Uncle of Frank, Near Death in Far-Off Hospital, Is Ignorant Of Charges, Against His Nephew

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Moses Frank Has Been Given No Inkling of Circumstances That Now Are About Frank Family—He Is Seriously Ill in German Hospital

Lying at the point of death in a hospital in far-off Germany is the uncle of Leo M. Frank, unknowing that for the last three months his favorite nephew has been imprisoned on the charge of murder and that today he is on trial for his life.

This is what an attorney for the defense says. He declares that uncle how regarded Leo Frank almost as his own son, has been too ill for many months to be given an inkling of the new circumstances about the Frank family and that he still believes his nephew is as he left him.

For a long time Moses Frank has been in bad health. In search of relief he went abroad, hoping that the treatment of European specialists would cure him. But Moses Frank grew worse instead of better, and on the day Mary Phagan was murdered he still was in Europe, while grave fears were entertained for his recovery.

They have been afraid to tell him about his nephew, apprehensive that the shock would cause the spark of life, already so feebly burning, to flicker out.

Claims Mincey, When Needed, Will Testify

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Attorney for Defense Says the State Won’t Hurt His Character

“Mincey will be Johnny-on-the-spot when the defense needs him to testify.”

Those were the words of Joseph Leavitt, one of the lawyers for the defense in speaking Tuesday afternoon on the affidavit sworn to some time ago by W. H. Mincey, by which the defense hopes to prove that Jim Conley confessed to Mincey that he killed a girl on the day Mary Phagan was murdered.

Attorney Leavitt would not say where Mincey was staying, but declared that he was in town; that he had been with him Tuesday afternoon, and that he would stick to his affidavit when called upon to testify.

It is know that Mincey stayed Monday night at the Williams house No. 3, where he registered as coming from Rising Fawn, Ga. Attorney Leavitt says that Mincey has been teaching school there since he left Atlanta.

“It is rumored,” said Attorney Leavitt, “That the state will try to break down Mincey’s character. I don’t care how many affidavits they get against him. I can bring forward hundreds of prominent Atlanta people, teachers, preachers, and merchants, who will swear that Mincey is an honest man. And I’ll subpoena ’em, too.”

Trial is No Ordeal for Me, Says Frank’s Mother

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

She Declares Her Confidence in Son’s Innocence Makes It Easy for Her

“My son never looked stronger than at this moment,” said Mrs. Ray Frank, of Brooklyn, Wednesday morning. “The trial isn’t telling upon him because he isn’t worrying. He is confident because of his innocence and because of his certainty of an acquittal.

“Neither his wife nor myself is anxious. Of course, we feel the heat and it is tiring to sit here in the court room throughout the day. But, like my son, we are not afraid. Why should we be? We know that he is innocent and we know that, because of this fact, he will be acquitted.

“I, his mother, know that he is free from all guilt of the charge upon which he is being tried, and that this trial can have only one result—his acquittal.

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No “Shirt-Sleeves” for Lawyers in Frank Case

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

For the sake of expediting the Frank trial, attorneys in the case are not permitted the comfort of “shirt sleeves” in the court room which, maintained at temperature Tuesday of 95 degrees.

Newspaper reporters and spectators may hang their coats on their arms, roll up their sleeves, and at least feel that they have prepared themselves against the heat. But before the trial began, Judge Roan, in discussing the legal attire, said humorously:

“Lawyers must wear coats. If I let them go in shirt sleeves they’d feel so comfortable this trial might never end. Now, for reporters, it comes so natural for them to slip out of things that they’ll just naturally take off their coats.”

Trial Thus Far Has Only Established Murder of the Girl

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Tuesday Afternoon’s Session Hears of Beginning of Police Investigation Into Mystery of Mary Phagan’s Murder

Following in the sequence which it began with the introduction of the first witness, the prosecution of the murder charge against Leo M. Frank progressed Tuesday afternoon to the point at which the city detectives began their investigation of t[h]e murder mystery.

Beginning with Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of Mary Phagan, who saw her leave home about noon of April 26, the state established in succession her arrival at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth streets, and departure thence for the factory two blocks away—this by the newsboy, George Eppes; the ing of her dead body fifteen hours hour, in the pencil factory basement—this by the night watchman, Newt Lee; the arrival of the police and their official survey of the surroundings—this by Sergeant L. S. Dobbs; the beginning of the detectives’ investigation and the arrival of Leo M. Frank in physical person upon the scene—this by Detective J. N. Starnes, who appears formally as the prosecutor of the charge against Frank.

Thus, therefore, the state has established the very necessary foundation of fact that Mary Phagan was murdered in the pencil factory.

The session Tuesday afternoon was punctuated by objections by the state or the defense to questions put by the opposing side to witnesses on the stand, and by arguments between state and defense over these points.

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Defense to Claim Strands of Hair Found Were Not Mary Phagan’s

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

GRACE HIX TESTIFIES THAT GIRLS FREQUENTLY COMBED THEIR HAIR OVER MACHINES

Miss Hix Also Testifies That Magnolia Kennedy, Who Worked Near Mary Phagan, Had Hair of the Same Color and Shade—Important Admissions Lay Foundation for Defense’s Claim That Murder Was Not Committed in Metal Room

STATE ENDEAVORS TO SHOW THAT FRANK VERY NERVOUS AND DID NOT LOOK ON FACE OF MURDERED GIRL

Attorney Rosser Directs His Questions to Combat Claim of Nervousness—Witness Declares She Never Saw Any Red Paint in the Metal Room—State Claims New Evidence Will Soon Be Given—Trial Will Run Into Second Week

Four distinct features marked the trial of Leo M. Frank Wednesday. One was an admission from Miss Grace Hix that the girls frequently combed their hair over the machines in the metal room of the factory; another was a strenuous effort on the part of the state to prove that Frank was very nervous on the morning of the discovery of little Mary Phagan’s body; still another feature was the attempt of the state to show that Frank was reluctant to look upon the dead girl’s face in the undertaking parlors, and the fourth was the state’s effort to prove that red paint never had been seen on the floor of the metal room where the state alleges bloody spots were found.

Around each of these points stiff legal tilts occurred. In developing from Miss Hix’s testimony the fact that the girl’s combed their hair in the metal room, Attorney Rosser laid the foundation for a refutation of the theory that Mary Phagan was murdered there.

The state is expected to introduce as evidence several strands of hair found on the handle of a turning lathe in the metal room, presumed to be those of Mary Phagan. Attorney Rosser drew from the Hix girl the admission that Miss Magnolia Kenneday, one of the metal room employees who worked very close to Mary Phagan’s machine, had hair almost the same shade as that of the murdered girl.

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Frank Jurors Idle Away Long Hours With Song

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

They Sing Ballads and Tell Irish Tales During the “Recess” Hours

Jurors in the Frank trial have organized a singing club. Their purpose is not to give diversity to the trial with a note of song, but to while away the time between sessions of court.

When Judge L. S. Roan gives word that the trial has proce[e]ded far enough for the day, jurors are taken for a brief, brisk walk, and then to their residence for the nonce, which consists in three rooms thrown together at the Kimball house.

There the twelve take up their quarters for the night, and remain until the beginning of the court session upon the next day. Twelve cots have been placed in the three connecting rooms, and there the twelve jurors sleep. Until the trial is ended they will have no opportunity of seeing home folks, but they are permitted to send messages through deputy sheriffs.

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All Newt Wants Now is Freedom and a Hat

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

Now that Newt Lee has more ‘bacca, as he says, “than Mr. Rosser axed him questions,” he needs but a hat to complete his physical comfort, but freedom to set his mind at rest.

Newt’s only hat is a fur cap, which Newt thinks might have made a “ver’ putty Christmas gift when ’twas new, but don’t do much fer July.”

“You see, boss,” he explains, “a straw hat jes’ naturally looks cool, makes yer feel like you had money in your pocket. But there ain’t no use fer a cap and it furry in July.

“Man promised to bring me a hat, but I guess his memory’s bad. Leastways I ain’t seen anything of the hat. But I certainly is proud of de ‘bacca.”

Since Newt told Tuesday how one chew brought him solace after his cross-examination by Mr. Rosser; and how, when he was on the witness stand his thoughts were of ‘bacca, he has been given all sorts and kinds.

He says when he gets out he may take a day off to catch up on “chewing,” and that he would like a nice hat to wear then.

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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