Broyles Comes Back at Mayor Woodward and Mayor at Him

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Small sections of text are missing due to scanning near a crease.

Recorder Says Mayor Is Defeating Justice and Impeding Officers in Their Attempts to Check Crime


Says Recorder Plays Golf on Sunday and Then Fines Boys for Their Sunday Baseball Games

Another direct statement by Recorder Nash R. Broyles, Friday morning, of his opinion of Mayor Woodward’s clemency toward criminals convicted in police court, was issued by the recorder in writing, coupled with a verbal comment that the mayor “tells so many falsehoods that it would be futile to attempt to answer them.”

In his new expression, Recorder Broyles apologizes to the hog which he contrasted with the mayor Thursday, in [which he] says that the mayor knows less about law than a hog does about political economy.

Following is the recorder’s written statement:

“I care nothing for the mayor’s abuse. Condemnation from such a character should be considered praise. But when he says that the court of appeals on May 23, 1913, reversed me in ten cases and sustained me in seven, he tells such a ridiculous and absurd falsehood that I now apologize to the hog to which I referred yesterday when I said that the mayor knows less about law than the hog knows about economy.

“The idea of the court of appeals passing in one day on seventeen cases appealed from the recorder’s court of Atlanta! The records of that court will show that on the average there are not seventeen cases a year carried from my court to the court of appeals, and they will show also that that court has sustained me in ten cases where it has reversed me in one.

“But the mayor is, as usual, trying to side-step the issue between us. That issue is not my ability as a lawyer or a judge. I am content to let my record speak for me. The issue is that the mayor, in protecting and pardoning the […] criminals of […] and defeating justice in our courts and impeding the officers of the law in their attempt to check crime in our city; and that is the issue on which the people at the next election will call him to account.”


“Broyles is a political accident and no one takes him seriously,” is a striking sentence from a statement which Mayor James G. Woodward claims to be the last he is going to make in the wordy controversy between himself and Judge Nash R. Broyles of the recorder’s court.

Following the recorder’s statement that the mayor doesn’t know as much about law as a hog does about political economy, and that he (the mayor) is a menace to society, Mayor Woodward has delivered what he says is his final reply.

The mayor attacks the recorder’s record as a jurist and says that Judge Broyles is sore at him (Woodward) because the court of appeals has reversed so many of his decisions. He points to the record of May 23, this year and says that on that date the court of appeals reversed Judge Broyles on ten cases, sustaining him on seven others.


The mayor repeats the accusation that the recorder is trying to rule the underworld like a little czar.

Referring to Judge Broyles’ remarks about his ignorance of the law, the mayor says that he must appeal to a more competent judge.

“I have never heard of him being much of a lawyer in his lawyer days,” the mayor says, “and I don’t think he has improved any of late.

“From the bottom of my heart I am sorry for him,” continued the mayor. “If it is possible for him to get a little free advertising by roasting me and exploiting his own ability as a fly trainer, I have no kick to offer.

“I think, however, that Judge Broyles should practice what he preaches. I understand that he plays golf on Sunday and on Monday will fine a youngster who is picked up on the streets for playing baseball. Really, Broyles deserves the sympathy of the people.”

Mayor Woodward’s exercising of the pardoning prerogative caused the controversy with Judge Broyles.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 18th 1913, “Broyles Comes Back at Mayor Woodward and Mayor at Him,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)