Mother of Frank Denounces Solicitor Dorsey in Court

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 14th, 1913


Solicitor Dorsey Was Cross-Examining Ashley Jones, a Witness Who Had Been Testifying to the Good Character of the Prisoner, and Had Just Asked Him if He Had Not Heard of Frank Taking Liberties With Little Girls Out at Druid Hills Some Time Ago.


Large Part of Wednesday’s Testimony Was Consumed in an Effort on Part of the State to Break Down the Testimony Given by Lemmie Quinn—Dr. William K. Owen Takes the Stand in Afternoon to Tell How Story of Conley Was Reenacted at National Pencil Company Factory.

There was one brief dramatic moment in the Frank trial Wednesday—so dramatic and full of heart interest that spectators were stirred as they have not been since the trial began.

Solicitor Dorsey was cross-questioning Ashley Jones, a character witness for Frank. He asked him if he had not heard of Frank taking liberties with little girls out at Druid Hills.

“No, and you never did—you dog!” exclaimed Mrs. Rae Frank, mother of the accused young man, as she partially rose from her seat and faced Solicitor Dorsey.

It was the first emotion the mother […]


[…] had shown during the trial. What she has suffered she alone can tell. It seemed that this last sting was more than she could bear.

Leonard Haas, one of her son’s attorneys, led her gently from the room, her eyes streaming with tears.

Character Witnesses Heard.

The other sensation of the day came when the defense introduced its first character witness—Alfred L. Lane, of Brooklyn, N. Y., who went to school with Frank, and who testified to his general good character during the years he has known him. Mr. Lane came all the way to Atlanta to give his testimony.

As soon as this witness took the stand the significance to the state was manifest. It meant that the gauntlet had been thrown down by the defense—that the state was dared to do its worst. It has been known for some time that the state has some thirty or forty witnesses who will take the stand to discredit Frank’s character in certain directions.

Other character witnesses for Frank during the day were Philip Nash, of Greenwood, N. J.; Richard A. Knight, of Brooklyn, N. Y., both classmates of Frank, and John Ashley Jones, an insurance man of Atlanta.

Argument About Pantomime.

A large part of Wednesday was taken up with argument as to the admissibility of a pantomime based on Conley’s statements regarding the disposal of Mary Phagan’s body. Dr. William Owen, the well-known Atlanta physician, had timed this performance which was given in the pencil factory. It took just thirty-six minutes Judge Roan finally admitted it, but its importance was largely lessened by the cross-examination of Frank Hooper, whose questions brought out the fact that the same conditions did not prevail in many respects.

Dr. Owen told of writing a letter to the grand jury asking that Conley be indicted, the letter being prompted, he said, by his conscience.

The testimony of C. B. Dalton was impeached by several persons who had known him in Gwinnett county and who swore they would not believe him on oath.

Lemmie Quinn, an employee of the pencil factory, gave some important testimony regarding the time he was at the pencil factory Saturday of the murder. This was in contradiction of Conley’s statement.

Dr. W. S. Kendrick stated that the conclusions of Dr. Roy Harris were mere guesswork. On cross-examination Dr. Kendrick admitted he had not read many important works on digestion published in the last few years.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 14th 1913, “Mother of Frank Denounces Solicitor Dorsey in Court,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)