Col. Felder Asks Early Jury Probe

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Saturday, June 14, 1913.

Requests Investigation of the Gentry Affidavit—A. S. Colyar Is Not in Atlanta Now

Colonel Thomas B. Felder yesterday requested that the grand jury make an early investigation of the affidavit submitted by George Gentry in which he declared that the dictagraph records were padded.

On Friday afternoon he forwarded a letter to L. H. Beck, foreman of the jury, in which he asked that body to look into the matter as early as possible. Offering to appear before the jury at any time, Colonel Felder assured Mr. Beck that he could place before the jury evidence which would not only substantiate the statement of the stenographer, but would throw new light on vice conditions in Atlanta.

Gentry Willing to Testify

Colonel Felder also informed the jury foreman that at any moment he could bring George Gentry before that boy to give his testimony. Gentry, he said, was ready and willing to come back to Atlanta. While Colonel Felder stated that he was in daily communication with Mr. Gentry, the detective department is not so fortunate. Chief Lanford, having so far failed to locate the youth in Washington, where he is living under an assumed name and working for a business house there.

Coincident with the proposed investigation of the dictagraph charges is the absence of A. S. Colyar. Colyar could not be found Friday or last night. At the Williams house where he lived while in the city, he was said to have left town with instructions to retain his room for future occupancy.

The clerk of the hotel said that he did not know of the man’s whereabouts or when he was expected to return. Colyar, he said, had not told of his destination upon leaving several days ago. It is reported that he has gone to Washington to locate Gentry the stenographer and ascertain whether or not his sensational affidavit was correct. Another rumor is that he is in Cartersville, Ga., his home to which his wife returned several days previous to his departure.

Where is Colyar?

Chief Lanford, with whom Colyar has been closely associated during the latter’s sensational operations in Atlanta, said that he did not know where Colyar could be located or whether or not he was in or out of the city. Others with whom Colyar has been connected say they do not know of his whereabouts. He was seen as late as Saturday night. Efforts to find him in Washington have been to no avail. Continue Reading →

Beavers Trying to Find Gentry

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 13, 1913

Felder Says He Will Be Produced at the Proper Time. Notary Declares Affidavit Is Genuine.

Miss Jeannette Henning, the notary public whose official seal was attached to the affidavit made recently by George Gentry, has informed The Constitution that she took the document from him last Monday, and that although it is genuine, she does not know its contents. She states that she had never met Gentry prior to the time he made the affidavit.

Chief Beavers, who has for the past several days been attending the convention of national police chiefs in Washington, is conducting a search of that city for the young stenographer. He is assisted by a number of detectives put at his command by Major Sylvester, head of the Washington police department.

Beavers was requested by Detective Chief Lanford to find Gentry, and to ascertain positively whether or not the youth had attested to the startling affidavit. Thursday noon, Lanford received a message from the chief saying that he was unable to locate his man, but that the search would continue as long as Beavers remained in Washington.

Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Will Probe Affidavits About Dictagraph

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 12, 1913

Investigation of Charges and Counter Charges Will Begin at Early Date and Will Be Exhaustive One.


Affidavit Is Made Declaring Dictagraph Instrument Was Secured by Chief Lanford For Use in Phagan Case.

Following close on the heels of the publication of the George M. Gentry affidavit, in which the young stenographer states that his typewritten report of the dictagraph conversation was padded, and says that he left town after he had discovered that he had fallen in with a “crowd of crooks,” comes the assurance that the grand jury will at once make a searching probe of the detective department in an effort to establish the truth regarding the many charges and counter charges that have been afloat since the dictagraph sensation was sprung.

Members of the grand jury take the position that if the Gentry affidavit is true, it constitutes a stinging indictment of the detective department—an indictment which should not be allowed to stand longer than it will take to uncover the facts.

Records True, Says Lanford.

Chief of Detectives Lanford defends his department and his own personal connection with the sensation with the declaration that the dictagraph reports, as published, were absolutely correct, and that reports to the contrary are not only false, but will be proved untrue.

Impeiled by public sentiment the dictagraph incident created, it is authentically stated that the grand jury probe will be made at a very early date, and will be an exhaustive one.

While contradicted by Gentry’s affidavit and statements from the trio of dictagraph “victims”—Mayor Woodward, Colonel Felder and Charles Jones. G. C. Febuary, secretary to Chief Lanford, stoutly maintas that the dictagraph notes were accurate and that there were no discrepancies whatever in the published copies. Continue Reading →

Felder Returns Phagan Fund to Givers

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

The Atlanta Georgian

June 11, 1913

Attorney Explains Disposition of Money Subscribed to Secure Burns’ Services.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder Wednesday issued an itemized statement of the funds subscribed by Atlanta citizens, to secure the employment of the Burns Detective Agency to investigate the Phagan mystery, to show that these funds had been returned to the donors.

According to Mr. Felder’s statement, but $102 was actually subscribed. This amount was placed in the hands of Curtis N. Anderson, a member and treasurer of the law firm of Felder, Anderson, Dillon & Whitman. In a letetr [sic] to Colonel Felder, dated June 9, Mr. Anderson gives the following disposition of the fund:

“I have received from contributions to the Burns fund $102. Several of the contributions were anonymously made; in the majority of other cases contributors requested that their names be withheld, and in some cases the addresses of the parties making the donations are unknown to me. Under your direction, I am returning to the contributors the several amounts sent in by them, where the names and addresses of the contributors are known, and I am directed by you to return the balance upon their request.

Felder Pays Extra Expense.

“I also desire to say that you have directed me to charge whatever disbursements have been made, which, by the way, are several times over larger than the contributions that have come in, to your personal account. This I have done.”

The following amounts in chronological order were received by Mr. Anderson, according to his report:

May 15—Check, Joseph Hirsch $25
May 15—Check, Anonymous $30
May 16—Check, Anonymous $5
May 16—Check, Anonymous $1
May 17—Check, not authorized to give name $1
May 17—Check, not authorized to give name $1
May 17—Check, not authorized to give name $25
May 17—Check, not authorized to give name $5
May 23—Check, not authorized to give name $1
May 26—Check, not authorized to give name $5
May 26—Check, not authorized to give name $3

Along with Mr. Anderson’s itemized account of the funds, Mr. Felder makes the following statement, which he addresses to the public:

“Mr. Charles I. Ryan, who was designated as custodian of the fund without his knowledge or consent, informs me that he has already returned to the contributors whatever money was paid in to him.”

“The Atlanta Journal, The Atlanta Constitution and The Atlanta Georgian subscribed $100 each, and I am informed that certain subscriptions were made to them. They have not been paid in and are not expected, and the three newspapers are hereby requested to return to the contributors any sums that they have received.”

“In addition to the above and foregoing, permit me to say in conclusion that additional sums aggregating several hundred dollars were subscribed by the public, but were not paid, and payment has not been and will not be requested.”

Mr. Felder further stated that he would ask the Bar Association to pass upon the regularity of his employment in the Phagan case and make a report upon it. He also declared his connection with the controversy as ended.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 11th, 1913, “Felder Returns Phagan Fund to Givers,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Plot Exposed, Says Felder, But Lanford Doubts Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 11, 1913

In New Sworn Statement Gentry Declares He Came to Realize He Was Dealing with “Bunch of Crooks”—Charges Lanford and Beavers Names Were Inserted.

That the dictograph conversations in which it was plotted to trap Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward and C. C. Jones were padded and altered in meaning is the sensational charge brought back to Atlanta in an affidavit sworn to by George M. Gentry, who fled to Washington after the conversations, in their alleged garbled form, had been offered for publication by A. S. Colyar, Jr., and printed.

Gentry’s charges appear to substantiate in a large measure, if not entirely, the repeated statements of Colonel Felder and Mayor Woodward that an attempt had been made to make them the victims of a conspiracy.

Gentry said in making his affidavit: “I came to the realization that I had been dealing with a bunch of crooks, and decided that the best thing for me was to tell the whole story.”

Cleared, Says Felder.

Colonel Felder said that he regarded the affidavit of Gentry as a complete invidication of himself. He declared that he [sic] explanation contained in the sworn statement of Gentry on the face of it showed hat [sic] Colyar and Chief of Detectives Lanford had been in a miserable conspiracy to ruin his (Felder’s) reputation by seeking to prove him guilty of attempted bribery.

Mayor Woodward said that the affidavit bore out his previous statements that he never had mentioned the names of Chief Beavers or Chief Lanford in his conversation in room 33 of Williams House No. 2, where the trap was sprung.

“The whole thing was a frame-up. I was suspicious the moment I entered the room. I knew that something was wrong, and I was on my guard. In spite of that, they twisted and turned my statements around, as the original notes taken by young Gentry will show.”

Chief Lanford said he did not believe Gentry had signed the new affidavit.

Colonel Felder said:

Continue Reading →

Asks Beavers to Investigate Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, June 11, 1913

Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford telegraphed Chief of Police Beavers in Washington, D. C., Wednesday morning to investigate the origin of the affidavit bearing the signature of George M. Gentry in connection with the dictograph plot.

The detective chief asked Chief Beavers to find Jeannette Henning, the notary in the national capital who swore Gentry to his statement, and ascertain if the stenographer signed the affidavit which was brought to Atlanta by Detective E. O. Miles. The telegram asked that a minute investigation of the statement be made and the conditions under which it was made be wired to him immediately.

Chief Lanford’s action was taken following his declaration that he did not believe the affidavit genuine. Lanford stated as his belief that the stenographer’s name had either been forged or that Gentry has been coerced into signing the document.

Police officials have also conducted a rigid investigation into the standing of Detective Miles. Miles, the investigation showed, is at the head of the Reed Detective Agency.

Thomas B. Felder was at one time one of the largest stockholders in the agency, Carl Hutcheson being also a stockholder and attorney. He it was who appeared before the Police Commission and urged that body to grant the permit from the agency’s operation in Atlanta.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 11th 1913, “Asks Beavers to Investigate Affidavit,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

T. B. Felder Accounts for Subscriptions Received

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

The Atlanta Journal

June 11, 1913

 Says Only $102 Was Paid Into Fund to Employ Burns Detectives

Attorney Thomas B. Felder Wednesday morning issued a card to the public in which he accounts for the funds subscribed to employ the Burns detectives to work upon the Phagan murder case. He reports that but $102 was collected.

Mr. Felder announces that all subscriptions paid in have been returned to the subscribers and that those who have subscribed but have not yet paid are not expected to do […] submits a letter and detailed statement from C. N. Anderson, the treasurer of his law firm, in which it is stated that the expenses incident to the employment of the Burns detectives have been charged to Mr. Felder’s personal account.

In conclusion Mr. Felder says that his connection with the controversy is ended and that he will in due season ask a committee from the bar association to pass upon the regularity of his employment in the Phagan case.


Following is Mr. Felder’s card:

“To the Public:

“I beg to submit a statement of receipts and disbursements in connection with your contributions to the fund that it was proposed to raise for the employment of the Burns agency to investigate the murder of Mary Phagan:

Continue Reading →

Dictograph Records Crooked, Says Gentry

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

The Atlanta Constitution

June 11, 1913


Young Stenographer, Who Made the Report of the Conversation in Room No. 31 Williams House, Voluntarily Makes Statement Before a Notary Public in the City of Washington D. C., Where He Is Employed.


Swears That A. S. Colyar Has Made Effort to Purchase His Original Notes, Which Are Now in Possession of His Brotheró”Grand Jury Should Make an Investigation” Declares Mayor James G. Woodward.

The sworn charge that the dictagraph statements, alleged to have been made by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, Mayor James G. Woodward and Charles C. Jones, in Room No 31, Williams house, were “padded” was brought back to Atlanta last night by Ed O. Miles, a private detective, and turned over to Mayor Woodward.

The affidavit was composed and sworn to by George M. Gentry, the stenographer who took the dictagraph conversations. Detective Miles located Gentry in Washington, D. C., where he has been employed during the past two weeks. The affidavit was sworn to before Jeannette Henning, a notary public.


“Gentry was willing to come back to Atlanta with me,” Detective Miles said last night. “He has promised to work out the remainder of the month, and has assured me that he will return at the end of that time, or earlier if he is wanted.”

Aside from the charge that his stenographic notes were “padded” by A. S. Colyar, and that he was paid $50 for the part he played in the dictagraph drama, Gentry says that he left Atlanta because he could not bear the humiliation which he knew he would suffer after he learned that his notes had been altered.

His affidavit bears out the statement made by Mayor Woodward, immediately after the publication of the dictagraph scandal, to the effect that he did not mention the names of Chief of Police James L. Beavers or Detective Chief Newport Lanford. Gentry also swears that a reporter called at his home after the publication of the dictagraph statements and informed him that warrants had been issued for the arrest of Colyar, Gay C. Febuary and himself (Gentry), and that he left the city upon being informed that he would not be allowed to give bond. Continue Reading →

Gentry Now Says Dictograph Record Was Tampered With

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, June 11th, 1913

Detective E. O. Miles Gives Out Affidavit From Young Stenographer Repudiating Transcript He Swore to


G. C. Febuary Gives Out a Statement, Telling How Notes Were Transcribed and Affidavits Made

The accuracy of the now famous pictograph records of alleged conversations between Thomas B. Felder, Mayor Woodward, C. C. Jones, E. O. Miles, G. C. Febuary and A. S. Colyar is attacked in an affidavit which E. O. Miles has turned over to Mayor Woodward and which he says he obtained from George M. Gentry, the young stenographer who took down the dictograph conversations.

This affidavit was made in Washington D. C., where Miles, one of the dictographed parties, who is a private detective, says he found Gentry. According to this affidavit, Gentry swears that a number of changes were made in the pictograph records after they were transcribed by him. The only specific change set out in the affdavit, however, is that the names of Police Chief Beavers and Detective Chief N. A. Lanford were written into the record of Mayor Woodward’s conversation by some one other than the stenographer.

In this affidavit Gentry explains his disappearance from the city by declaring that when he compared the published records with his stenographic notes he realized that he had been duped and did not care to face the humiliation which he anticipated would follow.

These dictographed records, duly sworn to by young Gentry and others, were published in The Journal, which declined to print these documents unless they were attested before a notary public. These records and affidavits are still in the possession of The Journal, and this paper has no knowledge concerning the alleged changes.


Young Gentry was permitted to use one of The Journal’s typewriters to transcribe his pictograph notes. He and Febuary were left alone in the news department Wednesday night, May 21, to do this work. They left a copy of the records in a desk drawer for The Journal. Early on the morning of May 23 Gentry furnished The Journal with an affidavit attesting the correctness of the records. Later he came to The Journal office with his notebook and read the proofs which compared with this shorthand notes, and in one or two places he made minor changes, as he said, to better conform to the original notes.

He was advised to preserve his notes so that in the event any question was raised as to their accuracy, he would have the stenographic record from which to make answer.

The Journal does not undertake to say whether there are or are not discrepancies in the transcribed records compared to the shorthand notes. It has simply relied upon the sworn records and statements furnished by Gentry and others, which records and statements, as stated above, are still in the possession of The Journal and in exactly the same condition as they were when turned over to this paper by Gentry, February and others. Continue Reading →

Indictment of Felder and Fain Asked

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

The Atlanta Georgian

June 10, 1913

Assistant Solicitor E. A. Stephens virtually admitted this afternoon that Police Commissioner W. P. Fain had been indicted. There was a division of the vote, it was said, but the majority was for indictment.

With blank bills of indictment against Attorney Thomas B. Felder and Police Commissioner W. P. Fain under consideration, the vice probe by the Fulton County Grand Jury took a sensational turn Tuesday.

Two witnesses told of disorder and rowdyism in a house at 40 East Harris Street, in which the Police Commissioner was said to have been involved.

The disorder, they said, occurred first just after the Christmas holidays, and when a call officer went to investigate, the Police Commissioner escaped arrest by getting in telephone communication with the department.

The witnesses said a reputation of the orgies occurred in April, with Commissioner Fain as a participant, and that although the disorder was of an aggravated form, the Commissioner again escaped arrest.

Felder Witness Missing.

When the Grand Jury began consideration of the charge against Colonel Felder for carrying concealed weapons, one witness gave the attorney a clean bill of health and the other and most important one could not be found.

Circumstances on which the bill of indictment was predicated transpired about a week ago in the Grand Jury waiting room, when hot words passed between Colonel Felder and Newport Lanford, chief of detectives. Continue Reading →

Luther Z. Rosser, Attorney for Frank, Trains His Guns on City Detective Chief

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, June 10, 1913


He Charges That the Detective Chief Has Banked His Sense and Reputation on Proving Frank Guilty


Attorney Declares Evidence All Points to Negro—Says Felder-Lanford Controversy Unfair to His Client

Luther Z. Rosser, chief counsel for Leo M. Frank, the pencil factory superintendent, who is under indictment for the murder of Mary Phagan, Tuesday afternoon broke his persistent silence regarding the case and gave out a statement for publication.

Mr. Rosser gives as a reason for this statement the fact that Thomas B. Felder has publicly charged Detective Chief Lanford with trying to shield Frank and that the detective chief has in turn publicly accused Felder with having been employed in the interest of Frank.

The accuracy of both charges is denied. Mr. Rosser asserts that Chief Lanford has “banked his sense and reputation as both a man and politician on Frank’s guilt,” and that if he had been seeking the murderer of Mary Phagan with an open mind and not seeking to vindicate his announced opinion of Frank’s guilt, the negro Conley would have already told the whole truth.

Mr. Rosser declares that both the actions and statements of the negro Conley bear the marks of guilt. He states that in making his revelations concerning the murder, Conley is handicapped by Lanford’s opinion.

Mr. Rosser inquires why it was the detectives did not present Conley as a witness before the coroner’s jury and why they now prevent him from telling his story to the grand jury, which he says should determine whether the negro should be indicted, and if so on what count.


Following is Mr. Rosser’s statement in full: Continue Reading →

Rosser Asks Grand Jury Grill for Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

June 9, 1913

Luther Z. Rosser, chief of counsel for Leo M. Frank, issued the first public statement Tuesday that he has made since the arrest of the factory superintendent six weeks ago on the suspicion of being the murderer of Mary Phagan.

He took occasion to point out many of the absurdities in the stories of the negro Jim Conley, and paid his respects in a forcible manner both to Chief of Detectives Lanford and Colonel Thomas B. Felder, who have been accusing each other of trying to protect Frank.

Mr. Rosser explained the violation of his invariable custom of maintaining absolute silence in regard to a case in which he was interested by calling attention to the prejudice that had been aroused in the public mind against Frank by the controversy between Lanford and Colonel Felder.

His statement, in full, follows:

Mr. Rosser’s Statement.

Editor, Atlanta Georgian:

Felder and Lanford, in an effort to make progress in their feud, charge each the other with giving aid to Leo Frank, Lanford charges that Felder was employed by Frank and is seeking for that reason to shield him. Felder charges that Lanford and his associates are also seeking, for some reason, to shield and protect Frank.

Both charges are untrue, and, at a time when no harm could come to an innocent man, might well be treated as antidotes to monotony.

Unfortunately, however, the present situation is such that fair-minded citizens may be misled by these counter charges.

Felder does not, nor has he at any time, directly or indirectly, represented Frank. For Lanford to charge the contrary does Frank a serious injustice.

Felder Against Frank.

If Chief Lanford had been in a sane, normal mood, he would have known that every act of Felder has been against Frank. The engagement of the Burns agency ought to have satisfied Lanford. No detective agency of half prudence would have double-crossed the Atlanta department in the Phagan case. Nor did Felder have excuse for suspicion against Lanford. There was reason to suspect his fairness, his accuracy and the soundness of his methods, but not his reckless zeal against Frank.

Had Felder been in a calm mood I am sure he would never have charged the chief and his associates with intention to help Frank.

Lanford at once, as soon as Felder charged him with favoring Frank, settled in his mind the guilt of Frank, and from that monent has bent every energy of his department, not in finding the murderer, but in trying to prove to the public that Felder was wrong in charging him with trying to shield Frank. Continue Reading →

Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8, 1913

Declares That He Has Never Seen Gentry But Once in His Life.

“Tom Felder is a contemptible liar,” blazed Chief Lanford last night when informed of the contents of Colonel Felder’s letter directed to him through The Constitution. “I never saw this Gentry but once in my life, and that was before this dictagraph exposure ever happened. I have never seen him since.

“Gentry telephoned police headquarters Saturday, a week ago, however, and asked for Febuary, my secretary. Febuary happened not to be in at the time. I answered the telephone. Gentry wanted to know if a warrant was out against him. I told him I did not think there was, and that he had done nothing for which a warrant could be issued against him.

“I informed him that if a warrant was served on him, for him to notify me and I would help him out of his trouble. That was the last I heard of him until he left town. I did not have a thing to do with his departure. I have been trying to locate him, and wish I did know his whereabouts. I would bring him back to Atlanta and show by him that the charges that the dictagraph notes were padded is a lie from beginning to end.

“Felder’s row is hoed—he’s at his rope’s end. Give him rope enough and he’ll hang himself. He’s doing it now.”

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Atlanta Constitution, June 8th 1913, “Lanford Answers Felder’s Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Scathing Replies Made to Letters Attacking Them

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

Colyar Addresses Felder as “Dictograph Tommy” and “My Dear Co-conspirator in Crime”


J. R. Gray Said: “I Have No Comment to Make—Mr. Felder’s Controversy Is With A. S. Colyar”

Replying to the open letters of Thomas B. Felder, attacking them, A. S. Colyar and Chief of Detectives N. A. Lanford last night gave to The Journal statements, denouncing Mr. Felder in unmeasured terms. Chief of Police James L. Beavers, who was also the subject of attack, was out of the city and, therefore, could not be given the opportunity to reply.

James R. Gray, when shown Mr. Felder’s communication, addressed to him, said:

“I have no comment to make on Mr. Felder’s letter. His controversy is with A. S. Colyar. I suppose Mr. Colyar will wish to reply.”

The statements of A. S. Colyar and Chief Lanford follow below in full:


T. B. Felder Esq., alias Dictograph Tommy.

Sir: As you let last Sunday go by without attempting to prostitute the Sunday press with some more of your hot air and denials, I had thought that perhaps some good friend of yours had given you a hint that even a braying ass can sometimes kill himself and that you had probably decided to withdraw from it newspaper controversy. In my last letter that I wrote to you I offered you what I have been told by many good citizens was a fair proposition, viz: To let fiver honorable gentlemen decide who had lied in the controversy at issue, and you declined to accept the proposition. I will make you a second proposition: I do not know a single member of the honorable supreme court of Georgia, but I am willing to let the chief justice of that honorable court appoint a committee of five honorable citizens, non-residents of the city of Atlanta, and let this committee decide whether you are guilty of unprofessional conduct and a violator of the criminal laws of Georgia, by offering a bribe of $1,000 to G. C. Febuary to steal the papers for you out of the safe, in the Phagan case, and I will only have one request to make of the honorable chief justice when he appoints the committee, and that is that he appoint men in no way connected with the whisky interests and the immoral classes, among whom you have so many clients. I was satisfied when I made you the last proposition that you would not accept it, although I made it in good faith, and I repeat, that you may eliminate me entirely as a witness before the committee, and I have the witnesses of unimpeachable character that will brand you before this committee as a bribe giver, a lobbyist and a grafter. I believe that the people of this fair city are familiar with your record, as it was exposed from the pulpit by the Rev. Len G. Broughton in the Baptist Tabernacle in this city, who publicly denounced you as a lobbyist and a grafter. I have read your letter written this afternoon and addressed to the Hon. James R. Gray, editor and proprietor of The Journal. The clear purpose of that letter is a scurrilous attack upon me, although you have addressed Mr. Gray. I am no saint as I have told you before; I have done wrong in my youth had strayed far away from the teachings and training of a Christian mother and a refined home, and when I first met you I was trying to lead an honorable life, although I was down, and had you had as tenth of the instinct of the gentleman in you that James R. Gray has, you would have tried to help me along life’s pathway in an honorable way and not heed me to go to South Carolina to help you and your co-conspirators frame up against Governor Blease.


I have records in my possession that will show that a certain stool pigeon of yours furnished the money that you sent to me in South Carolina, because you did not have the moral courage to do it yourself. Even though you have stated in me of your first articles that knowing my character that you refused to hire me to go to South Carolina for you—to refresh your memory didn’t you and one of your detectives to Charleston, S. C., with a letter of introduction to me, signed by you, written on the letter head of your then law firm, “Anderson, Felder, Rountree & Wilson?” And furthermore, when I left South Carolina on the 5th day of July, 1911, I drew a draft on your friend for $30, which was endorsed by Rev. B. Lacy Hoge, pastor of the First Baptist church of Charleston, S. C., and after you were through with me, your friend protested this draft and sent it back with the statement that I had no authority to draw the same, although I had drawn, by authority, several hundred dollars’ worth of similar drafts, which Dr. Hoge had cashed, and is it not a matter of fact, that several weeks later the Rev. Dr. Hoge visited Atlanta from South Carolina and threatened to expose you and your friend if you didn’t pay this draft and didn’t you have it paid? Continue Reading →

Felder Makes Answer to Dictagraph Episode

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

Well-Known Attorney Writes Four Cards Covering All the Phases of Situation and Answering All Charges.


Col. Felder Asserts George Gentry, Who Took Down the Stenographic Notes, Will Return and Expose the Deal.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder has written four cards—to Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford, Chief of Police Beavers, James R. Gray, editor of The Journal, and Foster Coates, manager of The Georgian—all bearing on the late pictograph incident which was published in the three papers of Atlanta. He states the whole thing was a “frame-up” from beginning to end and says he will produce proofs of his statements. He says Gentry, who took down the stenographic notes, will return to Atlanta and tell the truth about the whole deal.

In his card to Newport Lanford, Colonel Felder brands him as a crook and applies to him various epithets.

The letters follow:

Apologizes to The Public.

[The letters to Newport Lanford, James Beavers and James Gray have been published on this website previously from the Atlanta Journal. Below is the continuation of this article with the letter to Foster Coates, newly published — Ed.]

Letter to Mr. Coates.

Atlanta, Ga., June 7, 1913.—Mr. Foster Coates, Manager of The Georgian, Atlanta, Ga.—Dear Sir: My acquaintance with you is very limited. It covers a period of but a few months, and, as I now recall, I have never conversed with you on more than half a dozen occasions. I have no claims upon you, either personally or professionally, except the claim that one gentleman has upon another—to decent and fair treatment. This has been accorded me by the newspaper whose policies you control and direct in Atlanta. Continue Reading →

Three Open Letters Given Out Saturday by Thos. B. Felder

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 8th, 1913

In One of These Letters He Reopens His Controversy With A. S. Colyar About the Dictograph Episode


He Also Makes Another Personal Attack Upon Detective Chief—Declares Beavers Is Unfitted for His Office

Thomas B. Felder, the attorney who was dictographed by the city detectives, Saturday afternoon gave out open letters addressed to James R. Gray, editor of The Journal, Chief of Police James L. Beavers, and Chief of Detectives Newport A. Lanford. These letters purported to be an exposure of what Mr. Felder has characterized as the dictograph frame up. The letter addressed to James R. Gray is largely an attack upon A. S. Colyar, the man who assisted the city detectives in dictographing Mr. Felder. In the letter to Chief Beavers, Mr. Felder declares that he has never charged the chief with being corrupt, but states that he regards him as unfitted for the office of chief of police. In the letter to Chief of Detectives Lanford, Mr. Felder again attacks that official’s character and charges that he is in a conspiracy with Governor Cole Blease, of South Carolina, to kidnap Felder and carry him across the state line.

The communications as given out by Mr. Felder follow in full: Continue Reading →

Felder and Lanford Come Near to Blows

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Personal Encounter in Solicitor’s Office Is Narrowly Averted by Bystanders.

What threatened to be a serious personal encounter between Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Detective Chief Newport Lanford was narrowly averted Thursday morning in Solicitor Hugh Dorsey’s office by the interferences of bystanders.

The two men who for several weeks have been hurling ugly charges at each other were facing each other at the time after the passage of a few words when they were seized and hustled away from each other.

Out of the seriousness of the near fight grew a laughable incident through the failure of the flashlight apparatus of a newspaper photographer. When the men summoned at the grand jury probe began to arrive the air was pregnant with impending trouble and the photographer held his camera in hand ready for instant action. By his side walked an assistant with a full load of powder in the pan of the flashlight instrument.

Colonel Felder had barely replied to Chief Lanford’s request that he rise and face him and the men were preparing to rush to each other when, before anyone could seize them, the photographer got into action with his camera and yelled for his assistant to touch off the flash. The trigger was pulled but the cap refused to explode and one of the best action pictures ever taken went to naught.

Warnings Received By Felder.

The affair that directly precipitated the near fight grew out of the arrival of Chief Lanford and his “good morning gentlemen” addressed to a crowd of men in the solicitor’s office. Colonel Felder had been warned by anonymous communications and by the phone call that he would be assaulted by the detective chief during the session and apparently expected it. Continue Reading →

Report Negro Found Who Saw Phagan Attack


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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 6th, 1913

St. Louis, June 6.—That a negro, who is alleged to have said he witnessed the murder of Mary Phagan in Atlanta, is under arrest in Cairo, Ill., and is about to be returned to Atlanta by a Pinkerton detective, was the information brought into St. Louis today by a passenger who declared he overheard a conversation betwene [sic] the detective and an attorney in the case who were on the train en route to Cairo.

According to the passenger, the negro has admitted that he was in Atlanta with a show at the time of the murder, and was shooting craps in the basement of the National Pencil Factory with a negro watchman when the watchman told him that he would attack the Phagan girl, which was done in his presence.

Inquiry at Cairo failed to-day to verify the report of the arrest of the negro.

Strenuous denials of any knowledge of the mysterious affidavit reported to have been made by Jim Conley, in which he was said to have confessed to A. S. Colyar that he murdered Mary Phagan, was made to Chief of Detectives Lanford Friday by both men.

Conley, on the grill, declared that he had never heard of Colyar until he read his name in the newspapers in connection with the pictograph controversy. The negro said he had never either talked with him or seen him, and that he had at no time made an affidavit other than the ones given to the police.

Colyar made a similar denial. Following the examination, Lanford declared that the whole report was wholly without foundation. He also stated that Conley had reiterated the truth of his former affidavit and that there was nothing further to add to it.

“I attribute this report to Colonel Felder’s work,” said the chief. “It merely shows again that Felder is in league with the defense of Frank; that the attorney is trying to muddy the waters of this investigation to shield Frank and throw the blame on another. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury May Drop Vice Probe

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

Atlanta Constitution

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Foreman Beck De[c]lines to Talk of Probable Action of Jury—Felder to Issue a Public Statement.

“The grand jury has finished its questioning of witnesses with its adjournment, and unless members of the jury should desire that those of the several witnesses summoned, who have not been heard, should be brought before them, there is nothing more to do.” This was the statement made yesterday by L. H. Beck, foreman of the grand jury, which adjourned at 2 o’clock after a three-day probe in vice conditions in Atlanta.

Foreman Beck stated that the body would meet again Tuesday, but at the instance of the solicitor, and to take up the criminal business which the present probe and the lengthy examination preceding the indictment of Leo M. Frank had greatly delayed.

Asked as to the nature of the action that the grand jury would take in regard to the results of its vice probe, the foreman replied that he was not in a position to state this.

“We have tried to follow the words of Judge W. D. Ellis, who requested this jury to look into alleged vice conditions here,” he replied, “and whether we make definite indictments against offenders, or take action by giving a general report to a judge of the superior court, is something that has not been determined.”

Lanford Makes Statement.

Newport Lanford, chief of detectives, was the first witness to be called Thursday morning. According to his statement the grand jury members questioned him about conditions here principally, although they also asked him in regard to the pictograph affair, and also asked why there was a bitterness between him and Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

A. L. Collar, Jr., who sprung into prominence as a result of the recent dictagraph row, and who is now under arrest on forgery charges in Knoxville, was next called before the grand jury. With Collar and G. C. February, secretary to Chief James L. Beavers, the grand jury closed its examination and hearing of testimony. Continue Reading →

Chief Says Law Balks His War on Vice

L. H. Beck, foreman of Fulton County Grand Jury that is investigating vice conditions in Atlanta, the Felder bribery charges and the famous dictograph row. Mr. Beck is the one who launched the probe of reports that vice exists here.

L. H. Beck, foreman of Fulton County Grand Jury that is investigating vice conditions in Atlanta, the Felder bribery charges and the famous dictograph row. Mr. Beck is the one who launched the probe of reports that vice exists here.

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

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 6th, 1913

Resort in Spring Street Flourishes While Injunction Prevents Police Interference

It became known Friday that Chief of Police James L. Beavers made the startling charge before the vice investigating Grand Jury that the courts of the State of Georgia made it impossible for him to close the most notorious resort that had ever operated in Atlanta.

S. C. Glass, a member of the Grand Jury, who was not present at the session Thursday when it was announced the vice probe had been concluded, said Friday that he, too, knew of the existence of the place and would demand at the next session that the tribunal go deeper into vice conditions and take some decisive action.

Mr. Glass made the emphatic statement that conditions were worse than they were before the restricted district was closed and that it was up to the jury to do something to relieve the situation. He said the Philadelphia ministers had not far exaggerated the street evil; that the respectable community was being encroached upon by houses of ill fame, and that women of questionable character walked the streets of Atlanta daily brushing elbows with the wife and school girl.

Resort is in Spring Street.

The house in question is in Spring Street. The place was raided several months ago. Recorder Broyles ordered the woman held for the City Court and asked Chief Beavers to have her moved from that locality. The woman’s lawyers applied for and secured an injunction from the Fulton Superior Court restraining the police from moving her. The restraining order still is in effect.

The case of Mrs. N. P. Powell, of 95 Spring Street, was on trial before Judge Andrew Calhoun, in the City Court, Friday. Chief Beavers, who appeared against her, stated that the house was still being operated in violation of the law, but that he was powerless to act. He said the woman, if found guilty, would pay a fine and go back and he could do nothing but make a new case, which, he said, would be several weeks in getting to court. Continue Reading →