Dorsey Forces Childs to Admit Certain Portions of His Testimony Could Not Be Considered Expert

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 8, 1913

Dr. LeRoy W. Childs who was the first witness placed on the stand by the defense underwent a rigorous cross examination by Solicitor Dorsey.

The solicitor showed a keen knowledge of medicine and chemistry in the volley of questions he fired at the medical expert, and, upon one occasion elicited the admission from the witness that he was not informed of a certain phase of laboratory work on which great stress had been laid by Dr. Roy Harris who preceded Dr. Childs to the stand.

In concluding his testimony Dr. Childs when asked by the solicitor who explained the condition in which Mary Phagan’s body had been discovered declared that it was his opinion death did not result from the blow upon the head.

Dr. Childs was on the stand at the opening of the afternoon session under direct examination of Attorney Arnold.

“State whether or not doctor a bruise upon an eye can be inflicted after death?”

“Such a bruise could be produced before the body is cold. Some bodies retain heat longer than others.”

“Can a blow on the back of the head cause a black eye?”

“Such a blow could blacken both eyes.”

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Dalton Corroborates Statements Contained in Conley’s Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 8th, 1913

C.B. Dalton a railroad carpenter who was heralded as one of the star witnesses for the defense was called to the stand by Solicitor Dorsey whe[n] court convened Thursday morning. The most startling statement uttered by Dalton from the stand was that he used the basement of the National Pencil company factory for clandestine meetings with girls and women.

Although not an employee of the factory and although his acquaintance with Frank was a [1 word illegible] Dalton testified that the factory superintendent knew of his visits to the basement with women. Dalton named three females with whom he went into the basement. He told Solicitor Dorsey that Jim Conley, the negro sweeper of the factory, allowed him to use the basement. He gave the negro a quarter to watch on one occasion.

Dalton admitted to Attorney Luther Rosser that he did not know his birthplace.

“Were you ever employed at the National Pencil factory?” asked Solicitor Dorsey after a perfunctory examination of the witness.

“No, sir,” Dalton replied.

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Hugh Dorsey Wins His Spurs; Crowd Recognizes Gameness

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

By Sidney Ormond

When the spectators at the Frank trial Wednesday broke into a ripple of applause, after Judge Roan had announced his decision that the damaging evidence of Jim Conley that he had “watched out for Frank on several occasions prior to the murder and had encountered him in an attitude which set him apart from normal men would remain in the records—when this applause came—it was not that any man contributing to it necessarily thought Frank guilty. It was simply a spontaneous tribute to Solicitor Hugh Dorsey who has fought so doggedly against such enormous odds to get before the jury a mass of evidence which, woven together, forms the whole fabric of the state’s case. The applause was a recognition of the ability of a young man who, say what you will of the guilt or the innocence of Leo M. Frank, has demonstrated that he is an an agonist of whom any man need feel fear.

The applause was simply an expression of the desire of the average person for fair play. Feeling for or against Frank seemed to be suspended. It was, more than anything else, an expression of approval for work well done by a young man who was passing through a strenuous ordeal. Interest in the actual evidence in question and its possible effect on the fate of the defendant seemed to be set aside for just the brief interval that it took for the clapping of hands.

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While Murder Trial Goes on Witnesses While Away Time With Old Camp Meeting Songs

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

By Britt Craig.

There is one woman with no connection whatever with the Frank case who sits undisturbed in an obscure corner of the courtroom. Throughout Jim Conley’s testimony, she remained in her seat while court deputies removed women from all parts of the place and sent them outside at order of the judge.

She is Mrs. Hattie Barnett, a detective, and a woman who has seen more of the world and knows more of its multivaried phases than many of Atlanta’s most successful business men. She has seen and heard enough not to be touched by the negro’s sordid story. She has rubbed shoulders with all manner of mankind long enough not to be affected by anything which might develop in the trial.

Mrs. Barnett is attending the Frank case to study human nature and to study court procedure in a state’s biggest trial. To her, it will be a liberal education. She will learn many things that will be of inestimable value in her work.

Spectators have watched her as she sits alone in the obscure corner and listens intently to all of the trial. They have wondered at who she is and why she is able to remain there unmolested in a courtroom where all women have been barred. If the truth were known there is room for but little wonderment.

She is there for an education in a line of work she follows daily. A peculiar education it might be but a valuable education it is.

Mrs. Barnett is a middle aged woman who has been an investigator for the larger part of her life. She has been connected in many of the state’s biggest criminal cases and at first, did a deal of work on the Phagan investigation. Since the movement has been started in police headquarters to employ female detectives, it has been suggested that she be put at the head of the squad of women.

Witnesses Sing Time Away.

Sitting quietly for hours and hours in a large room is enough to try the patience of a modern Job. Thirty or more witnesses for both the state and defense in the Frank trial are cooped up in the second floor of the [1 word illegible] court building whiling away the long and tedious days by gossiping and talking and reading and dodging the newspaper cameras.

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Judge’s Decision Admits Conley Testimony in Full

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

At the continuation of the argument on the subject of Judge Roan’s reserved decision, Solicitor Dorsey cited extracts from many legal volumes, many of which pertained to the untimeliness of objections in just such cases as the one which he argued.

“It makes no difference if the act in question was a separate or distinct crime,” he said, “just so it shows a course of conduct and has sufficient [1 word illegible] value to the case on trial. It is absolutely admissible.

“We contend that the defense has stopped at this late hour, after examining extensively, and [1 word illegible] along the point and have attempted to do something which is deplorably irrelevant. We object to the ruling out of this testimony because we propose to substantiate the truth of Conley’s statement by other witnesses, including C. B. Dalton, George Epps and others.

“We intend to introduce Epps to show that Mary Phagan, fifteen minutes before she went to her death, expressed fear of Leo Frank because he had been flirting with her and making continued advances.”

At this the solicitor cited the case of a trial in which the deceased, a woman, stated upon leaving home that there were two persons in a nearby alley and that she thought one was her husband, the other his sweetheart, and that she would go see. She went into the alley never to return alive. Her body was found there late.

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Because He is Patriotic Mincey is Here for Trial

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

W. H. Mincey, witness for the defense in the Leo M. Frank trial whose substantial affidavit that Jim Conley had told him of killing a white girl on the day Mary Phagan was murdered was published some weeks ago was a conspicuous figure in front of the courthouse Wednesday.

Mincey is a country school teacher and has been for twenty years. He is not used to city ways, he says, and the excitement of the crowd around the courthouse seemed to worry him.

“I have great patriotism,” said Mr. Mincey, “and that is the sole reason I am here. I felt it was my duty to throw any light I could on the case. No, I will not talk at the present time. I’ll do my talking when I get on the stand.”

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Atlanta Constitution, August 7th 1913, “Because He is Patriotic Mincey is Here for Trial,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Mrs. Coleman Tells of Cooking Cabbage for Dr. H. F. Harris

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, followed Dr. Harris to the stand. She told of cooking an amount of cabbage at the chemists request for his experiments with the four men.

She stated that it had been ground finely as she had prepared it on the day of Mary’s last meal and had boiled it for an hour. She remained on the stand but for a few minutes and was asked but a few questions by either the state or defense.

She was asked to describe Mary’s pocketbook answering that she had already given a description when she first went upon the stand at the opening of the trial.

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 7th 1913, “Mrs. Coleman Tells of Cooking Cabbage for Dr. H. F. Harris,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Applause Sweeps Courtroom When Dorsey Scores a Point

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

Following Conley’s departure from the stand the jury was allowed a five minute recess and on their return Solicitor Dorsey tendered in evidence a picture of the pencil factory basement which was taken by Francis B. Price, The Constitution staff photographer on the morning that the body was found a [1 word illegible] of which appeared in The Constitution. He also tendered a scratch pad sample of one of those around the factory the murder notes and the pad found near the body.

There were no objections from the defense.

“Bring in C. B. Dalton,” called out the solicitor. Dalton is the man named by Conley as having gone into the factory with Frank when the latter chatted with women and had Conley act as lookout. Dalton took his place on the stand but was excused because the judge had not made his final decision with reference to the protested Conley testimony and Mrs. John Arthur White was called in.

Conley was brought back and Mrs. White was asked if he was the negro she claimed to have seen on April 26 concealed behind some boxes on the first floor of the factory.

She could not say that he was or was not but declared that he looked more like the man than anyone else she had seen and that he was about the same statue. The defense entered frequent objections while this was being brought out.

“Mrs. White,” the solicitor then asked, “on April 28 didn’t you tell your brother Wade Campbell, an employee of the pencil company that you had seen a negro there on the previous Saturday?”

Mr. Rosser objected.

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Mary Phagan Was Strangled Declares Dr. H. F. Harris

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

Dr. Roy F. Harris, the pathologist, head of the state board of health, and the expert who exhumed and examined the body of Mary Phagan, went on the stand at the close of the argument over Judge Roan’s reserved decision to continue the testimony from which he was interrupted Friday by a fainting spell in the courtroom.

He still suffered from weakness and was allowed to sit in a heavily-upholstered armchair.

He was questioned first by Solicitor Dorsey.

“Dr. Harris, what is your particular branch of medicine?”
“My usual line is pathology, chemistry and chemical work, as well as diagnosis.”

“Can you indicate the signs of what you saw on Mary Phagan’s body which showed strangulation?”

Died by Strangulation.

“It was out of the question that her death was caused by a blow on the head—it was not sufficient to even produce noticeable pressure. The only thing evident from which death could have resulted was the deep indentation along the throat, obviously inflicted during life. There were other signs as well—the protruding tongue, congested blood in the face and hands, all of which indicated that strangulation had caused death.”

“Did you notice the larynx?”

“Yes; there seemed no damage done.”

“Did you see the windpipe?”
“Yes.”

“Did you take it out?”

“No; there seemed but little damage to it. I did not remove it because I did not want to mutilate the poor child any more than necessary.”

“Did you see the lungs?”
“Yes, but the lungs were congested, due to the use of formaldehyde used in embalming.”

The solicitor asked the defense for the bloody stick found by Pinkertons on May 10 in the pencil factory. It was produced and shown to the physician.

“Do you think the blow you found on the child’s head could have been inflicted by a cudgel like this?”
“In my opinion, I would think not—the gash evidently was inflicted with some sharp instrument.”

“Did you make a scientific examination of the female organs?”

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Unable to Shake Conley’s Story Rosser Ends Cross-Examination

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

On the opening of court Wednesday morning when Judge L. S. Roan announced that he would postpone his final decision in regard to the admissibility of Jim Conley’s evidence in regard to Leo Frank’s alleged misconduct and also to the negro’s acting on previous occasions as his “lookout,” Luther Rosser began his final effort to break the negro down.

Conley stayed on the stand until 10 o’clock and was then excused. He had been testifying for fifteen hours in all and of this thirteen hours had been under the merciless grilling of Attorney Rosser.

The negro stuck to the last to the main points of his story, and, while admitting that he had lied on previous occasions, swore that he had only tried to save himself and that about the murder he was telling the whole truth. No amount of effort could break him from this declaration.

Conley also added a new point to his story when under additional questioning from Solicitor Hugh Dorsey he swore that he had seen Frank hide Mary Phagan’s meshbag in his safe. Before that both sides had declared that they could not account for the disappearance of the pocketbook or bag in which the girl had carried her money.

Reads Black Affidavit.

Mr. Rosser opened the morning cross-examination by reading to the negro the second affidavit he made to Detective John R. Black and Harry Scott. It was in this that the darkey swore he had left home at about 9 o’clock and after visiting several saloons and poolrooms, among which was one bearing the name of the “Butt-In” saloon, he had won 90 cents at dice and then gone to the factory at about 1 o’clock. In it he had admitted to writing the murder notes, but made no mention of helping Frank dispose of the body.

Then the lawyer read the next affidavit in which the negro declared he had aided Frank in taking the dead girl’s body to the cellar in which, despite the fact that he had put into it the claim that he was telling the whole truth, he had not told certain things which he waited until he got on the stand to tell.

Mr. Rosser made Conley acknowledge to having made these affidavits and with particular emphasis called his attention to the various discrepancies between them and also between the final one and his sworn testimony.

Then the lawyer asked the witness about several conversations he is alleged by the defense to have had with various factory employees after the murder was discovered and before he was arrested.

“Jim,” began Mr. Rosser, “soon after the murder weren’t you working near where Miss Rebecca Carson was and did she say to you, ‘Jim, they ain’t got you yet for this,’ and didn’t you say, ‘No, and they ain’t goin’ to, ‘cause I ain’t done nothin’?’”

“No, sir,” replied Conley: “dat lady ain’t never said nothing like dat to me and I ain’t never said nothing like dat to her.”

“Didn’t she say, ‘Well, they’ve got Mr. Frank and he ain’t done nothing,’ and didn’t you then say, ‘Mr. Frank is ez innocent as you is and de Lord knows you ain’t guilty’?”

“No, sir,” replied Jim positively: “no, sir, Mr. Rosser, wasn’t nothing lak dat passed ‘tween us.”

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Spontaneous Applause Greets Dorsey’s Victory

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

JUDGE ROAN DENIES MOTION OF DEFENSE TO STRIKE PART OF CONLEY TESTIMONY

Reuben Arnold Threatens to Call for Mistrial if There Should Be Recurrence of Applause Which Marked Reception of the Decision. Judge Announces That the Court Room Would Be Cleared if There Was Any More Disorder.

BAFFLED BY ATTITUDE OF CONLEY ON STAND, DEFENSE ENDS GRILL

Dr. Roy Harris Testifies in Afternoon, Declaring That Death Was Caused by Strangulation—Tells of Experiments With Four Men in Digestion of Cabbage Cooked by Mrs. Coleman, Mother of Girl Who Was Murdered—C. B. Dalton Testifies Today.

When, shortly after the noon recess Wednesday, after he had heard lengthy argument on both sides, Judge Roan reversed his decision of the day previous thereby admitting as evidence the statements of Jim Conley that on numerous occasions he had acted as “lookout” for Leo M. Frank while he was engaged with women on the second floor of the National Pencil factory, the state and Solicitor Dorsey won a victory which was perfectly patent to every one in the court room, and the news was quick to reach the street and to be circulated by word of mouth all over the city.

As soon as Judge Roan announced his decision spontaneous applause broke out in the court room and Reuben Arnold jumped to his feet, exclaiming:

“If that happens again I shall move for a mistrial.”

Judge Roan announced that he would have to clear the room if there was a recurrence of the disorder.

Interest at Keen Pitch.

At no single stage of the long drawn-out trial has interest been so keen as when Judge Roan announced on Tuesday that he would reverse his decision on the admissibility of this evidence until Wednesday morning. The evidence was of such an important nature and its introduction came as such a complete surprise that it was the sole topic of conversation all day Monday and Tuesday. When Conley had blandly told of the occurrences which would seem to indicate a course of conduct on the part of the defendant which would throw light on the crime, and stamp him as apart from other men, there was profound surprise in the court room that the astute attorneys for the defense did not strenuously object.

But on second thought the impression seemed to be that Mr. Rosser and Mr. Arnold, confident they could break the negro down, were opening wide the bars and were giving Conley all the rope necessary to hang himself.

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Ignorance of Negro Witnesses Helps Them When on the Stand

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

By Britt Craig.

Sometimes it is lucky to be ignorant. Most people don’t believe this, but it has been proven true in the cases of Newt Lee and Jim Conley in facing the nerve-racking cross-examination of Luther Rosser.

The average white man in Jim’s fix would last just several minutes it is likely – perhaps even less. And if he were a cigarette fiend–

There have been many interesting features to the Frank trial but chief of them all is the manner in which these two negroes have stood grilling of attorneys for the defense proving themselves the sturdiest witnesses presented by the state.

Jim Has No Cares.

Equipped for the ordeal by a bath from a fire hose, a clean shirt and a shaved head, Jim Conley faced Mr. Rosser on Monday afternoon without a nerve in his [1 word illegible], with hardly a worry and no idea of what would happen, save that he was going to tell the white folks all about the crime and would have the center of the stage for awhile.

The formidable Mr. Rosser opened up [words illegible] with a voice on the order of a lady lobbyist trying to put through a pet scheme and asked him simple easy little questions, like the spelling of cat and dog and apple.

No Worries for Jim.

Jim answered them all readily, willingly and essayed to spell cat, but overlook the “c”. In its absence he used a “k”. But that was immaterial and Jim never worried. Mr. Rosser wheedled and coaxed and cajoled.

Jim sat in one position, head erect, never turning eyes riveted on those of his questioner. He never used a handkerchief, never ran his hand across his brow, never twiddled his fingers, never shifted his legs. He sat there immobile, impassive waiting for what ever might happen next.

If he couldn’t find answers he’d dart for his various havens of refuge.

“I don’t remember,” “I don’t think so,” maybe “so I don’t know exactly.”

It is an ordeal that but few white men could undergo successfully. To sit in the same cramped position in which he has remained throughout the proceeding is enough to stir any Anglo-Saxon, to a spirit of restlessness. To remain for hours cigaretteless, tobaccoless, is enough to tear the soul of those who indulge.

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Defense Asks Judge Roan to Strike From Records Part of Conley Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

At the opening of the afternoon session, Attorney Reuben Arnold arose, asking that the jury be sent from the room. When the twelve men had passed into their ro[o]m, he made a motion asking the court to exclude from Conley’s statement that testimony pertaining to Conley having watched previously for Frank and to an unprintable scene the negro said he had witnessed between the superintendent and a young girl in Frank’s office.

The motion was made on grounds of irrelevancy.

“First,” said Mr. Arnold, “I desire to ask the court to rule out that testimony of Jim Conley’s which pertains to his having watched for the defendant on occasions before the date on which the girl was killed. The defense proposes to withdraw all cross-examination on this point.

Asks Testimony Ruled Out.

“We also desire to withdraw from the records that part of Conley’s statement in which he tells of Frank having told him at the head of the stairway on the second floor of the pencil factory that ‘he was not built like other men,’ the answer Conley made to Dorsey’s question: ‘What did he mean by that?’ and the scene which the witness related.

“It is here in the court. I don’t want to read it aloud before these ladies present, so I will show it to your honor. This, I want ruled out. This scene which the negro alleges he witnessed was brought into the case purely to prejudice the court against the defendant.”

In reply, Attorney Frank Hooper, for the prosecution, said,

“On the first motion to rule out evidence pertaining to other cases of Conley’s having watched for Frank, it comes too late, and to rule it out would give counsel opportunity to tamper with the courts. They have crossed the witness and brought out both direct and indirect testimony bearing on the particular phase. It’s now too late for their objection.

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Mincey Affidavit Is Denied By Conley During Afternoon

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

SMITH ALLOWED ACCESS TO CLIENT

After Judge Roan had ruled out the Conley testimony relating to alleged previous actions of Frank, the jury was returned to the courtroom, and Attorney Rosser resumed his cross-examination of Conley.

“Jim, you took the body of that girl, you say, and wrapped her in a cloth, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sir.”

“Was the cloth all around her?”
“No, sir, it didn’t go over her whole body.”

“Did it cover her head?”
“No, sir.”

“Her feet?”
“No, sir.”

“How much of her body was projecting out of the cloth?”
“I don’t know, sir.”

“You tied the cloth in a bundle around the body and put her on your shoulder, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sir.”

“Didn’t her head stick out and lean back?”
“Yes, sir.”

Negro Answers Yes.

The attorney arose and stood before the negro, illustrating the manner in which the negro carried the body, asking if he were not correct. The witnessed answered yes.

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Conley Remains Calm Under Grilling Cross-Examination

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

ROSSER ADOPTS NEW TONE MONDAY

Jim Conley, upon whose story practically the entire result of the Frank case is believed to rest, went on the stand at 9:03 o’clock and when court adjourned for lunch at 12:30 he was still being cross-examined by Luther Rosser for the defense.

The lawyer had reached that point in his cross-fire of questions where he had begun to hector the witness and to take him up whenever he made a mistake, but it appeared that he was only about half through with his work. When the adjournment was taken Conley was still sticking to the main points of his story in a way that was considered remarkable, although he had admitted discrepancies in many of the minor points and had grown confused over them.

When Attorney Rosser started out Monday his manner was mild, but only throughout the afternoon he worked up to a slightly harsher manner. When he began Tuesday he was using his usual rather abrupt tone of voice.

Solicitor Hugh Dorsey and Frank A. Hooper, his colleague, made frequent objections to the manner in which the cross-examination was being conducted and did, to a certain extent, restrain the defense.

“Jim, you made your second statement to Mr. Black and Mr. Scott on a Saturday, didn’t you?” was the first question Mr. Rosser asked.

“I disremembers the day, boss,” replied Conley.

“You told them, though, that you wrote those notes on Friday?”
“Yes, sir, I tole ‘em dat.”

“They they [sic] told you that that wouldn’t do, didn’t they?”
“No, sir, dey didn’t say nothing about that.”

“Didn’t they tell you that it wouldn’t fit in?”
“They didn’t say them words.”

“Are you sure, Jim?”
“Yes, sir, I’m sure.”

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Conley’s Main Story Still Remains Unshaken

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

GRILLED 12 HOURS BY LUTHER ROSSER JIM CONLEY INSISTS FRANK GUILTY MAN

Declaring That “I Don’t Remember,” or, “No, Sir; I Didn’t Say That,” or Simply Affirming Blandly That He Had Lied on a Previous Occasion, Negro Sweeper Sticks to Story Told on the Witness Stand on Monday Morning Despite Most Rigid Cross-Examination of Trial.

AFFIDAVIT BY MINCEY OF CONLEY CONFESSION IS DENIED BY WITNESS

Apparently Despairing of Breaking the Negro, Attorneys for Defense Appeal to Judge Roan to Strike All Evidence Relating to Alleged Previous Conduct of Frank Before Day of Murder on Ground of Irrelevancy – State Vigorously Protests Against Such Action and Judge Roan Will Decide Today.

Twelve and one-half hours under the merciless cross-questioning of Luther Rosser, than whom no lawyer at the Atlanta bar has more terrors for the average witness; twelve and one-half hours saying, “I don’t remember,” “No, sir, I didn’t say ‘dat,’” or simply affirming blandly that he had lied on a previous occasion; twelve and one-half hours staring fixedly on a crowded court room; twelve and one-half hours during which time the perspiration or sweat—if you like that word better—failed to dot his brow—

That is the record of Jim Conley, former negro sweeper at the National Pencil factory.

No such record has ever been made in a criminal case in this county.

On Monday Conley was on the stand five hours and a half, and the able attorneys for the defense failed to break him down; failed to rattle him. On Tuesday, after a good night’s sleep at the Tower, Conley resumed the stand and Luther Rosser questioned him for seven hours. Still he did not shake him.

Conley may be telling the truth in the main or he may be lying altogether. He may be the real murderer or he may have been but the accomplice after the fact. Be these things as they may, he is one of the most remarkable negroes who has ever been seen in this section of the country. His nerve seems unshakable. His wit is ever ready.

Lawyers Work In Vain.

As stated in Tuesday’s Constitution, Luther Rosser managed to get Conley to admit he had lied in his previous affidavits; that he had been in jail seven or eight times—he could not tell how often; that he could not remember certain dates; that he tripped himself in regard to his ability to read and write, but that is about all the defense has succeeded in doing. His main story remains unshaken. Of course no one can tell what will come today or what effect Conley’s story and his admissions will have on the jury.

Fails to Break Him.

Apparently despairing of breaking the negro, the attorneys for the defense shortly after court had met for the afternoon session moved that all that part of Conley’s statement relating to the previous times he had watched for Frank and the incident of the young woman whom he claims to have seen in a compromising position with Frank be stricken out.

Luther Rosser had for hours cross-questioned Conley on the times he had watched out for Frank, and he failed to budge him. When this testimony for the state was introduced it was the big sensation of the trial, particularly that part relating to the young woman Conley claims to have discovered with Frank. Second only to the surprise this testimony created was the fact that the attorneys for the defense allowed to go in without any objection. Apparently they had taken the bridle off and were willing for him to go the limit, depending on breaking him down later on and discrediting the whole story.

Solicitor Hugh Dorsey shaped this part of the proceedings in a manner that was masterful. He knew that in allowing Conley to go ahead and tell of these various times he had “watched for Frank” he was paving the way for a possible breakdown of the negro—on that he was giving the defense an advantage which they accepted gladly, but were unable to make anything of.

Judge Roan reserved his ruling on this point until this morning, when he will decide whether the testimony shall go in or be stricken out.

Interest Is Keen.

Interest on this point is keen. The defense, by asking that the testimony be eliminated, virtually admit their failure to break down Conley. If it is left in it will be signal victory for the state, and Solicitor Dorsey will introduce several witnesses to prove the statements made by Conley. On this point he has already declared his intention.

When court adjourned Tuesday Conley was still on the stand and he will be on the stand today when court opens.

Just how long he will be kept on the stand is a matter of speculation. When adjournment hour came Tuesday Luther Rosser had gone all over Conley’s testimony time and again and was asking questions about his treatment at the jail and other matters having little bearing on his main story.

From present indications the trial will run for fully ten days, and possibly two weeks longer. The state will have other witnesses to introduce after Conley leaves the stand, and he may be on the stand for some days yet.

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 6th 1913, “Conley’s Main Story Still Remains Unshaken,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Stanford Recalled By Solicitor Dorsey

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 5th, 1913

Declares There Were Bars Across Door on Second Floor on Day Before Murder.

Following Sergeant Dobbs, Mell Stanford, a factory employee, who had previously testified, was recalled for a few minutes.

“Was the door on the second floor back locked or unlocked on Friday, April 25?” asked Mr. Dorsey.

“There were bars across it,” said Stanford.

“Was there any way to get down back there?”

“Only by the fire escape.”
“Was the area of the metal room cleaned up after the murder?”

“Yes, sir, during the following week.”

“Did you clean it up?” asked Mr. Rosser, who here took up the cross-examination.

“No, sir, I saw it being cleaned up, though.”

“Could a man have removed that bar to the door back there and then gone up the stairs?”

“Yes, sir.”

Stanford was then excused.

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 5th 1913, “Stanford Recalled by Solicitor Dorsey,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Frank Very Nervous, Testifies L. O. Grice

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 5th, 1913

Witness Had Gone to the Pencil Factory After Reading The Constitution Extra

L. O. Grice was the first witness put on the stand when court convened Monday morning. He was kept there but a few minutes. He stated that he is employed by W. H. Smith, auditor of the Atlanta and West Point railroad, and that he lives at 270 Houston street.

“Where were you on Sunday, April 27, about 8 o’clock?” Mr. Dorsey started out.

“I was in front of The Constitution building and I saw one of their extras and went on down to the National Pencil factory. I was going in that direction towards the office where I work, anyway,” he replied.

“Did you go in the building?”
“Yes, sir.”

Hadn’t Been in Courtroom.

“Have you been in the courtroom during this trial?” interrupted Attorney Rosser. (Mr. Grice had not been among those witnesses first named by the solicitor.)

“No; I haven’t been in here before this morning,” said Grice.

“Did anything attract your attention down in the factory?” continued the solicitor when his opponent had subsided.

“Yes, sir; I saw Mr. Black, the detective, and a number of men.”

“Did anybody attract your attention by showing nervousness?”
“Yes, sir.”

“Who was it?”
“I didn’t know him then.”

“Is he the defendant, there?” said Mr. Dorsey, pointing to where Frank sat.

“Yes; he was the man,” said Grice.

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Handsome Woman Seeks in Vain For Witness at Frank’s Trial

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 5th, 1913

Shortly after the courtroom had been cleared of women during the trial of Leo M. Frank Monday, Detective Harper entered the room with a handsome woman and the two took a leisurely survey of those in the courtroom.

It was learned that the woman is a waitress at a well-known restaurant, and that shortly after the murder she is supposed to have overheard a conversation with two men who were discussing the killing. It is said they were friends of Frank and that they made admissions which would prove important to the state.

The two men were not in the courtroom.

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Atlanta Constitution, August 5th 1913, “Handsome Woman Seeks in Vain For Witness at Frank’s Trial,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Women of Every Class and Age Listen With Morbid Curiosity To Testimony of Negro Conley

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 5th, 1913

By Britt Craig.

There was a chorus girl who sat next to an aged and withered woman who is undoubtedly a grandmother—a great-grandmother, maybe; there was a painted-cheeked girl with hollow eyes who bore the unmistakable stain of crimson, who sat between a mother who held in her lap an eager 13-year-old.

There was a wrinkled and worn old woman with the lines of care stamped indelibly, who hobbled into the room on a crutch and sat beside a man who chewed tobacco and whispered profanity. Over in a corner there was a graceful young woman with a wide hat and flowing plume and pretty features crowned with a wealth of auburn hair.

They all were at the Frank trial yesterday, listening intently to Jim Conley’s ugly story, many parts of which brought shame to the cheeks of the hardened court attaches. They sat throughout his tale, eager, expectant, apparently thrilled through and through and intent upon missing nothing.

Not a single one left the courtroom until adjournment time. On Friday afternoon, when Dr. Harris gave intimate testimony of details of his examination of Mary Phagan’s body a number of women arose from their seats, shielded their blushing cheeks with newspapers, and strode from the courtroom.

But Monday it was different. Jim Conley’s tale reeked at times and yet not a woman left the courtroom. Instead they leaned forward, bent upon escaping nothing of the odious details that came from the negro’s mouth. A mother held a child in knee dresses on a knee in a position in which the child could see and hear perfectly.

The mother held a fan, with which she fanned briskly at times. That is, at times when there was a lull in the story. But it stopped, the fan did, and was held poised in expectation, when Conley would resume relating his story.

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