage.

Choose Robert D. Fragale of Marion County Household Courtroom in Ohio cited these letters as proof of the household’s acceptance of Mr. Blaesing as “the grandson of Warren G. Harding and thereby their relative.” This eliminated the necessity to exhume the previous president, he wrote in an order dated Nov. 3.

Choose Fragale cited feedback from an Ancestry government in a 2015 New York Instances article wherein the chief stated of genetic testing: “The expertise that we’re utilizing is at a degree of specificity that there’s no must do extra DNA testing. That is the definitive reply.”

In mild of the household’s admittedly cool acceptance of Mr. Blaesing as their relative, disinterment “would serve no respectable objective,” Choose Fragale wrote, including that the method lacked the assist “of any surviving Harding member of the family” save Mr. Blaesing.

Dr. Harding, a 78-year-old former Navy psychiatrist who lives in Massive Sur, Calif., stated in a telephone interview on Tuesday night that he had inspired Mr. Blaesing to file the go well with requesting the exhumation as a result of he needed a court docket to formally acknowledge Mr. Blaesing as a member of the Harding household.

And the court docket did so, discovering that “James E. Blaesing is the direct descendant and grandson of President Warren G. Harding.”

Mr. Blaesing’s mom, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, died in 2005 and is President Harding’s solely identified little one.

Dr. Harding stated he may perceive “the entire thing about proving it instantly” — by a DNA take a look at utilizing samples from the previous president’s physique — “and the way dramatic that’s.”

The considered exhuming President Harding’s physique was so dramatic {that a} manufacturing firm, Magilla Leisure, had sought to doc the disinterment — a course of that may almost definitely have required lifting 9,400-pound granite slabs that cowl the graves of President Harding and his spouse, Florence, in Marion, Ohio.

Mr. Blaesing, 70, declined to touch upon Tuesday night by a lawyer, Natalie A. Harris, who stated that Mr. Blaesing wouldn’t enchantment the choice. Ms. Harris additionally represents Magilla Leisure, which was not concerned within the request to the court docket.

Dr. Harding had been supportive of Mr. Blaesing’s mission — he initiated contact with Mr. Blaesing, and the 2 had been pleasant since a household gathering a number of years in the past — however grew to become “defensive” when the manufacturing firm grew to become concerned. (Dr. Harding stated Mr. Blaesing had stopped returning his calls after he wrote to the court docket protesting the exhumation.)

There’s a conspiracy principle, Dr. Harding stated, that President Harding was poisoned by his spouse. He was involved that in search of to show or disprove that principle on tv was the motive for the exhumation. (One other conspiracy, he stated, was that President Harding had Black ancestry; the DNA testing discovered no ancestors from sub-Saharan Africa.)

Ms. Harris stated in an electronic mail to The New York Instances in September that Mr. Blaesing’s story can be the main target of any movie produced however that, ought to the physique be exhumed, Magilla Leisure may think about toxicology testing to hunt “further details about the president’s well being and sudden dying.”

Ms. Britton wrote in her ebook that she and the previous president had conceived Mr. Blaesing’s mom in then-Senator Harding’s workplace within the Capitol. After he ascended to the presidency, they continued their affair in “a small closet within the anteroom” within the West Wing, she wrote. Chatting with The New York Instances in 2015, Mr. Blaesing stated his grandmother “would get the largest smile on her face” speaking in regards to the twenty ninth president.

Although some family members stay cautious about Mr. Blaesing’s entry into the official household tree, Dr. Harding stated he was unashamed in regards to the scenario.

“I need it in there,” he stated. “I need individuals to know President Harding as a person, too — as a lover and as a president.”




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