Febuary and Colyar Swear That Felder Offered Big Bribe

Febuary and ColyarAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Friday, May 23rd, 1913

Affidavit, Detailing Conversation Which Is Alleged to Have Occurred in Col. Felder’s Office, Is Given Below


“Lanford Couldn’t Detect an Elephant at Five Points,” He Is Alleged to Have Said, Both Chiefs Are Denounced

The city detectives have in their possession an affidavit sworn to by G. C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Lanford, and A. S. Colyar, a private investigator, detailing the alleged conversation which it is claimed took place between Colonel T. B. Felder, Colyar, and Feburary [sic], on Monday night at Colonel Felder’s office in the Equitable building.

So much of the affidavit as can be printed in a newspaper like The Journal is given below:



Personally appeared before me, a Notary Public in and for the above State and County, A. S. Colyar and G. C. Febuary, who being duly sworn, deposes and says:

“We met Mr. Felder in his office Monday night at eight o’clock p. m. and Mr. Felder said, ‘I know who killed Mary Phagan. That d—d Jew Frank killed her, and I have known it for three weeks. And another thing I want Lanford to know,” the affidavit quotes Mr. Felder as saying, “I have had a Burns man here for three weeks, I know when she was killed, and how she was killed. She was murdered thirty minutes after she reached that building, on the second floor, and then the body was lowered to the basement. And I know who wrote those notes that were found by her body, Frank wrote them, and Frank pulled that staple out of the door……. He was afraid her family would kill him or send him to prison …. And he murdered her.”

“This d—d fellow Lanford, who could not detect a stud elephant at Five Points, knows that Frank killed this girl, but he has sold out to the Jews for big money which he is getting and has got, and he is trying to discredit the solicitor general, Hugh M. Dorsey, and myself, in his effort to protect this d— Jew. …. I have traced his record back, d— him, from H— to breakfast. I want Lanford to know that he can’t clear this d— Jew through graft and make a goat of an innocent negro. He has had that poor negro Ed [sic] Connally [sic] locked up for three weeks without a warrant, and he knows it, and he can be impeached from office for it; he knows there is no evidence against Newt Lee, and yet he holds him. I would expose Lanford and Beavers right now, but I don’t want to detract attention from the Phagan case or mix their case up with the Phagan case.”

“Beavers is a — — —, but I came pretty near catching him one day last week, but when we do catch him, we are going to put the d—d reform — in a two-horse wagon, naked, and drive him through the streets of Atlanta with a sign on him. “Here is Atlanta’s Reform Chief of Police.” Lanford is a d—d drunkard and keeps a quart of whiskey in his desk all of the time, and the people of this town are indignant at the conduct of those flunkeys down there; I am receiving at least twenty letters every day, and as many telephone calls, telling me that the people are behind me in this fight to impeach those — —. Right here on my desk is a letter (getting letter from his desk and reading aloud) from one of the most prominent women in the city of Atlanta, commending my course.


The affidavit then continues, “The Colonel then said, ‘I want the evidence to impeach both Beavers and Lanford.’ The remark was made that we might get in jail, and Colonel Felder said, ‘There are only two ways of getting to the jail; one is through the mayor and the other is through the governor; and if you get arrested by the policemen, Jim Woodward, with whom I had a long interview this afternoon, will make those …. down there jump a rope to turn you loose, and I don’t give a d— who the governor is, whether it is Joe Brown or Jack Slaton, I will have any man turned loose that will get me the evidence that will impeach those ….. If they arrest you, call on me and see if I don’t come with the bond at any hour. I can call a mass meeting tomorrow afternoon through the papers and have ten thousand of the best citizens in this town meet at Five Points tomorrow night and go to the station house and hang Beavers and Lanford to telephone poles, the two corrupt grafters and thieves.”


“’Now, I want to say to you further (talking to Febuary). You go and get me the evidence in the Phagan case, and that Coleman affidavit, and bring it to me, and I will give you one thousand dollars in cash for it. And if you lose your job I will place you in a government position in Washington or a job in New York; and if I fall down on that I will give you a job here in my office.’ It was suggested to Colonel Felder that we would have to steal the papers, for no one knew the combination in the safe except Chief Lanford and Mr. Febuary, and in reply to this, Colonel Felder sad, ‘Go ahead and get them and I will pay you one thousand dollars.’ And we then stated to Colonel Felder that this would larceny after trust, and Colonel Felder said, ‘Larceny H—. It is not larceny to steal a perjured affidavit and forged statements and other crooked papers that a d— thief like Lanford has gathered against an innocent man; and you get them and I will stand behind you and pay the money. I have such men as James G. Woodward, C. C. Jones, Robert F. Maddox, Sam Inman, J. W. English, and the best men in this town behind me, and who are determined to put that gang … to the bad, and they will stand behind you gentlemen with their money and their lives.”

“Colonel Felder further stated that Lanford and Beavers were feasting and fattening off of the rich graft they were getting out of certain disorderly houses they were shielding, after they had had people to believe that they had closed them up, and c[e]rtain blind tigers and gamblers that were favored by these grafters; and upon being asked how much they got, Colonel Felder replied that the amount was colossal.”

The above is the sum and substance of a conversation between Colonel T. B. Felder, A. S. Colyar and G. C. Febuary, held in the office of Colonel Felder, in the Equitable building, on Monday night, May 19, 1913, at about 8:15 p. m.



Sworn to and subscribed before me this 21st day of May, 1913.


Notary Public Fulton County, Georgia.”

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Atlanta Journal, May 23rd 1913, “Febuary and Colyar Swear That Felder Offered Big Bribe,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)