Elizabeth Ann is the infant illegitimate daughter of Warren Harding, a Republican politician and Senator for Ohio, and his mistress Nan Britton. Harding is positioning himself as the next Republican nominee for the US Presidency.
Elizabeth Ann is taken by his mother to the 1920 Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. However, when they try to enter into a reception thrown by campaign manager Harry Daugherty they are turned away by Daugherty's aide Jess Smith. Smith promises that Harding will come to their hotel room later. This is noticed by Atlantic County Treasurer Nucky Thompson during the exchange and follows them to the elevators. He calls Elizabeth Anne beautiful and jokes that she is a young Republican. He asks Nan about their pressence and she hesitates before saying that they are friends of Mr. Harding. Nucky caresses the baby’s head and says that it is good to have friends in politics. Britton asks if he has children of his own and he tells her that he had a son who died. Nan offers her condolences in response. ("Hold Me in Paradise")
To ingratiate himself with the Harding campaign Nucky offers to take Britton and her daughter on an extended trip to Atlantic City to stay with his own romantic companion Margaret Schroeder in order to avoid them being exposed to the press and causing a scandal. Nucky's assistant Eddie Kessler shows Britton out of the hotel as Nucky settles the bill. Britton later reads an erotic poem that Harding has written for her while Eddie holds Elizabeth Anne on the train back to Atlantic City. Nucky comments that Harding has a way with words. The conductor opens the door to their room to announce that they are about to make a short stop and that Harding has won the nomination at the convention. ("Hold Me in Paradise")
Margaret Schroeder and Nan Britton stroll along the boardwalk together, looking over a beach packed with tourists. Britton asks Margaret if she believes in love at first sight. Britton says it happened to her when she first saw Warren Harding, she was 16 at the time and he was still running the newspaper in Marion, Ohio. Margaret confesses that she initially confused Harding and Hardeen when Harding was announced as a presidential candidate. Britton continues on her own track saying that she loves Harding and that he loves her and "his" baby daughter but she must sacrifice because the country needs him. Margaret smiles and turns away from the beach. ("Belle Femme")
|Season one appearances|
|Boardwalk Empire||The Ivory Tower||Broadway Limited||Anastasia|
|Nights in Ballygran||Family Limitation||Home||Hold Me in Paradise|
|Belle Femme||The Emerald City||Paris Green||A Return to Normalcy|
Nan Britton was a real person who had a deep crush on Warren G. Harding since she was a teenager and considered Harding the man of her life to her death in 1991, aged 96. Historians, however, tended to dismiss Harding as the father of Britton's daughter Elizabeth Ann (1919-2005), who used the surnames Britton, Harding and Christian before adopting the surname Blaesing upon marriage. It was generally assumed that Harding was sterile, and that his affair with Nan, if it ever existed, did not continue once he assumed office nor did he recognize Elizabeth Ann's paternity at any point, unlike what Nan Britton claimed in her 1927 book The President's Daughter. However, testing of Harding and Britton's closest relatives in 2015 confirmed that he did father Elizabeth. The Season 1 storyline involving Britton and her daughter being sent to Atlantic City in order to not compromise Harding's election campaign is likely inspired by an incident involving a long-time mistress of Warren G. Harding, Carrie Fulton Phillips. Phillips was a married woman and a friend of Harding's wife Florence, who successfully blackmailed the Republican Party in the summer of 1920 by threatening to publish the love letters that Harding had written to her, some of them in official Senate stationery. To make matters even worse, Phillips had been a vocal and very active supporter of Germany during World War I. Phillips' silence was finally bought with a long, all-expenses-covered tour of East Asia and the Pacific islands, which also served to keep her away for the duration of Harding's presidential campaign.