Felder Makes Answer to Dictagraph Episode

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

Well-Known Attorney Writes Four Cards Covering All the Phases of Situation and Answering All Charges.


Col. Felder Asserts George Gentry, Who Took Down the Stenographic Notes, Will Return and Expose the Deal.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder has written four cards—to Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford, Chief of Police Beavers, James R. Gray, editor of The Journal, and Foster Coates, manager of The Georgian—all bearing on the late pictograph incident which was published in the three papers of Atlanta. He states the whole thing was a “frame-up” from beginning to end and says he will produce proofs of his statements. He says Gentry, who took down the stenographic notes, will return to Atlanta and tell the truth about the whole deal.

In his card to Newport Lanford, Colonel Felder brands him as a crook and applies to him various epithets.

The letters follow:

Apologizes to The Public.

[The letters to Newport Lanford, James Beavers and James Gray have been published on this website previously from the Atlanta Journal. Below is the continuation of this article with the letter to Foster Coates, newly published — Ed.]

Letter to Mr. Coates.

Atlanta, Ga., June 7, 1913.—Mr. Foster Coates, Manager of The Georgian, Atlanta, Ga.—Dear Sir: My acquaintance with you is very limited. It covers a period of but a few months, and, as I now recall, I have never conversed with you on more than half a dozen occasions. I have no claims upon you, either personally or professionally, except the claim that one gentleman has upon another—to decent and fair treatment. This has been accorded me by the newspaper whose policies you control and direct in Atlanta.

My thanks are due, and are hereby tendered, to you for rejecting a lot of billingsgate furnished by Colyar, Lanford and others, reflecting upon my personal and professional character and integrity. I am especially grateful to you for rejecting the scurrilous letter handed you by Lanford, written to him by a “jail-bird” in South Carolina, and permit me to say that the courtesy in immediately submitting this “slime” to me was not only gracious, but in striking contrast with the conduct of some of my friends (?) engaged in the newspaper business in the city of Atlanta.

I learned, with deepest regret, that your [sic] are soon to leave the city of Atlanta for another city, and in behalf of myself, and the public generally, I venture to hope that Mr. Hearst will send here, as your successor, a gentleman who is familiar as you are with the decent amenities of the press.

I beg to remain, very truly yours.


Has No Comment to Make.

James R. Gray, when shown Thomas B. Felder’s communication addressed to him, said:

“I have no comment to make on Mr. Felder’s letter. His controversy is with A. S. Colyar. I suppose Mr. Colyar will wish to reply.”

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Atlanta Constitution, June 8th 1913, “Felder Makes Answer to Dictagraph Episode,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)