Frank’s Mother Stirs Courtroom

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 13th, 1913

Leaps to Defense of Son at Dorsey’s Question

FRANK’S CLASSMATES AT COLLEGE TELL OF HIS GOOD CHARACTER

A sensation was created in the courtroom during the cross-examination of Ashley Jones by Solicitor Dorsey at the Frank trial when Mrs. Rea [sic] Frank, mother of the defendant, sprang to her feet with a denial of intimations made by the Solicitor reflecting on her son.

“Mr. Jones, you never heard of Frank having girls on his lap in the office?” Dorsey had asked.

“No; nor you neither!” cried Frank’s mother.

“Keep quiet, keep quiet; I am afraid you will have to sit here and listen to this a long time,” said the Solicitor.

Mrs. Frank broke into tears and was assisted from the room, crying: “My God, my God!”

Mother and Wife Set With Bowed Heads.

The Solicitor’s examination of Jones had been of a most sensational nature and during the portion of it leading up to the interruption by Mrs. Frank the mother of the defendant and her daughter sat with lowered heads listening to the questions and answers.

Following the outbreak, Attorney Arnold jumped to his feet and shouted: “Your honor, this is outrageous. We are not responsible for the lies and slanders that cracked-brain extremists have circulated since this murder occurred.”

“I will rule that the Solicitor can not ask anything that he has heard since the murder,” replied Judge Roan. “He can ask on this cross-examination what happened before.”

“Your honor,” returned Solicitor Dorsey, “I am not four-flushing about this. I am going to present a witness to prove the charges.

Attorney Arnold interrupted the speaker.

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C. B. Dalton’s Character Shown Up by Frank Defense; Four Witnesses Swear They Would Not Believe His Oath

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

Atlanta Journal
August 12th, 1913

DALTON ADMITS HE SERVED A CHAINGANG SENTENCE FOR THEFT OF A “SHOP HAMMER”

Miss Hattie Hall Swears She Was In Frank’s Office Between 11 and 12 o’Clock and That Superintendent Did No Work on Finance Sheet During This Hour—Her Testimony Different In This Respect From What She Swore at Inquest

MRS. WHITE’S BROTHER GIVES DIFFERENT VERSION OF STORY ABOUT SEEING NEGRO LURKING IN FACTORY

Solicitor Dorsey Puts Wade Campbell Through Severe Cross Examination, Calling Attention to Discrepancies In His Testimony and Signed Statement Given to the Solicitor, Frank’s Movements on Day of Tragedy to Be Proved

Decidedly the feature of the Tuesday morning session of the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan, was the successful attack made by the defense on the credibility of C. B. Dalton, who had previously testified for the state.

Dalton was recalled to the stand by the defense and by his own admissions, it was shown that he had served a chaingang sentence in Walton county in 1884 for theft; that he was indicted in 1899 for stealing baled cotton, for which he received, to quote his own language, “one-forty-one-eighty;” and that he “hade come clear of stealing corn in Gwinnett county.”

Four witnesses, V. S. Cooper, of Monroe, J. H. Patrick, policeman and justice of the peace Walton county, W. T. Mitchell and I. M. Hamilton, all swore that they would not believe Dalton on oath. Mrs. Laura Atkinson, of 30 Ellis street, testified that she had met Dalton several times but that she had never met him at the Busy Bee cafe. Mrs. Minnie Smith, an employe of the factory, testified that she did not even know Dalton. Both had been mentioned in Dalton’s testimony for the state.

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State Charges Premeditated Crime

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 12th, 1913

Defense Forces Dalton to Admit Jail Record

GIRL DENIES STATE’S VERSION OF FRANK’S WORK ON FATAL DAY

Here are the important developments Tuesday in the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan:

State announces its theory that Frank planned a criminal attack upon Mary Phagan the day before she came to the factory for her money.

The court and chaingang record of C. B. Dalton, the State’s witness who testified that he had seen women in Frank’s office, was shown up by the defense and admitted by Dalton.

Four acquaintances of Dalton testify that they would not believe him under oath and that his reputation for truth and veracity is bad.

C. E. Pollard, expert accountant, testifies that it required him three hours and eleven minutes to compile the financial sheet that the defense claims Frank prepared the afternoon of the murder.

Miss Hattie Hall, stenographer, says that Frank did not work on the financial sheet Saturday morning, the day of the crime.

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Schiff Put on Stand to Refute Conley and Dalton Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 10th, 1913

HIS STATEMENTS HELP DEFENSE

Herbert G. Schiff, assistant to Leo M. Frank at the National Pencil factory, followed J. H. Minar on the stand Saturday. His testimony was used by the defense in an ef[f]ort to refute the stories of Jim Conley and C. B. Dalton to the effect that Frank frequently had women in the office on Saturdays and holidays and he also went into great detail and testified to the complexity of the financial sheet and the large amount of work necessary to complete it.

He was being cross-examined by the state when court adjourned at 12:30 o’clock until 9 o’clock Monday morning. At the time of adjournment the solicitor was trying to show by cross-questions that the witness had exaggerated the amount of work and the time required upon the financial sheet which it is claimed Frank made out on the Saturday before the murder was discovered.

“Do you have anything to do with keeping the books and getting up the financial statement?” Mr. Arnold began.

“Yes, I do.”

“Who went to work for the factory first, you or Mr. Frank?”
“Mr. Frank.”

“What sort of work did you first do?”
“I assisted in the office work of the factory and early in January was promoted and went on the road, then the office force got short and I offered my services in the office again and returned to help Mr. Frank.”

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Schiff Testimony Contradicts That Given by Dalton and Negro Conley

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 10th, 1913

Saturday by Far the Best Day for the Defense Since Start of the Frank Trial Two Weeks Ago.

SAYS WOMEN DID NOT VISIT FRANK’S OFFICE

Lawyers for State and Defense in Frequent Clashes During the Testimony of Frank’s Assistant at the Factory.

By far the best day the defense in the Frank trial has had came to a close Saturday afternoon at 12:30 o’clock when a recess was taken until 9 o’clock Monday morning, at which time Herert Schiff, assistant to Leo M. Frank, will again be on the stand to undergo a thorough cross-examination at the hands of Solicitor Dorsey.

Schiff’s direct testimony Saturday was of a convincing nature and the defense will largely bank on it to disprove the idea that Frank could have committed the murder and afterward done the intricate mathematical work he claims to have done during the afternoon of Memorial day. Just how Schiff’s testimony will stand up under the cross fire of Solicitor Dorsey is a question which Monday alone will answer. Thus far his testimony has been the most convincing of any that has been introduced by the defense. He is an extremely bright young man, ready with his answers and he possesses a good memory. When court adjourned Saturday Solicitor Dorsey had failed to shake him on any material testimony or point.

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Dalton Sticks Firmly To Story Told on Stand

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 10th, 1913

C. B. Dalton, prominent as a witness in the Frank trial, stuck firmly to the story he told in court when he was confronted Saturday by the letter of Miss Laura Atkinson, No. 30 Ella street, one of the young women mentioned in his sensational testimony. She branded his statement concerning her as false.

He maintained that all he said as a witness was true—that he met her, as he had other girls of the pencil factory, and walked home with her from a restaurant near the plant on Forsyth street.

Dalton was emphatic in his reiteration of every detail of the testimony delivered by him from the witness stand.

Here is Miss Atkinson’s statement, in full, denying Dalton’s testimony:

“Editor The Sunday American: Will you please allow me space to correct a statement made by Mr. C. B. Dalton in his testimony at the Frank trial, and published in your paper yesterday? In answer to a question from Mr. Rosser as to whether he ever went to the pencil factory with any one except Miss Daisy Hopkins, he said yes, he used to go to the Busy Bee and wait for the factory to close to walk home with the girls, and gave my name as one of the girls.

“His statement, as I read it in your paper, impressed me as being intended to convey to the minds of those who heard it, and, of course, all who read it, the idea that I was working at the factory at the time he says he went there, and that he was in the habit of walking home with me. I have no desire to make any derogatory remarks about Mr. Dalton, but in justice to myself and my good name, I certainly do feel it my duty to say that his statement concerning me is false, and he had not the slightest ground whatever for making it and no right to use my name in any way in his testimony.

“I have known him only about six months, and have never been in his company but three times. On two occasions I was at church with a gentleman friend who was also a friend of his and he walked with us from the church to my home, less than three blocks, and one afternoon while out walking met him and he walked with me a distance of about four blocks. That, and a few conversations over the telephone, probably three or four, mark the extent of my acquaintance with him. I worked at the pencil factory exactly two days the second week in July (last month) and did not even see Mr. Dalton on either one of those days. I had never worked there before nor been there, and have not since.

“Will you please state these facts in your paper and clear up any false impression that may have been made on people’s minds concerning me, and the slur I feel has been case on my good name by having him make such a false statement where it would be published broadcast over the country? I will appreciate it and thank you very much if you will correct the statement. Sincerely,

“LAURA ATKINSON.

“No. 30 Ella Street.”

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, August 10th 1913, “Dalton Sticks Firmly To Story Told on Stand,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Schiff Refutes Jim Conley and Dalton

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

Atlanta Journal
August 9th, 1913

WITNESS IN MOST OF DORSEY’S GRILLING WHEN COURT ADJOURNS UNTIL NINE O’CLOCK ON MONDAY

Assistant Factory Superintendent Refutes Testimony of C. B. Dalton and Jim Conley That Frank Frequently Had Women Callers In His Office on Saturday Afternoons and During Holidays—He Says He Never Saw Conley There Saturday Afternoons

DECLARES THAT WIFE OF THE ACCUSED FREQUENTLY CALLED ON HUSBAND AT HIS OFFICE ON SATURDAYS

Attorney Arnold Registers Another Objection Against Laughter of Spectators in the Court Room—Solicitor Draws From Schiff Change of Answers Made to Several Previous Statements of His While on the Witness Stand

The second week of the trial of Leo M. Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan ended at 12:30 o’clock Saturday when court adjourned until 9 o’clock Monday morning. Herbert Schiff, assistant superintendent of the National Pencil factory was on the stand for the defense at the hour of adjournment and will resume under cross-examination by Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey on Monday. During the cross-questioning of Schiff, he and the solicitor had many tilts regarding the system of the factory office and were frequently interrupted by objections from Attorney Arnold for the defense. The solicitor put Frank’s assistant through a grilling examination during the course of which he caused the witness to change several answers he had previously made to the jury.

That Jim Conley, the negro sweeper who accuses Frank, feared the crowd gathered in front of the pencil factory following the murder of Mary Phagan and that the negro declared that he would give a million dollars if he had a white skin, was the declaration of Schiff, earlier during his testimony. Schiff also declared that the financial sheet made out in Frank’s handwriting on April 26 was accurate and the handwriting of the accused superintendent was normal. Schiff works with Leo M. Frank in the office and assists in making up the weekly financial sheets.

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Dalton’s Testimony False, Girl Named on Stand Says

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 9th, 1913

The Georgian today received from Miss Laura Atkinson of No. 30 Ella Street, one of the young women mentioned in C. B. Dalton’s testimony, a letter denying absolutely that she had ever walked home with Dalton from the restaurant near the pencil factory, as he swore. Here is Miss Atkinson’s letter in full:

Editor The Georgian:

Will you please allow me space to correct a statement made by Mr. C. B. Dalton in his testimony at the Frank trail and published in your paper yesterday? In answer to a question from Mr. Rosser as to whether he ever went to the pencil factory with any one except Miss Daisy Hopkins he said yes, he used to go to the Busy Bee and wait for the factory to close to walk home with the girls and gave my name as one of the girls.

His statement as I read it in your paper, impressed me as being intended to convey to the minds of those heard it (and of course all who read it) the idea that I was working at the factory at the time he says he went there and that he was in the habit of waling home with me. I have no desire to make any derogatory remarks about Mr. Dalton, but in justice to myself and my good name, I certainly do feel it my duty to say that his statement concerning me is false and he had not the slightest ground whatever for making it and no right to use my name in any way in his testimony.

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Defense May Call for Character Witnesses Today

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 8th, 1913

C. B. DALTON TELLS ABOUT VISITS HE PAID THE PENCIL FACTORY WITH MANY WOMEN

Declares He Used Basement for Immoral Purposes at Same Time That Frank Was in Building, But Did Not Attempt to Say What the Superintendent’s Relations With Women Were—Declares Conley Acted as Lookout for Him.

DR. LEROY W. CHILDS CALLED BY DEFENSE TO REFUTE DR. HARRIS

Harry Scott Is Also Put on Stand by Defense to Prove That Conley Lied on Many Occasions—Detective Was on the Stand When Court Adjourned for Day—Cross-Examination Fails to Shake Dr. Harris.

Shortly after Dr. H. F. Harris had completed his testimony for the state and was cross-examined in detail by Reuben Arnold, the state rested its case against Leo M. Frank.

Solicitor Dorsey had called for Frank’s bank book to show that he had in his possession approximately $200—the sum Jim Conley says he gave him and then took back—but the book was not produced, and the state rested. Later the solicitor may introduce other witnesses, but not until after the defense has closed.

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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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Witnesses Attack Conley Story

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

Say Mary Phagan Did Not Reach Factory Before 12:10

FRANK TAKES ACTIVE INTEREST IN CASE AND ASSISTS HIS LAWYERS

The vital time element which may serve alone to convict Leo Frank or set him free, entered largely into the evidence presented Friday by the defense at the trial of the factory superintendent. Two witnesses testified that Mary Phagan did not arrive at Broad and Marietta streets the day she was murdered until about 12:071/2 o’clock, the time the English Avenue car on which she rod[e] from home was due there. One witness, W. M. Matthews, motorman on the car, testified that Mary did not get off at Forsyth and Marietta, but continued on the car and rode as far as Broad and Hunter where the car arrives at about 12:10 o’clock, [t]he conductor corroborated Matthews.

This testimony strongly supports the contention of the defense that Mary Phagan did not enter the factory until after 12:10 o’clock and that Monteen Stover, therefore, was in the factory and had left before the Phagan girl ever entered the doors. If the defense succeeds in establishing this, the visit of the Stover girl to the factory will be of tremendous significance because it is in direct conflict with the explicit testimony of James Conley that Mary Phagan entered the factory and supposedly was strangled before the Stover girl went up the stairs. Miss Stover testified that she did not see Frank in his office, but admitted she did not enter the inner office and [t]he defense will try to show Frank could have been writing at his desk and the girl not have seen him.

Seeks to Discredit Epp’s Story.

Arnold Throws Doubt on Epps.

Attorney Arnold, who was conducting the examination during the forenoon, sought aslo [sic], to throw a deep shadow of suspicion upon the story of young George Epp’s, who testified that he rode uptown with Mary Phagan the day she was killed.

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State Ends Case Against Frank

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 7th, 1913

Dalton Corroborates Jim Conley’s Story

DR. CHILDS IS CALLED BY DEFENSE TO REBUT DR. HARRIS’ EVIDENCE

With the cross-examination of Dr. H. F. Harris, the State Thursday afternoon rested its case against Leo M. Frank accused of the murder of Mary Phagan.

Dr. L. W. Childs was called by the defense as its first witness to rebut the testimony of Dr. Harris.

The mysterious C. B. Dalton, who was expected to make sensational revelations of incidents in which Leo Frank was alleged to have participated in the National Pencil Factory, proved a very tame and commonplace witness when he was called Thursday.

The most that Dalton could say was that, on several of his visits to the factory, he had seen women in Frank’s office. He told of no compromising situations. He was not even able to identify the women. He did not know whether or not they were members of Frank’s own family. All that he knew was that they did not appear to be stenographers as he never saw them writing.

Dalton, when he was questioned by Luther Rosser, was not even sure of his own birthplace. He thought it was somewhere in Laurens County. He explained his presence by saying that he had gone to the factory with a Miss Daisy Hopkins. He said that he saw Frank in the office with two or three women, and that cool drinks generally were in evidence. On one occasion he said Frank and his visitors were drinking beeer.

Detective Rosser on Stand.

Detective Bass Rosser was on the witness stand for a few minutes and was questioned briefly. He testified that when he saw Mrs. Arthur White the Monday after the crime she failed to tell him that she had seen a negro in the factory the Saturday the girl was killed. He said he did not get possession of this information until May 6 or 7. It is the contention of the State that the defense suppressed these facts.

At the conclusion of Detective Rosser’s testimony, Solicitor Dorsey announced that he was prepared to rest as soon as Dr. H. F. Harris had completed the testimony which was interrupted by adjournment Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Harris was unable to appear when court opened at 9 o’clock. The prosecution had nothing more to present at 9:45 and a recess was taken until Dr. Harris arrived at 11:10.

Reuben Arnold began at once on a cross-examination of Dr. Harris as soon as the physician took the stand. He forced Dr. Harris to say that there is much uncertainty in drawing conclusions about digestive functions and their time limitations.

Solicitor Dorsey also asked for the submission of the National Pencil Company’s cash book and bank book before he rested his case. This was agreed to by Frank’s lawyers.

The defense announced that its first witness probably would be Dr. L. W. Childs, who would be called to start an immediate attack upon the testimony presented by Dr. Harris.

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Leo Frank Answers List of Questions Bearing on Points Made Against Him

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Monday, March 9, 1914

Stated That He Was Willing to Reply to Any Questions That Might Be in the Mind of the Public, and Asked to Answer Any Such That Might Be Propounded to Him.

TELLS HOW JIM CONLEY COULD HAVE SLAIN GIRL AND ESCAPED DETECTION

Asserts That Very Fact That He Admitted He Had Seen Mary Phagan on the Day of the Murder, Thus Placing Himself Under Suspicion, Was Proof in Itself That He Was Innocent of Crime.

Probably the most interesting statement yet issued by Leo M. Frank in connection with the murder for which he has been sentenced to hang, is one that he has furnished to The Constitution in the form of a series of answers to questions which were propounded to him bearing on the case.

These questions were prepared by a representative of The Constitution who visited Frank at the Tower last week.

“Ask me any questions you wish,” Frank told the reporter.

In accordance with that, the reporter wrote out a list of questions which, he asserted, comprised the most salient points the prosecution had brought out against him, and to each of these Frank has given an answer.

Here Are Questions.

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The Leo Frank Trial: Week Two

jim-conley-340x264Originally published by the American Mercury on the 100th anniversary of the Leo Frank trial.

The trial of Leo Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan ended its second week 100 years ago today. Join us as we delve into the original documents of the time and learn what the jurors learned.

by Bradford L. Huie

THE EVIDENCE that National Pencil Company Superintendent Leo Frank had murdered 13-year-old child laborer Mary Phagan was mounting up as the second week of Frank’s trial began in Atlanta, and passions were high on both sides as star witness Jim Conley (pictured) took the stand.

The attempt to frame the innocent black  night watchman, Newt Lee, had failed, despite 1) the “death notes” left near the body implicating him, 2) the bloody shirt planted in his trash barrel, and 3) the forged time card supposedly showing that he had left his post for several hours the night the murder was discovered. Although no one of significance suspected Lee at this point, the defense would still try to attack the medical testimony that placed the murder near midday on April 26, and would introduce Lee’s second alleged time card, provided by Frank, purporting to show that Lee had many hours unaccounted for on the night of the 26th and the early morning hours of the 27th of April.

Newt Lee’s testimony of Frank’s peculiar behavior that afternoon and evening was compelling. Another African-American was about to become pivotal in this case: factory sweeper Jim Conley would testify that he had helped Frank by keeping watch while Frank “chatted” with Mary alone in his office, and by assisting Frank in moving her body to the basement after she was accidentally killed. Conley was about to become central to the defense’s case, too — they would allege that Conley was the real killer. (For background on this case, read our introductory article, our coverage of Week One of the trial, and my exclusive summary of the evidence against Frank.) Continue Reading →