Rabbi Marx Asserts His Belief in Frank

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

Can’t Build Case on Pack of Lies Any More Than House on Cards, Rabbi Says

In the room directly above the one where Leo M. Frank was on trial for the murder of Mary Phagan Monday afternoon were gathered a score of friends of the accused who eagerly discussed his chances for and against acquittal.

Prominent among them was Dr. David I. Marx, rabbi of the Jewish synagogue to which Frank belonged. With other friends of the prisoner he declared emphatically his belief in Frank’s innocence.

“There is no man in Atlanta,” said Dr. Marx, “more eager to see justice done or to find the guilty man in this case than am I, and the very fact of this and of my presence here shows my deep belief in the innocence of Mr. Frank. The truth is obliged to come out at last. You no more can build a case on a pack of lies than you can build a house on a pack of cards without a downfall.”

Spectators at Frank Trial Make an Absorbing Study

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

They Come From Every Station in Life—From the Ragged Newsboy to the Business Man With the Diamond Scarf Pin and the Georgia Lawmaker

The personnel of the spectators at the average murder trial is one of the most interesting phases of it, and the trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan is no exception to the general rule.

One glance about the court room as the case proceeded Monday afternoon showed an ever-changing kaleidoscope of ever changing faces, holding a single characteristic common to all, a look of intense interest that kept every face turned continually in the direction of the prisoner and the opposing attorneys.

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Everybody’s a “Reporter,” Now, Else an “Old Time Friend,” Says Guardian of Court House Door

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

They Been 15 Reporters Here in the Last Five Minutes,” He Says, “and What’s Not Reporters Is Boyhood Friends I Don’t Remember”

“You are?” said the man who guards the foot of the steps. “Well, son, they been fifteen reporters here in the last five minutes. They represented everything from “Nova Scotia Times” to the “Saskatchewan Gazette.” Who do you report for?”

And it took a letter of identification from the whole press table to gain admittance to the Frank trial for an unoffending and rather retiring reporter who merely wished to glance over the court room and fill his brain with “genre” impressions, as one might say, local color, features, pathos, smiles, and a few trifles.

“Why,” said the guardian of the steps, “folks will be anything to get in here. Look at them fifteen that came right out and said they was reporters. They was some anxious, wasn’t they?

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Frank Trial Will Last One Week And Probably Two, Attorneys Say

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

Indications Are That Trial Will Be Longest Over Which Judge Roan Has Presided, To Hold Two Sessions Daily

Attorneys both for the defense and for the prosecution of Leo M. Frank believe that his trial will last at least one week, perhaps, two weeks.

If the trial continues through more than one week it will be the longest over which Judge L. S. Roan has ever presided.

But, while he will expedite the trial as fast as possible, he intenrs [sic] to give attorneys all the time needed for the introduction of testimony and for argument.

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Mother’s Sorrow and Newsie’s Wit Play on Emotions at Frank Trial

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

Each of First Three Witnesses In Case Shows Distinct Personality and Entirely Different Side of Human Nature, Some Character Studies

Three of the witnesses who testified Monday afternoon at the Frank trial were more distinct as personalities than the characters you could see portrayed in any theater, except that very tragic one of a criminal court room.

Much testimony and such individuality as that of these witnesses, has kept the court room crowded by at least 200 people during every minute of the Frank trial—crowded with well dressed men who lean forward in their seats, intent on every detail of the trial, every question that the attorneys ask, every answer that the witnesses give.

They are first attracted to the court room by different reasons for curiosity: but they remain because of their common interest in “character.” In having a glimpse of distinct personalities, in seeing the stubbornness with which Newt Lee adheres to his testimony while lawyers try to confound him.

SORROW OF MOTHER.

Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, was first of the three witnesses who testified Monday afternoon. She spoke in a low voice, telling of how her daughter had left home on the day of the murder, and she seemed to have finished her testimony, when a court officer drew forth a suitcase which had been hidden behind several chairs.

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Frank’s Undistur[b]ed Face Wonder of the Court Room

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

His Brow Does Not Wrinkle, His Eyes Do Not Quail or Even Flicker—He Is Cool and Quiet

Leo M. Frank’s expression of quiet confidence has surprised every visitor to the court room where he is being tried for murder.

He sites for the most part with his hands crossed, and listens coolly to the testimony or to the argument of attorneys.

Not since the trial began has he seemed the least perturbed. His manner has been quiet and contained, like that of one who is sure of himself and sure of his cause.

Yet he has not seemed indifferent. He has been attentive at all times, but his attention has been marked by as little excitement or distress as that of any spectator.

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Lawyers Hammer Lee for Two Hours at Monday Afternoon Session

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

Negro Nightwatchman Who Found Mary Phagan’s Body in National Pencil Factory on Stand—Girl’s Mother and Newsboy Examined

Newt Lee, the negro nightwatchman who found Mary Phagan’s body in the pencil factory basement, was hammered by the defense for over two hours, on the witness stand Monday afternoon.

Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of the murdered child, and George W. Epps, a playmate who came to town with her on the fatal day, testified in that order. Mrs. Coleman being the first witness called to the stand when the trial started.

Newt Lee was the third witness. The testimony of the others had been brief, under direct and cross-examination. Newt Lee’s direct testimony was not extensive, but his evidence under cross-examination by Attorney Luther Rosser filled out the rest of the afternoon, and he still was on the stand under cross-examination when court recessed for the night.

At 3 o’clock court re-convened.

The jury, which had lunched in a downtown restaurant under guard of two deputy sheriffs, and then had been locked in its room, entered court.

Leo M. Frank, the accused, re-entered court and resumed his seat between his wife and his mother.

Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, the murdered girl, was called as the first witness. She took the stand at 3:05 o’clock.

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Mincey in Atlanta, But Has Not Been to Trial

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

Agent Who Said That Conley Told Him of Killing “a Girl” May Testify

W. H. Mincey, who has made affidavit that James Conley, the negro sweeper, practically confessed to him as being the murderer of Mary Phagan, is in Atlanta but has not yet gone to the courthouse where Frank is being tried.

At the time of the murder, Mincey was employed here as an insurance solicitor. On the day of the murder, he says that he met Conley at the corner of Carter and Electric streets.

The negro, according to the affidavit, was drinking, and when the solicitor mentioned insurance the negro flared into anger.

“I’ve killed a girl today,” the affidavit charges Conley, the negro sweeper, with having said, “I don’t want to hurt anybody else.”

Several weeks ago Mincey left Atlanta to take a position as school teacher. But attorneys for the defense say that he has returned, and is now here.

Factory Girls Eager to Testify for Frank

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

Thirty Girls and Men Are Waiting to Appear as Character Witnesses.

Thirty girls and men who are employes of the National Pencil factory are waiting to testify to the good character of Leo M. Frank.

“Ever girl employed at the factory believes that Mr. Frank is innocent,” said Miss Rebekah Carson Monday afternoon. “He was as kind as an employer could be. There never was a time when he wasn’t considerate of every one employed at the factory. But at the same time he was a man with two ideas. And they were his wife and his business.

“If he hadn’t been so intent upon his work, he would have taken a half holiday on that Saturday and he wouldn’t now be accused as he is. It was his faithfulness to his work which caused him to accused of this murder.

“He’s not guilty. I’d still believe in his innocence even though he was convicted ten times over.

“Everyone employed at the factory believes as I do. Everyone knows that Mr. Frank was kind and gentle, and that he was honest and straight in everything that he did. You won’t find an employe of the factory who doesn’t really believe that and who isn’t ready to testify to it before a jury.”

After Rosser’s Fierce Grilling All Negro, Newt Lee, Asked for Was Chew or “Bacca-AnyKind”

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 29th, 1913

He Looks Like a Negro, He Talks Like a Negro, and He Has the Will and the Manner of Darkies in Old-Time Slavery Days—Was on the Stand Three Hours Tuesday Morning

“All I wanted was a chew of ‘bacca. Yes, sir, dat was all,” said Newt Lee after he had testified for three hours Tuesday morning at the Frank trial, had answered question upon question, had experienced all the exquisite delights of a real cross-examination.

“I can’t say I was tired. Naw, sir, not ‘zactly that I jes’ needed the ‘bacca. Soon as I left the stand, the first thing I did was to ask for a chew, and then I felt all right.

“Mr. Rosser was putty terrible, wasn’t he? Sorter wants you to say things jes his way. But I was there to tell the truf and I told it.

“LAWYERS AND DETECTIVES.”

“Lawyers and detectives are sorter alike when the comes to askin’ questions. I’d ’bout as soon be talked to by one as another. Lawyers, though, don’t ‘buse youn like detectives, that’s a fact.

“But when folks don’t do you right, you jes know they hurtin’ they souls and ain’t doin’ you any real harm. That’s the way to look at things.

“Naw, sir, I didn’t get mad when Mr. Rosser kept tryin’ to make me say what he wanted said. Court’s a place where you ‘spect to be questioned, and there ain’t nothin’ to do but jes answer the best you kin. They certainly worked on me, but all I needed was a little bit of ‘bacca.

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Frequent Clashes Over Testimony Mark Second Day of Frank Trial

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

Atlanta Journal
July 29th, 1913

QUESTIONS DIRECTED AT NEGRO INDICATED AN EFFORT TO THROW SUSPICION UPON WATCHMAN

We Might as Well Begin to Show the Negro a Criminal Now as Later,” Declared Attorney Rosser, In Arguing for Admissability of His Questions—Negro Was Taken Over His Testimony Many Times in Effort to Break Him Down

INDICATIONS TUESDAY ARE THAT TRIAL WILL LAST MANY DAYS, PROBABLY AS LONG AS TWO WEEKS

Morning Session Enlivened by Clashes Between Attorneys, Every Point Is Bitterly Contested—Frank Keeps Serene and Untroubled Throughout Session—Full Story of Testimony Given by Witnesses During the Morning

After a luncheon recess of an hour and a half Tuesday the trial of Leo M. Frank was resumed at 2 p. m. with Police Sergeant L. S. Dobbs still on the witness stand. The morning session was given over to the continued examination of Newt Lee, the negro night watchman, and the direct and cross examination of Sergeant Dobbs.

There were frequent clashes between the attorneys for the defense and the solicitor during the morning. Every point was bitterly contested, and once the jury was sent from the room while the lawyers argued the fine points of the law. It was evident that the case was to be fought at every point.

The most significant feature of the morning session was an intimation by Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, counsel for Frank, that they might seek to connect the negro nigh watchman with the murder. It was during a colloquy between the lawyers for the defense and the state relative to the admissibility of the negro’s testimony as to what was said to him by the police officers about the contents of the notes found beside Mary Phagan’s body.

Solicitor Dorsey made the point that the notes had not yet been introduced as evidence and unless the defense was seeking to impeach the witness or to connect him with the crime it was not proper for him to questioned concerning the contents of the notes.

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State Opens Its Case Against Leo M. Frank

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

Atlanta Journal
July 28th, 1913

JURY COMPLETED BEFORE RECESS AND STATE WAS READY TO BEGIN INTRODUCTION OF ITS TESTIMONY

Last Man In the Last Panel Was Accepted as the Twelfth Juror and Cleared the Way for the Actual Trial of the Case When Court Reconvened at 3 o’Clock—Newt Lee Will Probably Be the First Witness Placed on the Stand

BOTH THE STATE AND DEFENSE SEEMED SATISFIED WITH TWELVE MEN CHOSEN TO TRY IMPORTANT CASE

Proceeding During the Morning More Like That of a Civil Than a Criminal Case—Court Room Crowded, but Not Uncomfortable—Frank Appears in Court, Showing No Sign of Worry—Full Story of the Morning Session

Sidebar:

PERSONNEL OF FRANK JURY; ALL MARRIED EXCEPT ONE

With one exception the jurors for the Frank trial are married men and five are fathers. Among them is one bank teller, one bookkeeper, one real estate agent, one manufacturer, one contractor, one optician, one claim agent, one mailing clerk, two salesmen and two machinists.

The following are the jurors:

M. Johemmings, married, foreman at 271 Marietta street, residence 161 Jones avenue

M. L. Woodward, married and father of two children, salesman at King Hardware company. He resides at 182 Clark street.

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Woman Charges Police Forced Her to Make False Statement

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

Atlanta Journal
July 28th, 1913

Negro Cook in the Selig-Frank Home Repudiates Affidavit She Swore to Against Frank, Will Refuse to Swear to the Paper, She Says

Minola McKnight, the negro cook, who signed an affidavit which is to be used by the prosecution against Leo M. Frank, said Monday morning that the police, by three hours’ sweating, forced her to sign this affidavit, and that when she is called as a witness that she will refuse to testify to the statements set forth in it.

The substance of the affidavit was that, on the morning following the murder of Mary Phagan, Mrs. Frank came downstairs at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Emil Selig, with whom she and Frank made their home, and said that Frank had asked for a pistol with which to kill himself.

At the time the negro cook signed this written statement of what is said in the affidavit to have happened at the Selig residence on the day following the murder, she was confined at police station.

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Former Suspect Will Be Happy No Matter How Frank Case Ends

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

Atlanta Journal
July 28th, 1913

J. M. Gantt Is to Be Married Sunday, Provided Trial Is Over—He Has Planned to Elope, but Now He’ll Have “Sure Enough” Wedding

There is one man connected with the case of Mary Phagan to whom the conclusion of the trial will bring a great happiness. He is J. M. Gantt, at one time a suspect and now a witness.

The day that brings the end of the trial will bring to him a wife.

Monday morning he sat on the steps leading to the second floor of the courthouse, chewing on the end of a dead cigar. And he told how Miss Annie Chambers, to whom he was to have been married many weeks ago, has promised to wed him, next Sunday, provided the Frank trial is over.

“We were going to elope just before this thing happened,” said Gantt, “but guess now we’ll have a regular formal wedding. It’ll come off next Sunday if we can make it then, if not, why, later. I was trying to get to Marietta, where we’ll live, the day I was arrested. God helping me, I’ll get there this time, and Annie will be with me.”

Mrs. Leo Frank and Her Mother Cheer Prisoner at Courthouse

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

Atlanta Journal
July 28th, 1913

Accused Neither Care-Worn Nor Haggard—His Eyes Meet Those of Crowd Without Faltering

There was one question on the face of every member of the big crowd in and around the courthouse Monday morning. To those standing without in the street, to those crowding the corridors and hallways, to witnesses flowing through rooms on the second floor, to the packed courtroom, the query was, where is the prisoner.

The man to whom the trial meant more than it meant to any other human being, had been brought to the courthouse early in the morning.

He was in a bare walled little room a few feet from the doorway leading to the court. With him sat two deputy sheriffs, his father-in-law, Emile Selig, and a friend.

From time to time during the morning the curious slipped to the door and gazed in at the accused. They saw a little man whose dark eyes gazed at them unwinking through big glasses. He was pale, but neither care-worn nor haggard. He wore a light gray suit striped with darker gray, black shoes, and a black and white four-in-hand tie.

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No New Testimony Will Be Given to Jury by Newt Lee

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

Atlanta Journal
July 28th, 1913

Negro Nightwatchman Says He Doesn’t Know Conley, the Sweeper—Merely Will Repeat Story of Finding Body

Newt Lee’s testimony to the jury, before which Leo M. Frank is to be tried, will repeat his statements to the police. He will add nothing new, and will give no testimony involving Conley, the negro sweeper.

To the jury, as to the police, Newt Lee will describe merely how he found the body of the murdered child in the cellar of the pencil factory, and afterward told the police of his discovery.

As he waited at the court house with other witnesses Monday morning, he said that Conley, the sweeper is unknown to him, and that he has told all that he can tell.

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Court Scenes at Frank Trial; How It Looks Inside and Out

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

Atlanta Journal
July 28th, 1913

Three Distinct Crowds Are There, Some Laughing, Some Whispering Speculations on Case

There were three crowds at the Frank trial Monday morning; and each had an aspect and characteristic as different as east from west—the crowd in the court room, the crowd around the door and in the street, and the throng of witnesses swarming through the upstairs rooms.

As one approached the red brick court house down Hunter street, he could see the corner near Pryor black with people. A car would turn the curve, the motorman clanging his gong vigorously before the packed mass would open and let the car grind by.

They were mostly men and boys. At intervals a woman accompanied by an escort would struggle into the doorway and up the stairs. She was a witness probably a factory girl.

Clean across Pryor street the crowd outside extended. People stood in the doorway of a drug store, in the street, in little groups on the sidewalk. It was a silent throng on the whole, speculating in whispers as to what was happening within.

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Frank’s Story of His Moves on Day of Crime

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

Atlanta Journal
July 27th, 1913

Accused Superintendent’s Story Is Unbroken by Any Save a Negro

Leo M. Frank’s sworn statement of his whereabouts each hour on the day of April 26, when Mary Phagan met her death, is of unusual interest in the case, especially since no witness except Conley had been found, at least as far as the public knows, who can break his story.

Frank’s statement of his whereabouts as given at the coroner’s inquest, when he was under oath, follows:

SATURDAY APRIL 26.

7 o’clock a. m.—Arose and dressed at home.

8—Left home for the factory office.

8:20—Arrived at the factory office.

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Here is Conley’s Confession Around Which Bitter Fight is Expected in the Frank Trial

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

Atlanta Journal
July 27th, 1913

There is little doubt that the storm-center, so to speak, of the Frank trial will be the testimony of the negro sweeper, James Conley. He will be the principal witness for the state and all of the other evidence of the prosecution will be shaped with a view to corroborating and strengthening his story which places the murder of Mary Phagan upon the factory superintendent.

And the defense will chiefly concern itself with the task of discrediting the negro’s testimony. It will bend its energies to prove that Conley has lyingly accused Frank and will offer evidence designed to fasten the crime upon the negro.

These facts being true the public will be interested in reviewing the sworn confession made by Conley to the city detectives. It follows:

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Plennie Minor Faces Task in Handling Court Room During Trial of Leo Frank

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

Atlanta Journal
July 27th, 1913

Genial Deputy Sheriff Will Have Seats for Only 250 People, and Hates to Think He Won’t Be Able to Accommodate Everybody, for That’s His Disposition

Plennie Minor is going to have the hardest job in Fulton county during the next two weeks.

Plennie (he doesn’t allow people to call him Mr. Minor, for he is everybody’s friend) is a Fulton county deputy sheriff and has the arduous task of keeping order in the court room while the Frank case is in progress. Incidentally, he will have to look out for witnesses and prisoners, and generally be the handy man about the trial.

Probably the worst job coming to him will be to keep the crowds out.

There are seats in the court room for 250 people and after they are filled everybody will be barred.

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