Dictograph Record Alleged Bribe Offer

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday , May 24th, 1913

Here follows, in part, the alleged dictograph record of the conversation that took place in a room in the Williams House Wednesday afternoon between Colonel Thomas B. Felder, G. C. Febuary and A. S. Colyar.

Febuary: Let me understand you. You want this Coleman af[fi]davit and all other Phagan af[fi]davits that I can get hold of.

Felder: Yes. Colyar told me that he was to have the evidence that would get those two chiefs out of commission, the Phagan papers and the Coleman af[fi]davit. Now what have you got?

Febuary: I haven’t got these papers. The chief has these pap[e]rs in a large envelope. I do not know whether he keeps any graft sheets or not. I never saw one.

Colyar: You will have to examine the papers after Mr. Febuary brings them up. ———— Tell me this. Wasn’t you employed by Coleman to work on this case?

Felder: Coleman said this to me: (failed to catch part of conversation). Then I said, “Mr. Coleman I was invited by Mr. McCall.” I believe that was his name (scraping of feet on floor interfered with dictograph). I said, Mr. Coleman, I would like to go in on the prosecution of this case. He said, I haven’t got any money to employ a lawyer. I said, you misunderstand me. It isn’t necessary for you to pay me any money, that has all been arranged. McCall said, now you meet us down there at 4:30, wasn’t it Febuary, that the inquest was to be held that afternoon, and I went down and was introduced to Mr. Coleman, but I have forgotten who introduced me to Coleman. Now he said Mr. Felder we would like to have you look after the case, but I haven’t money to employ anybody with. Now I said Mr. Coleman, you misapprehend the gentleman, now he is asking you for your consent to represent you. Before we could close the deal the coroner’s jury broke up and we all separated. Now there wasn’t anything said about the regularity of my employment, but it was taken for granted.

Colyar: I want to put you in position where you can act, without bringing me into it.

Felder: I don’t have to say you gave me the papers.

Colyar: If you do, they will give me hell and you know it. I will be an accessory before the fact for him getting those papers and giving them to you.

Felder: You violate no law.

Colyar: He has.

Felder: No he hasn’t. To abstract a lot of framed up documents is no larceny.

Colyar: Well, tell him what you want to, Febuary. Felder, can you bring Miles up here to see me. Can you bring him up at 4 o’clock?

Felder: Yes. All right.

Febuary: It is 3:20 now.

Felder: Tell what you are going to do about the papers.

Febuary: Well, I put them back. I was afraid to deliver these papers to you in Atlanta.

Felder: What is that?

A. S. Colyar: I have been stopping here off and on for ve [sic] years

Thomas B. Felder: When I moved here twenty-three years ago, this was the nest hotel in Atlanta.

A. S. Colyar: Well, tell me, I thought you told me the other day that you became solicitor general six months after you were twenty-one. And I was reading the statutes and it stated the solicitor general had to be twenty-ve years old.

Thomas B. Felder: No. The statute has been changed since I was made solicitor.

A. S. Colyar: The statute stated that he must be twenty-ve years of age and must be an attorney at the bar of Georgia for three years in good standing, and must take an oath that he will prosecute all without fear or favor.

Thomas B. Felder: Yes.

A. S. Colyar: How old are you, Colonel?

Thomas B. Felder: I will be forty in October. How old are you?

A. S. Colyar: I will be forty-seven next February.

G. C. Febuary: Mr. Colyar looks a good deal older than you.

Thomas B. Felder: Well! I have an appointment with another gentleman at 3:30.

A. S. Colyar: Well. There’s the man you want to talk to.

G. C. Febuary: Now, you know this is pretty ticklish business—

A. S. Colyar: I told him last night that they could put him in the penitentiary as long as Hugh Dorsey is solicitor general.

G. C. Febuary: Well, you see, I am the chief’s stenographer and I write all these af[fi]davits.

Thomas B. Felder: Can this young man be trusted all right?

A. S. Colyar: Absolutely. I would trust him anywhere on earth. Who is this fellow Miles?

Thomas B. Felder: Well, you see, Miles is in the bureau of investigation, and he has three or four experts in the way of investigators and things like that.

Now, what I say to you is strictly con[fi]dential; Day before yesterday I saw Woodward.

A. S. Colyar: You saw Woodward Monday?

Thomas B. Felder: Yes. Woodward says now it is all right for you to get the papers, and we will pay you for them.

Promised Mayor to Get Evidence Against Beavers and Lanford.

Thomas B. Felder: I will tell you what I have been doing for the last month. I have been investigating certain things for this company Mr. Miles works for, and I called on the mayor Monday afternoon, with C. C. Jones and I told the mayor I could get the evidence on these grafting …… Beavers and Lanford, and the mayor told me to see Mr. Miles. That he had been working on it for a month. To show you how conscientious Mr. Miles is, although he has been in my of[fi]ce nearly every day, he has never mentioned it to me. The mayor also wanted me to prosecute them in the courts, as attorney, and I told him “No, I had my hands full, but I would help get up the evidence.” Miles came over yesterday afternoon and I had a conference with him about an hour or two and without calling any names, I told him that I could get the evidence. But I said this young man doesn’t want to lose his position. Well, he says, tell him for me that I will give him a position to-day just as good as the one he has. Mayor Woodward said to get him the evidence and he would be glad to prosecute this bunch.

A. S. Colyar: Well, I tell you he wouldn’t. I tell you that this thing will just put us in the penitentiary.

Thomas B. Felder: Well, I assure you that I have never mentioned the names to either one of you.

A. S. Colyar: Well, say; Dorsey told Chief Lanford, so I have been informed, that you told Dorsey Sunday night that I was the———framer and double-crosser and blackmailer in the state, and you know if you know the law at all, that a blackmailer has to threaten a man with a crime, and you know I have not charged you with any crime.

Colyar: Will a thousand dollars be paid if we can get the papers?

Felder: Yes.

Colyar: I don’t want any of that money.

Felder: Well, I have got an appointment with Miles. If the papers will do what you think they will do, I will give you a thousand dollars for

Colyar: We will get the papers them.

and turn them over to Mr. Miles. But damned if I do it in Fulton County.

Felder: Why?

Colyar: I have got my reasons for it.

Felder: Well, if you can get the papers for me to examine by 2:30 to-morrow—

Colyar: He can tell him he is going fishing or something like that, just as he gets the papers, and he can go to Lakewood.

Febuary: I would rather do it out there.

Felder: I have some business engagements to-morrow that will not allow me to get away long enough to go out there.

Colyar: Oh! Pshaw! You can hop in your machine and go out there in a couple of minutes.

Felder: You won’t meet anybody else except Miles and myself?

Febuary: No. It is like you said awhile ago, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Felder: That’s right.

Febuary: Well, if you are in a hurry now, suppose we think this thing over and let you know later to-day or to-morrow whether to meet you here or out yonder.

Felder: I can’t possibly go to East Lake.

Colyar: You can take your man and go out there and get the papers in a few minutes, give us a receipt and the money—

Felder: I told Woodward that I would get the papers that would put these two fellows out of business.

Febuary: That is all you want the papers for?

Felder: That’s all. Yes.

Colyar: Well, we will meet you at East Lake at 2:30.

Felder: Well, I will send Miles out there and you can talk to him.

Colyar: Well, write your name on a piece of paper, for I don’t know whether I will know him or not.

Felder: Why, you just him a short while ago.

Colyar: Yes, I know, but I don’t know whether I would recognize him or not, so you write your name on a piece of paper.

Felder: Well, I will write my name on a piece of paper so you will know him. As soon as I can get hold of Miles I will send him up.

Colyar: Send him up by 4 o’clock.

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Atlanta Journal, May 24th 1913, “Dictograph Record Alleged Bribe Offer,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)