Grand Jury Called to Meet Tuesday in Special Session

grand-juryAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Saturday, May 31st, 1913

Meeting Called by Foreman Lewis H. Beck, but He Declined to Say What the Jury Will Investigate


Chief Beavers Silent—Colonel Felder Not Informed About Meeting, but Says It’s Matter of Indifference to Him

A special session of the Fulton county grand jury has been called for next Tuesday morning at 10 o’clcok, the purpose of which is unannounced and unknown.

The call was issued by the foreman, Lewis H. Beck, who declines to state what matters will be considered by the grand jury. The impression is general that Foreman Beck has yielded to the demands of Police Chief James L. Beavers that a searching probe be made into the charges preferred by the city detectives against Colonel Thomas B. Felder, involving an alleged attempt to bribe Secretary G. C. Febuary to take certain papers from the safe of the chief of detectives, and also to thoroughly inquire into Colonel Felder’s counter charges that the police and detective departments are corrupt and are affording protection to disorderly houses and gambling resorts.


Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey gave out the first information that the grand jury had been called in special session, but stated that he did not know why nor what for. He did not think the called session would consider any phase of the Phagan murder case, although some persons were inclined to believe the grand jury might take up the confession of James Conley, the negro sweeper. However, if this were true Solicitor Dorsey would certainly know about it, for it would be he that would bring this matter to the grand jury’s attention.

Chief Beavers only smiled when questioned concerning the special meeting of the grand jury. He would not say whether he was advised concerning it or whether it had been called at his instance. The chief’s attitude strengthens the belief that the grand jury is preparing to investigate the charges of the city detectives and the counter charges of Colonel Felder.


Colonel Felder stated that he had no knowledge of a special session of the grand jury. “I am perfectly indifferent whether an investigation is made into the charges against me and into my charges against the police and detective departments,” said he, “but I am fully prepared for such an investigation if one is held.”

The charges against Colonel Felder grew out of an alleged dictographed conversation between Colonel Felder, A. S. Colyar and G. C. Febuary, the secretary to Chief of Detectives N. A. Lanford. According to these alleged dictographed records and to affidavits made by Messrs. Colyar, Febuary and George M. Gentry, the stenographer who took the conversation down in shorthand, the discussion between Colonel Felder, Colyar and Febuary related to alleged negotiations whereby Colonel Felder was to see to it that they (Colyar and Febuary) were paid the sum of one thousand dollars for the delivery of the Coleman affidavit and other papers in the Phagan case.

Colonel Felder in his reply to the published affidavits and alleged dictographed conversations, scathingly arraigned the police and detective departments and referred to Chief Lanford as the “Lieutenant Becker of the Atlanta police department.”

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Atlanta Journal, May 31st 1913, “Grand Jury Called to Meet Tuesday in Special Session,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)