Will Not Indict Jim Conley Now, Jury’s Decision

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, July 21, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Makes Brief Announcement to This Effect After Grand Jury Session Lasting Over an Hour


Solicitor Dorsey Will Now Concentrate Efforts Against Having Frank Jury Drawing From Grand Jury List

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey has for a second time blocked an attempt by members of the grand jury to indict James Conley, the negro sweeper, who confessed complicity in the Mary Phagan murder.

The grand jurymen who had called a meeting over the protest of the solicitor to consider taking up a bill against the negro listened to the prosecuting official for more than an hour Monday morning, and then authorized him to announce that the matter will not be taken up at this time.


The solicitor wrote out his statement, which is as follows:

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Dorsey Is Seeking to Be Grand Jury And Solicitor Too, Say Frank’s Counsel

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, July 20, 1913


Rosser and Arnold Charge Dorsey Seeks to Convict Frank, Guilty or Innocent, Out of Professional Pride


Attorneys Intimate That Dorsey Fears to Let Truth Be Known – Attitude Throughout Case Is Criticised

The attitude of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey throughout the Phagan investigation, and especially in his attempt to block a grand jury indictment of Jim Conley, is scored in an interview made public by Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, counsel for Leo M. Frank.

“The solicitor is seeking to convict Frank innocent or guilty, in order to gratify his professional pride,” Frank’s attorneys say.

In the course of the intetrview [sic] the two famous attorneys, who have been engaged to defend the man accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, charge that the solicitor is protecting the negro Conley.

Mr. Dorsey is severely criticised not only for his avowed intention of trying to block the indictment of Conley by the grand jury Monday, but because he prevented the last grand jury, the one, which indicted Frank, from acting on Conley’s case, and because he did not place before the last grand jury any of Conley[‘s] confessions.

Solicitor Dorsey is geeting [sic] his legal and constitutional functions in seeking to control the action of the grand judy [sic],” Attorneys Rosser and Arnold declare.

Despite the criticism of his attitude, there is little doubt that Solicitor Dorsey will be present Monday, when the grand jury takes up the consideration of the Conley case. In fact the solicitor’s presence has been requested by W.D. Beattie, the foreman of the grand jury, who called the meeting.

Solicitor Dorsey is still confident that the grand jury will not indict Conley.

There is little doubt that there will be a quorum present, when the grand jury meeting is called Monday, for Deputy Sheriff Plennie Minor has found that  19 of the 20 grand jurors empanneled [sic] are in the city, and they have promised to be present Monday. It takes 18 grand jurors to act on a bill of indictment. The statement of Mr. Rosser and Mr. Arnold, scoring the solicitor is as follows:


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Jury Is Determined to Consider a Bill Against Jim Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 19, 1913

Protest of Solicitor Fails to Stop Session to Consider Phagan Evidence on Monday


Solicitor Says Frank Defense Wants Jury to Try Him Drawn From the Grand Jury List

Grand Jurors Who Will Consider Conley’s Case

This is the Fulton county grand jury which has been called to meet Monday over the protest of the solicitor to take up the case of Jim Conley, the negro sweeper at the National Pencil factory:
W.D. Beatie, foreman.
T.C. Whitner.
John S. Spalding.
W.C. Carroll, East Point.
H.B. Ferguson.
Garnet McMillan, East Point.
Edward H. Inman.
A.W. Farlinger.
M.A. Fall.
Julius M. Skinner.
Oscar Elsas.
George Bancroft.
W.H. Glenn.
S.E. McConnell.
Thomas J. Buchanan.
Sameuel A. Carson.
Eugene Oberdorfer.
A.Q. Adams.
W.O. Stamps.
W.T. Ashford.

There are only twenty citizens on the grand jury which has been called to meet Monday by Foreman W.D. Beattie to consider indicting James Conley, the negro sweeper, for the murder of Mary Phagan.

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Pinkertons Now Declare Leo M. Frank Is Innocent

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Small sections of text are missing due to scanning near a crease.


Harry Scott, Field Chief of the Pinkertons, Refuses to Discuss the Agency’s Change of Theory.


The Pinkertons Were Employed by the National Pencil Factory Immediately Following the Murder

That the Pikerton [sic] detectives, who for so many weeks held to the theory that Leo M. Frank is guilty of the Mary Phagan murder, now lay the crime to the door of Jim Conley, is a recent development of interest to the students of the murder mystery.

While Harry Scott, the field chief of the Pinkerton operatives, who have been working on the case practically from the first, employed by the National pencil factory to find Mary Phagan’s murderer, regardless of who the criminal might be, refuses to discuss the case, the Journal has learned from unquestioned authority that the theory of the Pinkertons has undergone a change.

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Grand Jury Is Called Monday to Indict Jim Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Small sections of text are missing due to scanning near a crease.


Foreman W.D. Beattie Calls Body to Meet Monday and Take Up Evidence Against Negro in Phagan Girl’s Case derer [sic]


Notwithstanding the Solicitor’s Protest, Foreman Calls a Meeting Anyhow—Dorsey Issues a Statement

Over the vigorous protest of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, the foreman of the grand jury has called a meeting for Monday for the specific purpose of considering an indictment against James Conley, the negro sweeper, who claims that he assisted Superintendent Leo M. Frank in disposing of the body of Mary Phagan, after she had been murdered in the National pencil factory on April 26.

The solictior [sic] general was approached Friday morning by W. D. Beattie, real estate dealer, who is the foreman of the present jury. Mr. Beattie asked Mr. Dorsey to call a meeting of the jury, and the solicitor flatly refused. Then Mr. Beattie informed the county’s highest prosecuting official that he, as foreman of the grand jury, would call the body together to consider the Conley [m]atter.

After the conference Solicitor Dorsey authorized one of the few statements which he has made since he took up the Phagan case. He said that he told Mr. Beattie that the move to indict Conley was […] should not be […]

“Its only purpose,” the solicitor said, “will be to exploit the evidence and embarrass the state, and I hope the grand jury when it meets will decide to leave the matter alone.

“The indictment of Conley at this time will be a useless procedure that will not stop the trial of Frank. It will only have a mild, but undesirable effect on the state’s case.

“Conley is in jail and is going to stay there for some time. He is where the authorities can put their hands on him, and he can be indicted much more properly after the Frank case has been disposed of than before, and by the delay there is no danger of a miscarriage of justice.”

It has long been known that the defense of Frank will be in a measure the prosecution of Conley, and naturally it is of importance to the defense to have the man it will accuse under a grand jury indictment.


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Broyles Comes Back at Mayor Woodward and Mayor at Him

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Small sections of text are missing due to scanning near a crease.

Recorder Says Mayor Is Defeating Justice and Impeding Officers in Their Attempts to Check Crime


Says Recorder Plays Golf on Sunday and Then Fines Boys for Their Sunday Baseball Games

Another direct statement by Recorder Nash R. Broyles, Friday morning, of his opinion of Mayor Woodward’s clemency toward criminals convicted in police court, was issued by the recorder in writing, coupled with a verbal comment that the mayor “tells so many falsehoods that it would be futile to attempt to answer them.”

In his new expression, Recorder Broyles apologizes to the hog which he contrasted with the mayor Thursday, in [which he] says that the mayor knows less about law than a hog does about political economy.

Following is the recorder’s written statement:

“I care nothing for the mayor’s abuse. Condemnation from such a character should be considered praise. But when he says that the court of appeals on May 23, 1913, reversed me in ten cases and sustained me in seven, he tells such a ridiculous and absurd falsehood that I now apologize to the hog to which I referred yesterday when I said that the mayor knows less about law than the hog knows about economy.

“The idea of the court of appeals passing in one day on seventeen cases appealed from the recorder’s court of Atlanta! The records of that court will show that on the average there are not seventeen cases a year carried from my court to the court of appeals, and they will show also that that court has sustained me in ten cases where it has reversed me in one.

“But the mayor is, as usual, trying to side-step the issue between us. That issue is not my ability as a lawyer or a judge. I am content to let my record speak for me. The issue is that the mayor, in protecting and pardoning the […] criminals of […] and defeating justice in our courts and impeding the officers of the law in their attempt to check crime in our city; and that is the issue on which the people at the next election will call him to account.”


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Effort Being Made to Indict Negro Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 17, 1913

Foreman Beattie of Grand Jury, However, Says He Knows of No Such Move

W.D. Beattie, foreman of the grand jury, declares that “so far as he knows” there is no intention on the part of the grand jury to consider an indictment of Jim Conley, the negro sweeper, who figures so prominently in the Phagan murder mystery.

The Journal has learned, however, on excellent authority, that a determined effort is being made to have the Conley case passed upon by the present grand jury. Whether the effort will or will not be futile is a matter of conjecture.

Foreman Beattie states that no meeting of the jury is expected during the present week, but that the body will probably be called together early next week to consider matters of a routine nature.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey is said to be making every effort to block the proposed indictment of Conley, who will be used as the principal witness against Leo M. Frank when he faces a jury probably a week from next Monday.

The present grand jury has not been called together since its organization several weeks ago, but it is known that a number of its members think that despite the attitude of the solicitor, a meeting should be called, and the evidence against Conley, including the confessions of complicity, submitted for the jury’s consideration.

It is said that the indictment of Conley as a principal would seriously injure the state’s case against Frank, and Solicitor Dorsey is naturally opposing every move in that direction.


The present grand jury was organized early in July, but since the organization meting [sic] its members have never ben [sic] called together. In the past the majority of grand juries have met weekly.

Further still it is known that the present grand jury will hold no meeting unless the call originates with the members, and if it does it is practically certain that the Conley matter will be considered.

Should the grand jury meet and indict the negro sweeper over the direct and vigorous protest of the solicitor, it will break a long established precedent in the county. While the grand jury has full authority, without even consulting the solicitor, to call a meeting and indict the negro, the solicitor general’s wishes in regard to criminal cases have been respected in the past.

However, there is said to be such a sentiment in the grand jury that its members should consider the Conley case that the calling of a special meeting for that purpose is a strong probability.


A very significant point, showing the solicitor’s attitude is the fact that he has not called a meeting of the jury and is not expected to call one until after the Frank case has been called for trial.

Following the trial of the Frank case, the indictment of Conley either as an accessory or as a principal is certain. After the Frank trial the solicitor himself will present the case against the negro to the grand jury.

There is no question about the fact that there is now sufficient evidence against Conley for the grand jury to indict him. It can be shown that he was in the factory on the day Mary Phagan was killed, and his admissions of complicity to the detectives and his alleged admission of the crime to W.H. Mincey would be sufficient to warrant a bill.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 17th 1913, “Effort Being Made to Indict Negro Conley,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Woodward Enemy to Society, Says Recorder Broyles

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 17, 1913

*Editor’s Note: Some words in the middle of this article are missing due to scanning blur near a page fold.

Recorder Replies to Mayor’s Charges of “Czar-Like” Police Court and Scores Him Severely


The Judge Says, “Never Argue With an Ignorant Man, for You Can’t Convince Him He’s Wrong”

Recorder Nash R. Broyles, in replying to Mayor James G. Woodward’s criticism of his heavy sentences, quotes the philosopher who says, “Do not argue with an ignorant man, for you can never convince him that he is wrong.”

“While Woodward does not know as much about law as a hog does about political economy,” the recorder remarked between the trial of cases Thursday morning, “I don’t mind making a statement to put the facts before the public.

“This man Griff Freeman, whose sentence the mayor reduced until it was a negligible quantity, is the most notorious blind tiger now plying his trade in Atlanta. I had sentenced him to serve thirty days in the stockade and to pay a fine of $500. The case was carried to both of the higher courts, which sustained me. The evidence of his guilt was absolute.

“After the courts had sustained my sentence, Mayor Woodward comes along and reduces the man’s fine by half, and then removes entirely the sentence of thirty days in the stockade.

“Now, this man, whom the mayor thinks should not serve in the stockade has come before me again, and again the evidence against him is flawless.

“Five white men testified that they purchased whiskey from him, and the man declares that he has been buying liquor from Freeman for the past seven years.

“What are the courts for,” asked the recorder, “if not to deal with men like Freeman, whose only business and occupation is the flagrant violation of the law?

“I must say that a man who blocks the courts in an effort to stop law violations of this and other similar criminals is an enemy to civilization and to society.

“Before Mayor Woodward reduced the Freeman […] he called me over the telephone and […] my advice […] the matter, and after I had given him the facts in the case, he told me that he would not interfere.”

The recorder in commenting upon the mayor’s attitude, cited the case of Dr. Roper, who is again in the toils after having been once pardoned by the mayor.

Wednesday afternoon Judge Broyles bound Griffin over to the state courts under $1,000 bond in each of five cases and in a sixth case he sentenced him to serve twenty-nine days in the stockade. Freeman has stayed the stockade sentence by making a $1,000 certiorari bond. He is now at liberty under a total bond of $6,000.

“I am not going to have the city stockade turned into a modern Siberia if I can help it,” declared Mayor James G. Woodward Wednesday afternoon in commenting on the report that Griff Freeman, a blind tiger, sentenced Wednesday by Judge Broyles, had previously been pardoned by him.

The mayor asserted that he didn’t pardon Freeman, but on the recommendation of two physicians, Dr. Hugh I. Battey and Dr. G.G. Hall, reduced his fine to $250 in order that he might pay it and leave the stockade, since he was physically unable to work.

The mayor, in the course of his statements about the case, characterized the methods of Judge Nash R. Broyles, recorder, as too severe and czarlike.

“Whenever it is proven to me that a prisoner deserves clemency, I will see that he gets it,” the mayor added.

Griff Freeman, the blind tiger whose fine was previously reduced by the mayor, was again before recorder Wednesday and was fined heavily in several cases and bound over to the state courts under bonds aggregating $6,000.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 17th 1913, “Woodward Enemy to Society, Says Recorder Broyles,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Second Phagan Indictment Probable

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, July 16, 1913

*Editor’s Note: A small section of text is missing from the article due to scanning blur near a page fold.


New Grand Jury Will Take Up Case and Make an Effort to Get a True Bill Against Negro as Principal


Solicitor Dorsey Is Expected to Vigorously Oppose Jury’s Move—Negro Sweated Again by Detectives

It was learned Wednesday by The Journal, on reliable authority, that there is a strong probability of the Fulton county grand jury which was recently organized by the election of W.D. Beattie as foreman will take up the case of Jim Conley, negro sweeper at the National Pencil factory, and confessed accomplice to the murder of Mary Phagan, before the trial of Leo M. Frank, who is accused of the crime by the negro, is entered upon.

If the grand jury takes up the negro’s case, it is believed that a bill charging the negro with the crime as a principal will be considered and if an indictment is brought it seems probable that murder will be the charge.

The grand jury will take up Conley’s case over the vigorous protest of Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey, who it is stated, has not changed his theory about the murder.

Solicitor Dorsey has from the beginning taken the position that Conley should be held as a material witness and that this was not the time for the grand jury to investigate his connection with the Phagan murder. If the grand jury takes up the negro’s case there seems little doubt that the solicitor will bitterly oppose its action.

An indictment of Conley prior to the trial of Frank as principal would undoubtedly greatly weaken the state’s case, and the solicitor is expected to use […] jury to persuade if not to consider an indictment.


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Mincey Affidavit Not New to the Solicitor

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, July 15, 1913

State Officials Refuse to Consider Seriously Statement of Insurance Agent

Despite the claim that many witnesses to corroborate the assertions of W.H. Mincey, the insurance agent and school teacher who claims that Conley confessed to him can be produced by the defense of Leo M. Frank, state officials refuse to consider seriously Mincey’s testimony as an important element in the case.

Details of the Mincey affidavit are corroborated by E.F. Holloway, an employe of the National Pencil factory, who states that he remembers Mincey’s visit to the scene of Mary Phagan’s murder on the Tuesday following the crime.

Mincey states that he was told that 20 negroes were on duty at the factory on the day of the murder, although about eight of them were employed by the concern. He further detailed a conversation with a factory employe, who allowed him to look about the place that day.

Holloway says that he remembers the visit of a man who asked particularly about the negroes employed at the factory, and otherwise fully corroborates the details of the visit to the factory as given by Mincey.

Solicitor Dorsey, it was learned Tuesday, has known for some weeks that the Frank defense possessed the Mincey affidavit and as a result he has made a vigorous probe of the affiant’s past career, and of his movements on the day that Mary Phagan was murdered, the day that the negro Conley is supposed to have told him that he had killed a girl.

Solicitor Dorsey will not discuss his investigation of the man, but it is known that he does not consider the man’s probable testimony as important.

The solicitor spent Tuesday morning examining a number of the state’s witnesses, and he is spending practically his entire time in preparing the Frank case. He expects to be ready when the case is called on July 28, a week from next Monday.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 15th 1913, “Mincey Affidavit Not New to the Solicitor,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Conley Again Quizzed by Prosecutor Dorsey

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

[*Editor’s Note: The first sentence in this article contains two sentence fragments due to a publishing error by the original newspaper.]

Solicitor and Hooper Grill Negro at Police Headquarters for Three Hours

For two hours and a half Solicitor Dorsey did practically all of the ques- […] Phagan case, Frank A. Hooper, quizzed Conley at police headquarters Friday afternoon. Two detectives stood guard on the outside of the door of the police commissioner’s room in which the questioning was done, but no one except the officials and the negro were inside the room.

Conley was grinning when he emerged from the room. The questioning ended shortly before 7 o’clock, and Solicitor Dorsey and Mr. Hooper left the station immediately. They would not discuss the quiz.

While the three were in the room Solicitor Dorsey made frequent reference to various papers which he drew from a leather case that he had brought with him to headquarters. Solicitor Dorsey did practically al [sic] of the questioning, with an occasional suggestion from Mr. Hooper.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 12th 1913, “Conley Again Quizzed by Prosecutor Dorsey,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

More Affidavits to Support Mincey Claimed

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

Frank’s Attorneys Said to Have Corroborating Evidence, Newt Lee Denied Freedom

Joseph H. Leavitt, an attorney, with offices at 422 Grant building, the man who secured the affidavit of W.H. Mincey, who alleges that James Conley confessed to the killing of a girl on April 26, the day Mary Phagan was murdered, declares that a number of affidavits fully corroborating every word that Mincey has said, are in the hands of counsel for the defense of Leo M. Frank.

Mr. Leavitt states that the Mincey affidavit is really much stronger than the published reports, which have purported to give its substance.

The reports are correct as far as they go, Mr. Leavitt admitted to a Journal reporter, but the affidavit dictated and signed by Mincey contains still more testimony, damaging to Conley.

“Mincey is a good citizen,” Mr. Leavitt told a Journal reporter, “a man of education and of character. However, every assertion which he made in the affidavit has been corroborated.”

“Then you must mean that some one else heard the confession Mincey claims that Conley made?” the reporter asked.

“Yes, others head [sic] it,” was the answer of Attorney Leavitt.

While he states that he doesn’t know his address, Mr. Leavitt says that he is confidence [sic] that Mincey will be here when Leo M. Frank faces a jury on the charge of murdering Mary Phagan.

Mincey in his affidavit claims that he went to see Conley on the afternoon of April 26, the day Mary Phagan was murdered to solicit insurance from him, and that Conley became angered and told him that he had killed a little girl that day and did not want to have to kill another person.

The police make light of the Mincey affidavit, and say that Mincey once came to headquarters to identify a man he had seen drunk in the negro quarter. He saw Conley, they say, and then admitted that he had never seen the engro [sic] before.

Attorney Leavitt says that the affidavit will give a good reason for Mincey’s failure to make known at once the information, which he claims to have on the sensational murder case.

Solicitor General Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper, who will assist him in the prosecution of Frank, grilled James Conley at headquarters for more than an hour Friday afternoon. While Mr. Dorsey would not discuss the matter, it is understood that he questioned Conley closely about the statements alleged to have been to Mincey, and the negro claims that he never saw [the] insurance agent except at police headquarters.


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Chief Beavers Orders Sleuths to Find Vice

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

Hattie Smith Reluctant Before Judge—Says She Was Just Talking Friday

For the first time since he has been at the head of the police force, Chief James L. Beavers addressed the assembled members of the detective department behind closed doors at hadquarters [sic] Friday afternoon, instructing them to unearth vice conditions.

Heretofore the vice squad under Chief Beavers’ immediate direction has been almost alone in its activity along that line. Not previously had the chief addressed the detectives on any subject.

In regard to the detectives’ participation in the crusade against vice, he told them that if any indication of vice or any suspicious circumstance of that nature comes to their attention, they must “work” it to a solution, or make a clear report of it at headquarters.

Two women and two men caught in the vice net were tried in police court Saturday morning upon revelations growing out of the recent arrest of Hattie Smith. That arrest previously had led to other arrests and the holding of “Mrs.” Lena Barnhart and others for the superior courts of Fulton county.

Paul Estes and Hoyt Monroe, employees of a local garage, and “Mrs.” Lola White and Hattie Smith were the four who were tried before Recorder Broyles. All four were bound over to the superior court of DeKalb county, the alleged offense having been committed in that county.

Lawyers for the accused parties endeavered to waive the preliminary trial before Judge Broyles, but the recorder swore Paul Estes and secured his testimony. Also he heard Hattie Smith, but she had become reluctant about testifying. Detectives asserted that she had told them certain details. Asked about that by the recorder, she declared, “Oh, I was just talking yesterday. I’m swearing now.”

Lula Bell, Maud Wilson, Mrs. Lee Berkstein, her husband, L. W. Berkstein, and effie [sic] Drummond, a young girl, said to have come to the city from Rockmart a few days ago, were arrested by the city police Saturday at 164 1-2 Peters street.

The Bell woman is said to have been conducting a rooming house there, and the Drummond girl is said to have been stopping with her.

Disorderly conduct charges were lodged against the four women and the man. Effie Drummond was confined in a room by herself at headquarters, away from the other women.

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The Atlanta Journal, July 12th 1913, “Chief Beavers Orders Sleuths to Find Vice,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Agent Claims Conley Confessed to Murder

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 11, 1913

Detectives Deny That Mincey Told Them of Alleged Confession of Negro

In the possession of the attorneys for the defense of Leo M. Frank is an affidavit of William H. Mincey, formerly an insurance agent working in Atlanta, who declares that the negro, James Conley, while drunk on the afternoon of April 26, admitted and even boasted to him that he had killed a girl that day.

The admission is alleged by Mincey’s affidavit to have been made when he met Conley, whom he knew, in the negro quarter, and attempted to sell him insurance.

The negro became enraged, the affidavit recites, and told him (Mincey) that he (Conley) didn’t want to have to kill another person that day, as he had already killed a little girl.

The affidavit is said to further recite that Mincey offered, a day or two after the killing of Mary Phagan, his information to the city police, who refused to consider it. The affidavit is also said to recite that Mincey visited Conley at police headquarters and there again definitely identified him as the man who boasted on April 26 of having killed the girl.

N. A. Lanford, chief of the city detectives, and Harry Scott, of the Pinkertons, who has been working on the case, declare that they first heard of Mincey on the day of Conley’s second confession of complicity.

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No Finger Prints Found by Expert on Phagan Envelope

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 10, 1913

Examination of Portion of Slain Girl’s Pay Envelope Fails to Throw Any Light on the Murder Mystery


Fight for Release of Newt Lee on Habeas Corpus Resumed and Hearing Will Be Given Saturday Morning

That the murderer of Mary Phagan can never be identified by finger prints on the pay envelope found in the factory, and the “re-setting” of Newt Lee’s habeas corpus for 10 o’clock. Saturday morning, were two important developments of the sensational murder mystery Thursday.

According to Attorney Bernard L. Chappell, of Graham & Chappell, counsel for the negro night watchman, fifty witnesses among them the negro James Conley, confessed accomplice, and Leo M. Frank, accused of the crime, will be subpenaed for the habeas corpus hearing.

It is known that the solicitor general, Hugh M. Dorsey, will oppose the release from the Tower of Lee on the ground that he is a material witness.

Counsel for Frank will take no part in the fight to secure the release of Lee, but Attorney Reuben R. Arnold stated when the case was postponed that he would oppose any effort to bring Frank into the court for the habeas corpus hearing.

It is said that the counsel for Frank will oppose bringing him to the court on the ground that it is not lawful to force a defendant to give any testimony which relates to or bears on the crime for which he is to be tried.

This, as a result, will prevent the much talked of meeting of Frank and Conley.

According to the attorney for Lee, subpenas will be issued to the many detectives who have worked on the case, to the solicitor general and to the foreman of the grand jury that failed to indict Lee.


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Chief Traces Vice Conditions to Men; Promises Arrests

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 10, 1913

Beavers Puts Police on Trail of Men Blamed By Girl Guests for Situation in Downtown Hotels


Judge Broyles Hears Sensational Expose of Vice Situation Said to Exist in Many Atlanta Rooming Houses

As the outcome of the dramatic confession made by Hattie Smith in the recorder’s court Wednesday afternoon Chief Beavers announced Thursday morning that he will open a war against the men who, he asserts, are ruining girls.

Following the trial in court Wednesday the chief says that Hattie Smith gave him more details than came out in the testimony, detailed though it was. He says that he now has the names of several men whom the Smith girl says she had taken auto rides with. The chief says that he will take steps against these men.

In beginning his campaign, the chief makes the statement that he holds the men responsible for the life led by the wayward woman. Poor girls, without even the necessities of life, have no show against men who are always on the watch to prey upon them, declared Beavers.


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Beavers’ War on Vice is Lauded by Women

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 10, 1913

Georgia Suffragists Adopt Resolution Indorsing Chief’s Course in Atlanta.

Chief of Police Beavers’ fight against vice was enthusiastically indorsed at the Thursday morning session of the convention of the Georgia Woman Suffrage Association. The following resolution, introduced by Mrs. Margaret T. McWhorter, was adopted:

The Georgia Woman Suffrage Association realizes the high civic ideals which actuate Chief of Police James L. Beavers, of Atlanta, and we wish to place ourselves on record as indorsing every move which he has taken for good government and clean morals, and especially do we commend his action in the matter of recommending the appointment of women probation officers for Atlanta; therefore,

Be it Resolved, That we convey to him our hearty congratulations and pledge to him the support and co-operation of the association in securing the appointment of these women officers, and also pledge our co-operation in any movement toward bettering civic conditions of Atlanta, which mean better civic conditions for the whole State, and be it further

Resolved, That The Atlanta Georgian, The Atlanta Constitution and The Atlanta Journal be requested to publish these resolutions.

Mrs. McWhorter’s resolution invoked tremendous enthusiasm among the delegates to the convention, and the indorsement of the association was given to Chief Beavers without a dissenting vote.

The Georgian’s Editorial Praised.

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Mary Phagan Pay Envelope Found

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, July 9, 1913


Finding of Portion of Salary Envelope Bearing Victim’s Name Expected to Strengthen Defense’s Contention


Find Was Made by Pinkertons Just Three Weeks After the Murder, but Was Kept a Secret Until Wednesday.

The pay envelope, which was the quest of Mary Phagan’s visit to the National Pencil factory on April 26, when she met her death, has been found.

At least enough of the envelope to definitely identify it is in the hands of the authorities.

The upper corner of the pay envelope, bearing the name of the victim of the sensational murder mystery, was found on the first floor of the factory by Pinkerton detectives three weeks after the commission of the crime.

While attorneys for the defense and the prosecution have known of the find for weeks, the fact only became public Wednesday.

The corner of the pay envelope was found on the first floor of the factory, behind a radiator, about 15 feet from the stairway and about 8 feet from the place, where James Conley, the negro sweeper, says he sat for more than an hour on the day of the tragedy.

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Newt Lee’s Attorneys Seeking His Freedom

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Habeas Corpus Proceedings May Bring Frank and Conley Face to Face

Petition for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of Newt Lee, the negro night watchman at the National Pencil factory who has been held in jail since the Mary Phagan murder as a suspect, has been drawn up at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon by the negro’s attorneys, Graham and Chappell, and the firm then was seeking the signature of the nearest available judge of the Fulton superior court to a writ fixing the time and place for a hearing upon the matter and directing Newt Lee be brought into court.

It is by this method that the negro is said to seek his freedom from jail, contending that there is no reason for confining him for any part in the matter. The solicitor is expected to vigorously fight the habeas corpus and insist that Lee be held as a material witness.

Should the petition be signed both the state and the attorneys for Leo M. Frank will be notified and this brings up the possibility of Frank and the negro sweeper, Conley, being brought face to face in court.

At 2 o’clock it was said that the habeas corpus hearing would probably be set for Wednesday morning at 9:30 o’clock.

The following is Newt Lee’s petition:

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Girl to Tell Her Story of Vice to Recorder

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Hattie Smith, Now Penitent, Will Make Confessions in Open Court

Resolved to quit the life into which she so recently drifted, Hattie Smith, the Atlanta young woman whose revelations of vice “from the inside” gave the police some startling information Monday, will appear in police court on Tuesday afternoon and repeat in detail the story which she has recounted to the police. Upon the strength of that story Lena Barnhart, a white woman, and Elijah Murray, a negro bellboy, were arrested in the Cumberland hotel Monday and will be arraigned with Hattie Smith in court. The bellboy is involved by the Smith girl’s story as an agent, a pernicious go-between.

“Stay away from these cheap hotels in Atlanta,” is the advice that the Smith girl is now anxious to give to other young women. She asserts that she is going to follow it herself, and that when she has atoned for whatever violation she has done to the law, she will go back to her father’s home on Marietta street and stay there and behave. Her father called at police headquarters Monday afternoon and told her that she would be welcomed at home. Before the young woman was arrested, the father had requested the police to find her. He reported that she had been missing since last Wednesday.

According to the Smith girl, the Barnhart woman was registered at the Cumberland hotel as Lena Revarson. They became acquainted in a soft drink stand. The Barnhart woman invited her to the hotel, according to Hattie Smith, preceding her there and registering her as Lucile Evans and securing a room for her, for which she applied and to which she was assigned later.

It is said that other arrests may follow in this matter, and that probably several men may be arrested upon the strength of the Smith girl’s story. Other women may be involved yet, it is said.


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