Florence’s father, Amos Kling, did not like Harding for at least two reasons. First, Harding had written critical editorials of Kling’s real estate and money lending practices. But Kling also heard rumors that Harding, who was from a pro-abolitionist family, had African-American blood. By this time, Harding was in the newspaper business and a rival publisher spread the rumor about his heredity. Kling yelled a racial slur at Harding on a public street and threatened to harm him if Harding married his daughter. Many years later, in 1907, Kling apologized for his treatment of his son-in-law and paid for a lengthy European tour for the couple.