Steel Workers Enthralled by Leo Frank Trial

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 14th, 1913

There is one class of men to whom death is supposed to hold no horrors. They can not think of it and earn their daily bread. Were the fear of loss of life to enter their brain for one single second during their daily task, they would be as useless as a motorless automobile.

Their pay is high for scorning the grave. They can see one of their companions fall victim to the perils of their calling and go back to work on the same job a few minutes later without a tremor, and encounter those same dangers with footstep firm and their minds only on the work they have to do.

These men are the structural steel workers. They are as picturesque a class as the struggle for dollars has developed. The fascination of their calling is universal. No man can pass the place where a building is slowly reaching its way into the clouds without standing in an awe-struck trance watching these men scamper around between heaven and earth as though they were walking about a place as safe as the quiet walk under the shade trees of Grant Park.

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State’s Sole Aim is to Convict, Defense’s to Clear in Modern Trial

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 14th, 1913

By O. B. KEELER.

Right in the first jump, please understand that (1) this is merely the opinion of a layman, unlearned in the law; that (2) he may be the only layman in existence who feels this way about it; and (3) the Frank trial is not being singled out in the following comment, except as it is a fair example of the great criminal trials of this country.

In following the trial of Leo Frank, two points keep prodding me with increasing fervor.

These are the points:

(1) That the prosecution’s efforts are centered on producing evidence that will convict Leo Frank.

(2) That the efforts of the defense are devoted to producing evidence that will acquit Leo Frank.

Now, having read thus far, you probably are smiling to yourself at the idea that anybody should undertake to write a newspaper story about a great trial, basing it on such an absurdly simple and obvious observation.

State’s Evidence All Damaging.

That (you say) is something every body knows.

That (you say) is taken for granted.

Nevertheless (I say) that doesn’t make it right.

I sat in Judge Roan’s courtroom, right at the edge of the jury box, and I heard the State present its case.

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Defense Slips Load by Putting up Character of Leo Frank as Issue

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 14th, 1913

By JAMES B. NEVIN.

The defense in the Frank case did the expected thing when it boldly and unequivocally put Frank’s character in issue.

It indicated its confidence in the justice of the defendant’s cause in doing that, and it met thus a crisis that it hardly could have successfully overcome otherwise, if it so happen that it does overcome it eventually.

Having taken the initiative in the matter of thrashing out Frank’s character, the State will now be forced to make out an unmistakable case of bad character against Frank, or it is likely that the State’s injection of the sinister charge against him, in addition to the charge of murder, may operate as a boomerang to the State’s great hurt finally.

It is not to be wondered at that the defendant’s mother, tried and racked in spirit and pride as she surely must have been, should have let her feelings overcome her for an instant during the course of Wednesday afternoon’s hearing. I do not suppose it is even remotely possible for any person not a mother to understand all she has gone through.

Her vehement protest against the vile things being said and hinted about her boy—true or untrue, though such things always are untrue in mother love, I take it—serves to illustrate, however, how very vital to the defense now is the establishing of Frank’s good character.

I doubt that anything thus far said to the jury has so profoundly impressed it as the unspeakable thing Conley said of the defendant. The jury is only human, and it can no more dodge impressions than other people can.

Impression Must Be Erased.

The defense is up against the herculean task of removing all of that impression from the mind of the jury—the twelve minds of the jury, indeed—for it will not do to leave even a fraction of Conley’s story undemolished!

Manifestly, therefore, the defense could not, if it would get away altogether from the matter of Frank’s character. It found itself necessarily forced to the other extreme of the situation set up by the State.

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State Wants Wife and Mother Excluded

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 14th, 1913

Call New Witnesses to Complete Alibi

WIFE AND MOTHER OF ACCUSED ARE WARNED AGAINST OUTBREAKS

Nearly a score more of alibi witnesses were to be called by the defense in the Frank trial when court opened Thursday morning. Frank’s attorneys thought that they would not be able to coincide before the early part of next week.

A number of character witnesses also will be called before the defense ends its case in behalf of the factory superintendent.

Solicitor Dorsey, before the jury was brought in, said he wanted to make a request that the mother and wife of Leo M. Frank be excluded from the court as the witnesses have been because of the outbreak of the elder Mrs. Frank Wednesday afternoon.

“I appreciate the feeling of the wife and mother,” he said, “it is a terrible strain on them. I am sorry for them. But I must have protection and I think they should be excluded when we are subjected to outbreaks like that of yesterday.”

Attorney Reuben in reply said:

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Many Witnesses Take the Stand to Refute Points of Prosecution

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 13th, 1913

Defense Calls Twenty-Two Men, Women and Boys to Give Evidence Favorable to Frank—Mr. and Mrs. Emil Selig, Parents of Frank’s Wife, Declare That There Was Nothing Unusual in Conduct of the Prisoner on Day of Murder

CHARACTER OF DALTON IS DECLARED TO BE BAD BY DEFENSE WITNESSES

Called to Stand, He Admits Having Been Sent to Gang for Stealing Once and Having to Pay Fine on Another Occasion—Bitter Fight Is Waged Between Attorneys Over a Question Asked of Frank’s Office Boy by Solicitor Dorsey, and Threat of Motion for Mistrial Is Made

Calling upon a total of twenty two witnesses on Tuesday and making a record for the Leo M. Frank case, and possibly for any other in Georgia, the defense yesterday made at tacks on a number of points made by the prosecution earlier in the trial of the man charged with the murder of Mary Phagan.

The day was spent in all but one or two instances in a steady hammering at the prosecution or to change the simple to a ceaseless stirring up of new points so as to muddy the entire case and make the points of the state unrecognizable.

When Solicitor Hugh Dorsey, on cross examination, asked Philip Chambers, Frank’s former office boy, if the superintendent had not made improper advances to him and threatened him to fire him if he did not yield, a bitter fight was started.

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Frank’s Lawyers Again Threaten Move for Mistrial

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

Atlanta Journal
August 13th, 1913

Questions Asked by Dorsey Of Office Boy at Factory Ruled Out After Argument

Attorney Reuben R. Arnold Declares That Any Further Testimony Along Lines of That Sought by the Solicitor During Examination of Philip Chambers Will Tempt Him to Move for a New Trial in the Case

With the calling of Emil Selig, Frank’s father-in-law, the defense began their endeavor to prove Frank’s statement in reference to his movements on the day of the tragedy.

Mr. Selig’s testimony bore principally upon the time Frank arrived at his home to dinner, the midday meal, and his appearance and actions at that time.

He declared that Frank arrived home about 1:20, that he was unmarked by scratches; that his general appearance and actions were as usual; and that during the evening the accused man had been in his usual spirits and had not been either nervous or excited.

Upon cross-examination, Solicitor Dorsey forced him to admit an uncertainty as to the exact time Frank arrived at the house. Mr. Selig also declared that on the following day the murder was mentioned but not discussed and that he said nothing to Frank about it. He reiterated this statement several times.

Mrs. Selig testified similarly to her husband as to the time Frank came home to dinner and his demeanor during the evening. She was closed questioned by the solicitor, who endeavored to show that while she now claimed Frank had appeared concerned about the little girl’s death, at the coroner’s inquest she had said he was not concerned.

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Frank’s Character Made Issue by the Defense

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

Atlanta Journal
August 13th, 1913

ACTION A CHALLENGE TO STATE TO PUT UP WITNESSES IN REBUTTAL WHO OTHERWISE COULDN’T TESTIFY

Lemmie Quinn, Foreman In Metal Room, Tells the Jury He Visited Factory on Saturday, April 26, and Found Frank at His Desk Writing at 12:20 o’Clock, the Very Minute Almost That State Claims Mary Phagan Must Have Been Killed

EFFORTS TO SHOW EXPERIMENTS OF WITNESSES WHO RE-ENACTED CONLEY’S STORY BRING FIGHT

Judge Roan Delays Decision Until Both Sides Can Submit Authorities—Dr. W. S. Kendrick Declares Dr. H. F. Harris Was Guessing in Conclusions He Gave About Mary Phagan’s Death—Three School Mate Friends of Frank Tell of His Good Character

The character of Leo M. Frank was put in issue Wednesday morning by his attorneys during the fifteenth day’s session of his trial for the murder of Mary Phagan.

While not unexpected the fact that the defense has thrown down the bars and challenged the state to put a blot on the character of the young factory superintendent was decidedly the feature of the morning session. Generally the defense in important criminal cases does not put the defendant’s character in issue, for few people can stand the searching investigation to which the accused is generally subjected by detectives. Since Frank was first accused of the Phagan murder there have been constant rumors that the detectives have found witnesses who are ready to attack the character of the accused. These witnesses, if the detectives have found them, could never have testified had the defense not paved the way by putting his character in issue and practically challenging the state to its weaknesses. This action on the part of the defense means that Frank’s attorneys are confident that the defendant’s life will stand the white light of investigation.

The direct case of the defense is almost finished. When the noon recess was taken Wednesday, Attorney Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold expected to be through with all except character witnesses in less than a day’s time.

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State Calls More Witnesses; Defense Builds Up an Alibi

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 13th, 1913

In anticipation of the close of the defense’s case, the State Tuesday afternoon subpenaed a number of new witnesses to be called in the event that Frank’s character was put in issue. It was said that Solicitor Dorsey had prepared against this move by the defense by getting affidavits from many persons who claimed to know the defendant.

An effort by the State to obtain testimony reflecting on the morality of Frank was resisted strongly by the superintendent’s attorneys Tuesday. Solicitor Dorsey failed to get the answers he desired from the witness, Philip Chambers, a 15-year-old office boy, but Attorney Arnold moved that all of the testimony bearing on this matter be ruled out, although the boy had testified favorably to Frank.

The lawyer threatened that he would move for a mistrial if any further effort were made to introduce testimony of the sort which he branded as irrelevant and immaterial, as well as being defamatory, slanderous and highly prejudicial. He was sustained in his objection.

Alibi Being Established.

The defense had progressed considerably in establishing what it proposes to make an iron-clad alibi for Frank on the day of the murder when court adjourned Tuesday.

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Both Sides Aim for Justice in the Trial of Frank

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 13th, 1913

With Judge, Jury and Councillors Performing Duty Well, Square Deal Is Assured.

By Jas B. Nevin.

In considering the Frank trial, particularly with respect to the length of it, and the thoroughgoing exhaustiveness of the hearing, it must be borne in mind that the establishing of justice is the main object of both sides, and that, therefore, patience and poise are absolutely necessary in those who would be fair—fair not only to Frank, but to the State also.

With the average citizen, the home-loving and upright citizen, the Frank trial should be largely an abstract proposition.

As Frank Hooper himself has said, State’s counsel that he is:

“It is not so much a question of convicting Leo Frank, as it is a question of convicting the murderer of Mary Phagan.”

The Solicitor General, Hugh M. Dorsey, is entitled to full and complete praise for the careful and painstaking labor he has put into the case.

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Frank’s Mother Stirs Courtroom

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 13th, 1913

Leaps to Defense of Son at Dorsey’s Question

FRANK’S CLASSMATES AT COLLEGE TELL OF HIS GOOD CHARACTER

A sensation was created in the courtroom during the cross-examination of Ashley Jones by Solicitor Dorsey at the Frank trial when Mrs. Rea [sic] Frank, mother of the defendant, sprang to her feet with a denial of intimations made by the Solicitor reflecting on her son.

“Mr. Jones, you never heard of Frank having girls on his lap in the office?” Dorsey had asked.

“No; nor you neither!” cried Frank’s mother.

“Keep quiet, keep quiet; I am afraid you will have to sit here and listen to this a long time,” said the Solicitor.

Mrs. Frank broke into tears and was assisted from the room, crying: “My God, my God!”

Mother and Wife Set With Bowed Heads.

The Solicitor’s examination of Jones had been of a most sensational nature and during the portion of it leading up to the interruption by Mrs. Frank the mother of the defendant and her daughter sat with lowered heads listening to the questions and answers.

Following the outbreak, Attorney Arnold jumped to his feet and shouted: “Your honor, this is outrageous. We are not responsible for the lies and slanders that cracked-brain extremists have circulated since this murder occurred.”

“I will rule that the Solicitor can not ask anything that he has heard since the murder,” replied Judge Roan. “He can ask on this cross-examination what happened before.”

“Your honor,” returned Solicitor Dorsey, “I am not four-flushing about this. I am going to present a witness to prove the charges.

Attorney Arnold interrupted the speaker.

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Frank’s Financial Sheet Would Take 3 Hours Work to Finish — Joel Hunter

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 12th, 1913

Joel Hunter, an expert accountant, was put on the stand to testify to the amount of work required in the compilation of the financial sheet upon which the defense declares Leo Frank worked during the afternoon Mary Phagan was murdered.

“What is your occupation?” he was asked by Mr. Arnold.

“I am a public accountant.”

“Do you hold a position with the state board?”

“Yes, I belong to the board of examiners.”

“Did you examine Leo Frank’s financial sheet?”
“Yes.”

“Did his assistant, Schiff, acquaint you with the data contained in the report?”

“Yes.”

“Did you go through all the work required to make the report?”
“Yes; but I did not make a new sheet. I only made the calculations and verifications.”

“Did you find them correct?”
“All except one item.”

The witness explained thoroughly to the jury the tedious process of compiling the financial sheet.

“What time does it take to make out this sheet?”
“I would judge about 150 to 170 minutes, and, even within that length of time it would take a man with a superior knowledge of that process of compilation.”

Mr. Hooper took the witness from cross-examination.

“You couldn’t calculate on the exact length of time, could you, inasmuch as you’re not familiar with the work yourself?”
“Not exactly.”

“You say it took you more than three hours to make this report?”
“Yes.”

“If it was made in the afternoon, then, it would take all the afternoon, wouldn’t it?”
“Yes, practically so.”

“It would hardly give time for the man who was working upon it to attend a game or baseball, would it?”
“I would not think so. I didn’t study that phase of it, however.”

“It would take all afternoon with no time to do anything else, wouldn’t it?”
“I would certainly think so.”

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 12th 1913, “Frank’s Financial Sheet Would Take 3 Hours Work to Finish — Joel Hunter,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

As the Very Wildest of Guessing Dr. Westmoreland Characterizes Testimony Given by Dr. Harris

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 12th, 1913

Dr. Willis Westmoreland, former head of the state board of health, who resigned some time ago after the board gave a clean bill to Dr. H. F. Harris, the secretary, whom he had accused of “scientific dishonesty,” followed Dr. Hancock on the stand.

He also made an examination of Leo Frank, stating in answer to Mr. Arnold’s question that he had found the accused man to be normal.

He was questioned by Arnold.

“What is your calling?”

“I am a physician of twenty-right years’ experience.”

“What is your main practice?”
“General medicine and surgery.”

“Have you occupied any chairs of prominence during your career?”

Former Head of State Board.

“I formerly occupied the chair of surgery in the Atlanta College of Surgery and, at one time, was president of the state board of health.”

A number of questions of the same nature of those put to Dr. Hancock pertaining to Dr. Harris’ testimony of his opinion of the time of death and of his belief that violence had been inflicted were asked Dr. Westmoreland. His replies were substantiation of Dr. Hancock.

“Could you determine how long this wheatbread and cabbage had been in the girl’s stomach?” he was asked.

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Dr. Hancock Called by Defense, Assails Dr. Harris’ Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 12th, 1913

MADE CABBAGE DIGESTION EXPERIMENTS

Dr. T. H. Hancock, a well known Atlanta physician, was the first of three medical experts to be presented in the afternoon in behalf of the defense. Dr. Hancock is official physician of the Georgia Railway and Electric company, and is a man of twenty-two years’ experience.

An astonishing feature of his testimony was the statement he made in answer to a question from Attorney Arnold to the effect that he had treated 14,000 surgery cases, a record hitherto unparelleled [sic] in Georgia history.

He was examined directly by Mr. Arnold.

“What is your occupation, Dr. Hancock?”
“I have been a physician and surgeon for the past twenty-two years?”
“How many cases of surgery have you treated?”
“About 14,000.”

“Have you made a physical examination of Leo M. Frank?”
“Yes.”

“Is he normal?”
“He is perfectly normal.”

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Guesswork and Not Science Asserts Dr. J. C. Olmstead

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 12th, 1913

Dr. John C. Olmstead followed Dr. Westmoreland to the stand.

He was questioned by Arnold.

“What is your occupation?”
“I have been a physician for thirty-six years, and am a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of New York.”

“Would you characterize such an opinion as the one you have read of by Dr. Harris as being a guess or a scientific conclusion?”
“As wild a guess as I’ve ever heard.”

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Schiff Admits He Kept Conley Knowing He Was Worthless

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 12th, 1913

H. G. Schiff, Leo Frank’s assistant in the National Pencil factory, was put on the stand for a conclusion of the state’s cross examination when court convened Monday morning.

“How many books and papers were there that you say had not been worked on Friday night, and that you found completed Monday?” asked Solicitor Hugh Dorsey.

“The financial sheet and those papers I showed you Saturday,” Schiff replied.

[several words illegible] finished Friday?”
“Because when I left the office Friday I had not got up the data for them,” the witness said.

“If Frank had started to work at 8:30 o’clock Saturday morning and had worked until 10:30, then he could have done that work, couldn’t he?” the solicitor asked.

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Expert Flatly Contradicts The Testimony of Dr. Harris

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 12th, 1913

Professor George Bachman, professor of physiology in the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons, and formerly a demonstrator of physiology in Jefferson Medical college, was put on the stand following Schiff.

By him the defense made a further attack on the deductions of Dr. H. F. Harris. He declared that the statements made by Dr. Harris amounted to guess work, according to his knowledge of the subject.

“What is your nationality, professor?” Mr. Arnold asked.

“I’m a citizen of Atlanta,” replied the witness.

“I mean, where were you born?”

“I was born a Frenchman,” replied Dr. Bachman.

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Defense Has Best Day Since Trial of Frank Began

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 12th, 1913

AS WILD GUESSES PHYSICIANS TERM TESTIMONY GIVEN BY DR. ROY HARRIS

Assert It Is Impossible to Tell Accurately Just How Long It Takes for the Digestion of Cabbage—One Doctor Tells of Experiments He Had Made on Several Patients to Settle This Point. Doubt Value of Testimony About Violence.

OLD ROW OF DOCTORS BOBS UP IN TESTIMONY OF DR. WESTMORELAND

Declares That He Accused Dr. Harris of Scientific Dishonesty and Then Resigned From Board When It Refused to Discharge the Secretary—Joel Hunter Goes on Stand to Testify as to the Amount of Time Necessary on Frank’s Books.

When Monday’s session of the Leo M. Frank trial came to an end, it was generally conceded that it had been the best day the defense has thus far had.

True, there were no sensational developments and there was nothing particularly startling in the testimony. It was merely the drip, drip of the water on the stone which eventually wears it away—the stone in this case being the story told by Jim Conley and the statement made by Dr. H. F. Harris that Mary Phagan must have met her death within three-quarters of an hour after she had eaten her breakfast of cabbage and bread.

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Ethics of Dr. H. F. Harris Bitterly Attacked By Reuben Arnold

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

Atlanta Journal
August 12th, 1913

Sensational Charge Hurled By Physician in Testimony Given at Afternoon Session

Dr. Westmoreland, Answering Question of Attorney Reuben R. Arnold, Declares He Never Heard of a Chemist Who Had Made Examination by Himself and Then Destroyed the Organs Without Bringing Them Into Court

Three experts took the stand Monday afternoon at the trial of Leo M. Frank to repudiate the conclusions reached by Dr. H. F. Harris to the effect that the condition of the cabbage in the stomach of Mary Phagan showed that she must have died within an hour after eating, and that the distended blood vessels showed that she had suffered violence of some sort immediately prior to her death.

Dr. Thomas H. Hancock and Dr. Willis Westmoreland both declared that Dr. Harris’ conclusions were not justified. Dr. Hancock said that no physician in the world could have told from the evidence that Dr. Harris had before him how long the cabbage and bread had been in the little girl’s stomach. He exhibited to the jury a number of specimens of cabbage taken from the stomachs of five different people at different periods after it had been eaten to illustrate that very little if anything could be told by an examination of the food.

An attack upon the ethics of Dr. Harris for having made his examination without calling in any other chemist or physician and then having destroyed the stomach, was made by Attorney Arnold. He asked the following question of Dr. Westmoreland:

“Have you ever known a chemist to make an examination of a corpse nine days after death and utterly destroy the organ and not bring it into court to exhibit it to the jury or give it to the other side for investigation and examination?”
Dr. Westmoreland replied in the negative, after Judge Roan had ruled that the question shouldn’t be allowed.

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C. B. Dalton’s Character Shown Up by Frank Defense; Four Witnesses Swear They Would Not Believe His Oath

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

Atlanta Journal
August 12th, 1913

DALTON ADMITS HE SERVED A CHAINGANG SENTENCE FOR THEFT OF A “SHOP HAMMER”

Miss Hattie Hall Swears She Was In Frank’s Office Between 11 and 12 o’Clock and That Superintendent Did No Work on Finance Sheet During This Hour—Her Testimony Different In This Respect From What She Swore at Inquest

MRS. WHITE’S BROTHER GIVES DIFFERENT VERSION OF STORY ABOUT SEEING NEGRO LURKING IN FACTORY

Solicitor Dorsey Puts Wade Campbell Through Severe Cross Examination, Calling Attention to Discrepancies In His Testimony and Signed Statement Given to the Solicitor, Frank’s Movements on Day of Tragedy to Be Proved

Decidedly the feature of the Tuesday morning session of the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, was the successful attack made by the defense on the credibility of C. B. Dalton, who had previously testified for the state.

Dalton was recalled to the stand by the defense and by his own admissions, it was shown that he had served a chaingang sentence in Walton county in 1884 for theft; that he was indicted in 1899 for stealing baled cotton, for which he received, to quote his own language, “one-forty-one-eighty;” and that he “hade come clear of stealing corn in Gwinnett county.”

Four witnesses, V. S. Cooper, of Monroe, J. H. Patrick, policeman and justice of the peace Walton county, W. T. Mitchell and I. M. Hamilton, all swore that they would not believe Dalton on oath. Mrs. Laura Atkinson, of 30 Ellis street, testified that she had met Dalton several times but that she had never met him at the Busy Bee cafe. Mrs. Minnie Smith, an employe of the factory, testified that she did not even know Dalton. Both had been mentioned in Dalton’s testimony for the state.

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People’s Cry for Justice Is Proof Sentiment Still Lives

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 12th, 1913

By L. F. WOODRUFF.

There is as much sentiment in the world to-day as there was in 1861 or 1776 or 1492 or 1066 or any other date that may come to your recollection.

It’s not fashionable to say so, but it’s true. People to-day are too prone to accuse themselves and their neighbors of being worshippers Mammom and declaring that the money-grubbing instinct has crushed out sentiment, patriotism and honesty.

But right now in Atlanta, there is a striking example of the goodness that is man’s to-day, just as much as it has ever been.

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