Mrs. Rae Frank, Mother of Prisoner, Denounces Solicitor Hugh Dorsey

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 14th, 1913

Mrs. Rae Frank, the mother of the prisoner, startled the courtroom shortly before 4 o’clock, when she denounced Solicitor Dorsey, when he made an attack on the character of her son.

J. Ashley Jones, a local insurance agent, was in the witness chair testifying to the moral character of the accused when the incident occurred. He was asked by Solicitor Dorsey if he had over heard of Frank taking little girls out to Druid Hills, sitting them on his lap and fondling them.

Mrs. Frank glanced furiously at the prosecutor, and rising from her chair, she shrieked.

“No, nor you either—you dog!”

Mrs. Frank Leaves Courtroom.

Deputies rushed over to where Mrs. Frank stood staring at the solicitor Herbert Haas, a relative, passed in between Attorney Rosser and the stenographer and escorted Mrs. Frank from the courtroom to a cab in which she was driven home.

Jones testified that he had known Frank for a year and eight months and that he knew his general character to be good.

He was cross-examined by Solicitor Dorsey.

“You are in the insurance business?”

“Yes, I am resident agent.”

“You live on Fourteenth street and of course you have never heard what kind of practices Frank may have carried on down there?”
“No, sir. I never spoke to the girls of the factory.”

“On what do you base Frank’s good character?”

“About five years ago Frank took out a policy with my company in New York. As usual with life insurance companies, we got a report on him both morally and physically, and the fact that he showed up well in his report is proved by the fact that he got a standard policy.

Got a Good Report.

“After he came to Atlanta the policy expired and I took up with him the question of renewal, talking with him several times. Once he told me to come to his office late some Saturday afternoon and he would go over the whole matter with me thoroughly. I went, found Mrs. Frank there with him, and was introduced to her; he made up the application for renewal and again by our agents he was thoroughly investigated both morally and physically, and we got a very good report on him indeed.”

“Then you never heard that Frank took girls on his lap and caressed them?”
Attorney Arnold vigorously opposed the line of questioning.

“Your honor,” he should, “this is outrageous. We are not trying this man on every vile and slanderous lie that has been circulated against him since April 26 by a lot of crack brain extremists. If every long-tongued lying crack brained idiot that has circulated lies against him since April 26 is believed then we have no character to begin with at all.”

Not Four-flushing.

Solicitor Dorsey stood smiling at his adversary.

“Your honor, I am not four-flushing one bit,” he said calmly. “I propose to introduce a witness who will testify that the witness did hear the reports circulated against Frank to which I have just alluded.”

Attorney Arnold banged the table with his fist.

“Your honor,” he began fiercely, “we cannot and will not submit to such outrageous statements in the [1 word illegible] of the solicitor. He knows that he can not prove what he is saying. If he makes another such statement we will then move for a mistrial.”

Solicitor Dorsey was instructed to continue the examination of the witness.

“You never heard that Frank went to Druids Hill with a little girl in his lap, and that he played with her?”

Active in This Case.

“You and your people up there have been very active in this case, have you not? You wrote a letter to the grand jury urging them to indict Jim Conley, didn’t you, signed by several men in your office?”
The solicitor produced the letter, and read the list of signatures, which included J. Ashley Jones, a Mr. Cooney and a Mr. Clark Jones admitted he signed the letter.

“Why did you send this leter [sic]?”

“We thought that having had an especially good opportunity of examining into the character of Frank, and that having satisfied ourselves that he was a man of good character, it was no more than right and just that we should take this step and do what we could for him.”

“Did any one speak to you about writing the letter?”

“No, no one except Mr. Cooney. I think he was the one who conceived the idea and was the only man who spoke to me about it at all.”

Played With Little Girls.”

“Didn’t you hear about twelve months ago that Frank played with little girls in his office?”
“No, sir.”

“Did you ever hear of Frank taking a little girl to Druid Hills, sitting her on his lap and playing with her?”
Before the witness could reply Mrs. Frank was on her feet.

“No, not you either!” she shrieked.

Attorney Arnold prevented Mrs. Frank from saying more.

“Mrs. Frank, if you stay in the courtroom, I’m afraid you’ll have to hear these vile slanderous lies, and I would suggest that if you have reached the limit of your patience you might retire for a little while.”

Mrs. Frank left the courtroom weeping.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 14th 1913, “Mrs. Rae Frank, Mother of Prisoner, Denounces Solicitor Hugh Dorsey,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)