Grand Jury Told of Vice Conditions


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

Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 3rd, 1913

Carl Hutcheson Names 30 Places In His Testimony

He Declares He Obtained Information First-Hand by Visiting Places Mentioned and Registering


He Declined to Make Public His Information—Grand Jury Begins Probe of Charges About Disorderly Houses

Decidedly the most sensational evidence submitted to the grand jury Tuesday in its investigation of vice conditions in Atlanta, which investigation is said to have grown out of the recent charges published by Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Attorney Carl Hutcheson, was the testimony of the latter.

After emerging from the grand jury room, where he remained for more than an hour, Mr. Hutcheson was charged by a battery of newspaper photographers to whom he waved his hands and gleefully exclaimed: “I gave ‘em the dope, boys!”

Later he stated that he had given the grand jury, “all told,” a list of thirty places—hotels and houses where vice is permitted to flourish. He declared that he had secured his information about the places first hand; that his evidence was not based on hearsy information.

Mr. Hutcheson said he had registered at a number of the hotels where he had arranged to have women sent to his rooms. He declared he had furnished the grand jury the names under which he had registered and that his own personal evidence was sufficient to justify many indictments.

To the grand jury Mr. Hutcheson exhibited a hotel kye [sic] which he stated he had forgotten to return. He declared that he had detailed his night visits to various places which are openly violating the law.


“I was allowed to tell my story in my own way,” said Mr. Hutcheson, “and was interrupted by but few questions from the grand jurymen, who manifested much satisfaction over the facts which I furnished them. Frequently the jurymen gave vent to satisfied exclamations.

“I have not charged graft in the police department and was, of course, not questioned along this line. I did charge that disorderly houses were being protected if their presence was known to the police and I insisted that if the police did not have such knowledge they were incompetent. Continue Reading →

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. Continue Reading →

Felder Bribery Charge Expected

felder-briberyAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

Believed Beavers Will Try to Have Grand Jury Consider Accusations Against Attorney.

That bribery charges against Colonel Thomas B. Felder and others will be placed before the Fulton County Grand Jury by police officials, was the indication when G. C. February, secretary of Chief of Detectives Lanford, and the person alleged to have been offered $1,000 in bribe money, secured a subpena Thursday afternoon for A. S. Colyar, Jr., to appear before Solicitor General Dorsey and give testimony Friday morning.

The subpena formally summoned Colyar, who was the author of the dictographing of Felder and Mayor Woodward, to appear before the Grand Jury. The preliminary hearing, however, will be in Solicitor Dorsey’s office.

That February carried away with him a number of subpena blanks is taken to mean that others will be called upon to testify.

At the hearing of testimony Friday morning it is believed that Lanford and Police Chief Beavers will endeavor to show Solicitor Dorsey the plausibility of their bribery charges and ask that the matter be placed before the Grand Jury.

In line with this action, Chief Beavers called upon Carl Hutcheson, the attorney, again Thursday morning for the list of “protected disorderly houses” which Hutcheson declared be held, and which Hutcheson said he would reveal in an effort to prove that vice under police protection is rife in Atlanta. Continue Reading →

A. S. Colyar Released From Bond on Thursday

AS Colyar ReleasedAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

Tennessee Authorities Failed to Forward Requisition Papers on Date Agreed

A. S. Colyar, the Tennessean, who figured conspicuously in the recent dictograph sensation involving bribery charges and countercharges of graft between Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and others, on the one hand and Chief of Police Beavers and Chief of Detectives aLnford [sic], on the other was released from his bond Thursday at 2 p. m. by Chief Beavers.

Colyar’s name jumped into the news when the dictograph matter became public and the following day there came a wire from the Knoxville police to the Atlanta police, asking that Colyar be arrested and held for them. They charged an indictment for forgery. Accordingly, Colyar was arrested. He said the charge was four years old and had never been prosecuted. He alleged a conspiracy.

A few hours later, Colyar was released on bond.

Thursday was the day set by the Tennessee police for the delivery of requisition papers and the extradition of Colyar to Tennessee.

No documents came, but instead Chief Beavers received a letter from the Knoxville chief of police requesting that Colyar be held until June 3.

Chief Beavers declined to accede to this. His reply to the Knoxville chief was quoted by him to be that immediate action would have to be taken on Thursday or he would order the release of Colyar and his bondsmen. Continue Reading →

Chief James L. Beavers’ Reply to Mayor Woodward

Chief James LAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

“If Beavers and Lanford permitted Febuary, ‘a trusted man,’ to go out and circulate lies about corruption in the police department in an effort to trap someone, they have debauched their officers, and the sooner they are put out the better it will be for the men who work under them.”

Mayor James G. Woodward made the above reply to Chief James L. Beavers in a statement to The Constitution late Monday afternoon. They mayor declared that Febuary’s part in the conspiracy has destroyed his usefulness with the department, and he is not fit to serve with honorable men.

“In my opinion, and I believe every decent citizen of Atlanta will agree with me, Febuary is not fit to serve in the department in any capacity.” Mayor Woodward continued. “How can Beavers or Lanford, or the members of the police commission, place faith in him. He has dragged the department through filth of his own making. He has cast reflection, by his act, on the blue uniform.”

Beavers’ Charge Refuted.

Mayor Woodward scathingly denounced Chief Beavers’ allegations that he (Woodward) urged the reopening of the Manhattan avenue district. He admits telling Beavers that the district would be opened as a result of public demand for the interest of society, because of the scattered conditions.

He declared that he has never placed a straw in the way of Chief Beavers’ vice crusade, and explained that whenever he called the chief to his office it was for the purpose of referring complaints to him—complaints of bad conditions in respectable neighborhoods.

Mayor Woodward said that on one occasion he referred to the chief a letter written by a respectable woman—the mother of little children—who complained that there was an immoral house near her home, and she wanted the police to protect her and her babies.

“This woman told me that she had written Chief Beavers about the house some ten days before she wrote me, and nothing was ever done,” Mayor Woodward said. “All that I have ever heard of the complaint is that the house is quieted down.” Continue Reading →

Five Good Men Say if Charges Are Untrue, Says A. S. Colyar to Col. Felder

Five Good Men

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, May 26th, 1913

[A substantial portion of the beginning of this article is illegible with the PDF copy in our possession. If anyone has a copy of this newspaper, please let us know and we can complete the transcription of it. Thank you! — Ed.]

… if I did introduce you to my wife and you [2 words illegible] make the remark that you had had the pleasure of meeting her in Chattanooga? And yet one of our alleged newspapers that has been very busy defending your good name, and painting mine blacker than hell in this community, has the audacity to publish in their Sunday morning edition a statement that my wife became so disgusted with me that she separated with me a year ago.

This statement is without any foundation whatever, and an alleged representative of this alleged newspaper had the effrontery (fortunately for him that I was absent) to approach my wife in the hotel parlor on Friday night in the presence of another lady and try to scare her to death with threats, which I would hate to believe met your approval.

I wish to say to you, sir, that in any controversy that I might have with you, or any other man, and I become so low and so prostituted that I forget my mother and your mother and our wives, are women, pure, sweet women, of this bright and beautiful southland, and make an attack upon them, I want some one to shoot me as they would a mad-dog. Continue Reading →

Mayor Eager to Bring Back Tenderloin, Declares Chief

Mayor Eager

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 26th, 1913

Chief of Police James L. Beavers issued a statement Monday forenoon defying his accusers to prove that he had been guilty of any act of moral turpitude as Chief of Police or as a citizen.

He characterized the attack by Colonel Thomas B. Felder merely as an effort to detract attention from his own (Felder’s) actions.

Referring to A. S. Colyar, in his sweeping denial of the charges that have been made against the police department, he made the pertinent observation, “that it many times required a crook to turn up another crook.” Continue Reading →

Lay Bribery Effort to Frank’s Friends

Mrs. Nina Fomby, woman who made affidavit that Leo M. Frank had telephoned to her on the day of Mary Phagan's death trying to get a room for himself and a girl.

Mrs. Nina Fomby, woman who made affidavit that Leo M. Frank had telephoned to her on the day of Mary Phagan’s death trying to get a room for himself and a girl.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 26th, 1913

Chief of Detectives Lanford was given two papers Monday accusing friends of Leo M. Frank of attempting to bribe a man and a woman to swear that they saw Mary Phagan at 10:30 Saturday night, April 26, at a soda fountain at Marietta and Forsyth Streets.

These papers were given Lanford by A. S. Colyar, whose entrance into the Phagan case has been marked by one sensation after another. Colyar told Lanford that the papers were copies of sworn affidavits and that he had the originals which he would produce at the proper time. The copies are not signed.

Haas Denies Charge.

Emphatic denial that he had in any manner resorted to bribery in behalf of Frank was made by Herbert Haas, well-known Atlanta attorney and friend of the pencil factory superintendent. Mr. Haas further declared that any intimation that he had sought to bribe anyone was absolutely false.

Two Affidavits Alleged.

Colyar said that one of the affidavits was signed by the woman it was sought to bribe and the other by the man, a traveling salesman. Five hundred dollars each is said by the alleged of the affidavits to have been offered to the man and the woman for their testimony.

Colyar alleges that the woman was brought here from Birmingham with the intention of inducing her to swear to the statement that she saw Mary Phagan late Saturday night. He said that he knew where she was at the present time, although the friends of Frank though that she had left the city. Continue Reading →

New Witnesses in Phagan Case Found by Police

New Witnesses

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

Atlanta Constitution

Monday, May 26th, 1913

Reported Two Telephone Operators Will Swear to Conversations Held Over the Pencil Factory’s Line.


A. S. Colyar Confers With Chief Beavers on Bribery Allegations—Case Now in Its Infancy, Says Chief.

With the entire city aroused over the recent sensational Felder bribery charges and counter charges of graft and corruption in the police department, investigation of the Mary Phagan mystery continues. Police headquarters was elated Sunday over the progress and over new developments which have arisen.

New testimony has been given by girl telephone operators relative to conversations which were held over the pencil factory’s line on the night of the tragedy, Chief Lanford says. Secrecy shrouds the nature of the alleged conversations. No one acquainted with the evidence will talk. It is hinted to be the strongest yet secured.

No one acquainted with the evidence will talk. It is hinted to be the strongest yet unearthed.

Coupled with this development comes the rumor of a telephone call reported to have been made on the Friday morning preceding the murder, in which Mary Phagan is said to have been instructed to come to the pencil factory Friday afternoon to obtain her pay envelope. Detectives will neither deny nod [sic] admit that the rumor has been confirmed.

Phone Message to Pope.

J. B. Pope, of Bellwood avenue, a county policeman and neighbor of the slain girl, to whom the rumored telephone message was made, could not be reached last night by The Constitution. Mrs. Pope says she knows nothing of the report, but says numerous calls came to her home for Mary Phagan and members of her family. Continue Reading →

Thorough Probe of Charges Against Felder and Latter’s Charges Against Police Asked

Thorough Probe

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

Atlanta Journal

Monday, May 26th, 1913

“I Shall Lay Evidence Gathered by the Detectives and Col. Felder’s Charges of Graft and Corruption All Before the Grand Jury,” Says the Chief, “Asking That a Searching Investigation Be Made So That the Whole Truth Shall Come Out”


Mayor Woodward Gives Out Interview, Answering the Chief and Denying That He Has Hampered Him in His Crusade. He Says Chief Should Clean Up Center of the City—Hints of an Investigation by Police Board—Col. Felder Has No Statement Monday

After giving out a tart statement in which he vigorously arraigns Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Police Chief James L. Beavers Monday morning announced that he would at once go before the Fulton county grand jury and insist upon a thorough investigation by that body of the charges which have been made against Colonel Felder, Mayor Woodward, E. O. Miles and C. C. Jones.

Chief Beavers declared that he would also urge the grand jury to make searching inquiry into Colonel Felder’s charges that graft and corruption exists in the police and detective departments and would ask that the grand jury thoroughly  investigate Colonel Felder’s allegations that both he (Chief Beavers) and Chief Lanford are guilty of acts involving moral turpitude.

“I want the official limelight turned on this entire affair,” said the chief of police. “I shall request the grand jury to hew to the line and let the chips fall wherever they may.”

Chief Beavers will carry the matter to the grand jury in person. He will lay before that body all of the affidavits in his possession as well as the records of the dictograph which are sworn to, and will also invite the grand jury’s attention to Colonel Felder’s charges against himself, Chief Lanford and the department in general. Continue Reading →

Thomas Felder Brands the Charges of Bribery Diabolical Conspiracy

Thomas Felder Brands

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Thomas B. Felder, the Atlanta lawyer who is accused of having offered a bribe for an affidavit of J. W. Coleman, stepfather of Mary Phagan, now in the possession of the police, yesterday issued the following statement: To the People of Atlanta:

The publication of the sensational “story” in The Atlanta Journal on yesterday afternoon relating to myself and my connection with the Phagan case is but the symptom or manifestation of one of the most diabolical conspiracies ever hatched by a venal and corrupt “system” to protect crime in a civilized community.

To be more specific, this conspiracy was formed just after the arrest of Newt Lee and Leo Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan. The controlling genius of it is Newport Lanford, chief of the city detectives; its object is to shield and protect the murderers of this innocent child, and in its wicked ramifications it marks our distinguished (?) chief of detectives as the Lieutenant Becker of our “system,” and renders his co-conspirators as dangerous to the lives, liberty and property and reputation of our citizens as the bloody and deadly Society of the Mafia.

Part Played By Papers.

Pity it is that the press of the city has been and is being made the innocent, if effective, instrument in their hands to further and effectuate the object of this wicked conspiracy by prostituting their potential columns in the exploitation of the mass of forgeries and perjuries which has been given to the public through their columns, for be it known that these papers have tacitly sanctioned the utterances of Colyar by reproducing his affidavits in the face of the fact that the editors and proprietors of all would without hesitation swear that they would not believe him on oath if called upon to do so. Strangely enough, a portion of the criminal record of this man Colyar is reproduced, showing him to be a man steeped in crime and infamy, while in the parallel column is published his defamatory utterances against me. Continue Reading →

C. W. Tobie, Burns’ Agent, Tells of the Conferences He Held With A. S. Colyar

CW Tobie

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

following affidavit concerning his connection with the Phagan case and with A. S. Colyar.

Georgia, Fulton County—Personally appeared before the undersigned, an officer authorized by law to administer oaths, C. W. Tobie, who, first, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

That he is a citizen of Chicago, with offices in the First National Bank building of that city, and that he is manager of the criminal department, west, of the William J. Burns National Detective agency; that he has occupied this position for the past ten months; that he has been connected with the William J. Burns National Detective agency, as manager of the Kansas City, Mo., branch office, since May, 1910; that for a year prior to that time he was connected with the Tilletson Detective agency, correspondents of the William J. Burns National Detective agency; that prior to that time deponent was connected with the Pinkerton National Detective agency for a period of nine years; that he severed his connection with the Pinkerton National Detective agency in May, 1909.

Charge Is False.

Deponent says, on oath, that the statement that he was discharged by said agency is utterly, absolutely and deliberately false; that he resigned from said agency, and not under compulsion, but of his own volition. Continue Reading →

Here Is the Dictagraph Record of Woodward’s Conversation

Here is the Dictagraph Record

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Going to A. S. Colyar’s room in Williams House No. 2, on Forsyth street, Wednesday afternoon to make efforts to get information of alleged grafting on the part of Chief of Police Beavers and Chief Lanford, Mayor James G. Woodward walked into as neat a trap as was ever devised. The same dictagraph which was alleged to take down the statements of Colonel T. B. Felder, is said to have been working while the mayor of Atlanta was in conference with E. O. Miles, a private detective; Febuary, Chief of detectives Lanford’s clerk, and A. S. Colyar.

The mayor admits frankly he was there, but says he offered no money, but that he would subscribe to a fund to unearth graft in any city department; and also said that his visit had nothing whatever to do with the Phagan case.

“These parties told me they had evidence of the corruptness of Beavers and Lanford. I wanted to see what they had,” he is quoted as saying.

Part of the conversation, as alleged to have been taken down by George M. Gentry, nephew of the president of Southern Bell Telephone company, dealt with the early arrival of Miles, who discussed the Phagan case with Colyar.

After Mayor Woodward arrived in the room, Colyar stated that Febuary had the goods on certain members of the police and detective department. There was some discussion about the right of the police to arrest anyone who could get such evidence. Mayor Woodward staying that he didn’t understand how such an informer could be thrown in jail. Continue Reading →

Colyar Declared Criminal and Not Worthy of Belief in Four Sworn Statements

A. S. Colyar

A. S. Colyar

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Four sworn statements concerning the career of A. S. Colyar, and declaring him a criminal and unworthy of belief, have been furnished The Constitution by Colonel Thomas B. Felder. They are as follows:

Record in Nashville.

State of Georgia, County of Fulton—Personally appeared before the undersigned, an officer authorized by law to administer oaths, C. R. Atchison, who, first being duly sworn, deposes and says: That he was born and reared in the city of Nashville, Tenn., and lived there until January 1, 1913, when he removed to the city of Atlanta, state and county aforesaid, and since that date has been a citizen thereof.

Deponent further says that he resides at the Georgian Terrace, in said city, and is vice president of the Massengale Advertising agency, with offices in the Candler building, said city, county and state.

Deponent further says, on oath, he has known A. S. Colyar, Jr., from boyhood, and that he is thoroughly well acquainted with his reputation and character for truth and veracity.

Deponent further says, on oath, that he is in a general way familiar with the criminal record of Colyar, covering a period of approximately twenty-five (25) years. Deponent knows that he has been arrested during this period in several states of the union for the offenses of forgery, perjury and impersonating others to obtain money; that he has been incarcerated in the jails of several states; that he is a moral degenerate, pervert, and a chronic crook and black leg, and deponent does not hesitate to say that from a knowledge of his character and reputation he would not believe him on oath. Continue Reading →

“Charge Framed Up by a Dirty Gang”

Charge Framed UpAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

That’s the Way Mayor James G. Woodward Made Answer Saturday to Published Dictagraph [sic] Record.

After Mayor James G. Woodward and read the published dictagraph record of the conversation alleged to have been held between him, A. S. Colyar, G. C. Febuary and E. O. Miles, in room No. 31, Williams House, Wednesday afternoon, he declared that it was a “frame-up by a dirty gang.”

The mayor told The Constitution that he would be willing to start a fund to employ Burns detectives to trace the motive which inspired Colyar and his companions.

“I haven’t much money to spend, but I would contribute to a fund to carry this investigation to the finish,” he said. “It has just gone that far that it is not complete. There certainly must be more in it than has been published. I haven’t been able to find a thing but froth and no substance. Now, let’s get at the substance.”

All the Record Not Given.

Mayor Woodward says he is sore only because the dictagraph record did not get all he told Colyar and Febuary in the Williams House room. He says that some part of the conversation is reported correctly, and other parts have been eliminated and words put into the record to fit the aims of the conspirators.

“I’ll stand on a drygoods box in the center of the street at Five Points and repeat every word that I uttered in that room,” Mayor Woodward said. “There are some things I said and which were eliminated, which I have stated in print, and which I would like to have in that record as long as they have it. Continue Reading →

“You Went to Williams House Like a Lamb to the Slaughter,” Colyar Tells Felder in Letter

You Went To

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Former Tennesseean [sic] in Open Letter Tells Colonel Felder That He Was Never Caught With Goods Until Last Wednesday—Colyar Says He Strayed From the Path He Should Have Followed When He Went to Wash Attorney’s Political Linen in a State in Which Colonel Felder Could Not Set Foot

A. S. Colyar has addressed the following open letter to Colonel Thomas B. Felder: Continue Reading →

Here Are Affidavits Submitted by Col. Felder

Here are Affidavits

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Following are five affidavits submitted to the newspapers by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, of Atlanta, for publication with his statement answering the dictograph quotations.

First appears the affidavit of C. W. Tobie, representative of the Burns detective agency investigating the murder of Mary Phagan. Second is that of W. A. Milner, an attorney of Cartersville. Third, comes that of W. D. Rhea, formerly of Nashville. Fourth, is the deposition of C. R. Atchison, formerly of Nashville. And fifth, comes the affidavit of E. W. McNeal, formerly of Nashville.

Following is Mr. Tobie’s affidavit:

MR. TOBIE’S AFFIDAVIT. Continue Reading →

“Lanford is the Controlling Genius of Conspiracy to Protect the Murderer of Little Mary Phagan”

Thomas B. Felder

Thomas B. Felder

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

So Declares Colonel Thomas B. Felder in Scathing Arraignment of Chief of Detectives and Those Assisting Him. Says Lanford and the Pinkerton Detectives Are Doing All They Can to Hamper the Phagan Investigation — Refers to Lanford as the “Lieutenant Becker” of the Department


Colonel Felder Says He Met Colyar Two and a Half Years Ago. During His Controversy With Governor Blease, and That Colyar Palmed Off Forged Affidavits on Him — Declares Colyar Came to Him With Tales of Corruption in Police Department and Asked for $1,000 for His Information

Charging Atlanta police officials with a conspiracy to shield and protect the murderers of Mary Phagan and styling Chief Newport Lanford as “the Lieutenant Becker of Atlanta and controlling genius” of the plot, Colonel Thomas B. Felder late Saturday gave out an emphatic statement vehemently denying the attempted bribery and other charges hurled at him by the police in the now famous dictograph records.

That a dictograph was used Colonel Felder doubts, and if one was used in the Williams house, he asserts, the record was changed by the persons using the record. This he tends to establish by showing that the record quotes him now in the first person singular and again in the second person singular. The record, he asserts, was “framed.”

Colonel Felder asserts that the plot was hatched with the day Leo M. Frank was arrested and maintains that since that time the police have done nothing else save protect the two suspects and obstruct the work of the Burns agency and Solicitor Dorsey.

He attacks A. S. Colyar in a half dozen affidavits appended to his lengthy statement. Colyar, he says, is morally and mentally irresponsible and merely a tool in the hands of Lanford and his agents.

He charges that the Coleman affidavit, imputed by the police to be a repudiation of Felder’s connection with the Phagan investigation, was obtained from J. W. Coleman under pressure.

The police plot, he charges, involves the [P]Inkertons and was organized by Chief Lanford and the Atlanta operatives for the Pinkertons employed the day after the Phagan murder by the National Pencil company.


The statement given out by Colonel Felder, as he had announced Friday, constitutes a narrative of the events leading up to the conferences in Williams House No. 2, where the dictograph was operated by Colyar and G. C. Febuary. Continue Reading →

‘Colyar Arrest Proper End to Plot of Crook’

Mayor James G. Woodward, of Atlanta, accused by dictograph in conversation in A. S. Colyar's room at the Williams House, denies that he offered money to secure evidence of corruption against police and detective departments.

Mayor James G. Woodward, of Atlanta, accused by dictograph in conversation in A. S. Colyar’s room at the Williams House, denies that he offered money to secure evidence of corruption against police and detective departments.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Woodward Brands Dictograph Trap Scheme to Make Him “Goat” Against Beavers.

Mayor Woodward declared Saturday night that the sensational dictograph records were merely the “froth of a plot of a ‘dirty gang,’” and too unworthy and ridiculous to require any official action from him.

“I think the matter reached its proper culmination when the dirty old crook Colyar, seemingly the chief promoter of the plot, was arrested on a charge of forgery.”

Then taking a more serious view of the situation, Mayor Woodward gave some illuminating views on Atlanta police politics.

Mayor Picked for “Goat.”

The filling in of the dictograph statement, purporting to be from me, is a good illustration of the efforts of certain persons to make me the ‘goat’ in their campaign to get rid of Police Chief J. L. Beavers. I have never posed as a sympathizer of Beavers, but I have never made any effort to oust him. Nevertheless, certain persons, some of them posing as his friends and supporters, have continually sought to bring a focus, through me, the fight to fire him.

“I told Beavers I was not going to try to put him out.

Dictograph Report Wrong.

“The first part of my conversation reported in the dictograph statement was correct. But some dirty crook added to the last part—that is unless the mistakes were inadvertently made by the operator. I did not mention Chief Beavers nor Chief Lanford nor any other names. They tald [sic] me—that is, Colyar told me with the assent of February [sic]—they had evidence of graft against Beavers and Lanford and I answered I wanted the evidence, no matter whom it hit.

“I did not offer them any money, but I will say now that I will subscribe to a fund to unearth any graft in any city department. I did not even tell them how strongly I felt on such matters, because I did not like the appearance of their whole dirty affair. Continue Reading →

“Knew It Was Coming,” Declares Cole Blease

Knew it was Coming

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Columbia, S. C., May 24.—(Special.—Governor Cole Blease, on whom the dictagraph [sic] was first sprung in the south, and by a strange coincidence through the instrumentality of Colonel T. B. Felder, feels that his time has come, and recent events are pointed to by him as his complete vindication.

“’He that putteth on the sword by the sword he shall perish’—or words to that effect—is my biblical authority for the paraphrase that ‘he who uses the dictagraph against another and fails to prove anything by it, by the dictagraph himself shall be crucified,’” said Governor Blease in talking of the Atlanta situation today.

“And the worst part of it all,” continued Governor Blease, “is that this same man, A. S. Colyar, is the identical sleuth hound turned loose by Felder on me to injure me among my own people—Colyar, this proven criminal and madman. He was the man chosen by Felder to wreck me, and now he turns up by wrecking Felder, and the strangest part of the whole thing is that Felder, now in his own defense, is forced to the dernier resort of proving that the man he sent to get evidence against me is too contemptible to be worthy of either confidence or belief. My own vindication, therefore, comes from Felder himself. Who would have thought it—and this so soon!”

“I do not suppose anybody that knows Tom Felder would be surprised if he is guilty or if this is a scheme worked up by him to get a little cheap notoriety and advertising.

“However, I presume that the members of the Atlanta bar will immediately furnish certificates of character for their darling Tommy and show that he is above suspicion and a gentleman of the highest character, with unblemished reputation as a man and attorney; and if a court of Georgia should order his arrest, that General Anderson will forthwith call out the militia and have him released, as General Anderson, his former partner and lifelong friend, knows of his character and reputation, and will not for a moment allow his Tommy to be interfered with.

“I am satisfied that poor little misled Joe Brown has had his pardon clerk ready fixing up a release for his innocent darling in case of any conviction.

“And as a matter of course the gutter snipes who went over to Augusta from South Carolina will hurry to offer their services to go on sweet Tommy’s bond, and also to appear in the courts, along with ‘Seaboard Bill,’ and his friend, J. L. Lyon, who have heretofore been his bosom friends in his defense; all save Chairman Carlisle, who, I suppose, will be too busy ‘moneying’ to leave his own state just now.

“Consequently, all will be well. Birds of a feather flock together and, of course, if the lead buzzard rings his bell the congregation will assemble.”

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Atlanta Constitution, May 25th 1913, “‘Knew It Was Coming,’ Declares Cole Blease,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)