Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
Friday, May 23rd, 1913
STATE OF GEORGIA:
The affiant, J. W. Coleman and wife, citizens of Atlanta, Ga., who reside at 146 Lindsay St.
The affiant is the step-father of Mary Phagan, deceased, the child who was foully murdered by a hellish brute on April 26, 1913.
The affiant is in the employ of the City of Atlanta in the Sanitary Dept.
The affiant, while at the Police Station during the Coroner’s inquest, the exact day he does not remember, was approached by a man somewhat under the influence of liquor, and said to the affiant, “I am working for the law firm of T. B. Felder, and I would like to have you go to his office, as he wants to see you, and I advise you to employ him.” Affiant said, “No, I won’t go to his office.” The Piker then said, “will you talk to Col. Felder if I bring him here?” whereupon the affiant agreed to see him. He went off and came back in a few minutes with Felder. Col. Felder then said, “I want you to employ me to prosecute this case, it will not cost you a cent, as certain people have promised to pay me my fee, but I have got to have your consent to the employment before I can get into the Coroner’s Jury.” The affiant told him he did not want to employ him and he did not want to have anything to do with him, as the affiant did not know him and had never seen him before that day, and affiant did not employ him, nor did the affiant’s wife employ him, and the only information the affiant ever had that he was employed, was what he read in the newspapers.
Affiant has many good neighbors, and he appreciates their sympathy for him and his broken-hearted wife, but he cannot see how they would come to employ Co. Felder without his knowledge and consent.
A man met the affiant on the street and offered him one dollar to go upon the fee of this astute counsel, but he declined to accept it and told the party he had not employed Felder.
Affiant is thoroughly satisfied with the great work done by Chief of Police Beavers, and Chief of Detectives Lanford and the able men working under them, as he believes, as thousands of others do in Atlanta, that they have the real murderer in jail, and the affiant cannot reconcile himself to the conduct of Col. Felder, who is posing as a prosecuting attorney, and wanting five thousand dollars from the people of the City as set out in the afternoon’s papers, to bring a noted detective here, and according to the press of the city, large amounts have been subscribed by people the affiant does not believe are anxious to prosecute the men under arrest.
The affiant means no reflection on the press of the City and the citizens of Atlanta who are in favor of justice and fair play. Affiant will ever appreciate the sympathy that has been shown him and his family by these good people, and he asks them if they have any money to spend to punish the murderer of his sweet innocent child, to stand behind the Atlanta Police Dept. and let no one mislead them.
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Atlanta Journal, May 23rd 1913, “Here is Coleman Affidavit Which Officers Say Col. Felder Offered to Purchase for the Sum of $1,000,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)