Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
Wednesday, April 30th, 1913
“I don’t want a disturbance on the street of Atlanta. The town has been stirred over the Phagan tragedy, and I fear that sensational and misleading extras may cause mischief. I have requested Chief Beavers to use great caution in giving out news.”
Mayor James G. Woodward made the above explanation of his visit to Chief James L. Beavers, at police headquarters, shortly after 8:30 o’clock last night. The mayor said that he made a tour of the city and found the people in all sections in a highly nervous state.
He charged that a “misleading and sensational headline” in one of the night extras had caused many to believe that Newt Lee, the negro held by the detectives had been proven guilty.
“I am not afraid of the people of Atlanta doing anything that will bring shame on the city,” the mayor said. “But this affair has stirred up the people. The town is restless, and there is an element which can easily be inflamed. I am quite sure that the police will get the truth, and that the murderers of Mary Phagan will be punished. What I want to guard against is rowdyiam. I don’t want anyone to suffer needlessly, and the papers can do a lot to keep down feeling.”
Mayor Woodward said that he urged Chief Beavers to caution his men to keep the crowds moving on the streets and quickly disperse gatherings where the Phagan tragedy is the topic of discussion.
“I want to appeal to the people of Atlanta not to be misled by sensational reports,” he concluded.
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