Col. Felder Returns From Trip to Ohio

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, June 22, 1913

Journey Had No Relation to the Phagan Mystery or Dictagraph Incident, He Says.

Colonel T. B. Felder returned Saturday from a six-day trip to Cincinnati. Much speculation was created by his departure for Ohio last Sunday and it was hinted that he had made the journey in interest of his recent connection with the famous dictagraph plot.

It was also reported that he had gone [on] behalf of the Mary Phagan investigation, in which he has been an active figure. His departure within less than twenty-four hours after Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey had left the city gave rise to this suspicion.

He declared to a Constitution reporter last night, however, that the Cincinnati trip had been made solely on personal business and that it had no connection at all with either the Phagan mystery or the dictagraph episode.

Colonel Felder stated that he had received no information from the grand jury regarding his demand that Gentry’s charges be investigated and that he did not know when that body would take up the proposed probe.

A. S. Colyar, a leading actor in the dictagraph case and instigator of the alleged trap, late in the afternoon visited Chief Lanford for a long conference and also had a few words with Chief Beavers.

Colyar says that he will remain in Atlanta for some time.

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The Atlanta Constitution, June 22nd 1913, “Col. Felder Returns From Trip to Ohio,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Col. Thomas Felder Goes to Cincinnati

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Monday, June 16, 1913

Says Trip Has Nothing to Do With That of Solicitor Dorsey

Following the departure of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey for Atlantic City Saturday afternoon, Col. Thomas B. Felder left Sunday afternoon at 5:10 o’clock for Cincinnati.

He said that his trip had no connection whatever with that of the solicitor general. He would not disclose his object in going to Cincinnati, however, and said only that he would be in the Ohio city for several days. Business was his motive in leaving, he declared, although he would not tell what business he intended to transact.

Colonel Felder declares that the affidavit which an Atlanta paper, on Sunday morning, accredits George Gentry with having made, verifies his own contention.

“It supports me in every particular,” he said. “It corroborates my statement that Gentry is willing to return to Atlanta at any time the grand jury or any other investigating committee needed him; that he is passing under an assumed name in Washington, and that he was striving to keep out of the reach of certain Atlantans who are endeavoring to find him.

“He even admits in this last affidavit that the dictagraph reports were padded. He says that charges were made, although it is intimated that they were immaterial. He acknowledges having signed Miles’ affidavit, and says that it was correct thoroughly. This, in itself, is all the support I would ask of Gentry. The affidavit obtained by Detective Miles is proof positive that the reports were padded—that is an established fact.

“Another thing: Gentry says again that his note book—the original transcription of the Williams House conversations—is in the vault of a prominent and reliable Atlanta attorney, and that they will be produced at time of any investigation. Even though Gentry testified otherwise, we have the notes—they are all that is needed to prove our contention that the published reports were altered.”

Colonel Felder would not talk regarding his trip to Cincinnati.

“I am going there on a matter of business,” was all he would say. “It wouldn’t interest the public in general, and would interfere with my plans if I disclosed my mission. I will return within the next few days.”

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The Atlanta Constitution, June 16th 1913, “Col. Thomas Felder Goes to Cincinnati,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Colyar Returns Promising Sensation

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, June 16, 1913

A. S. Colyar is in Atlanta again, promising to spring some more sensations.

The investigator who engineered the dictographing of Thomas B. Felder and Mayor Woodward has been in Washington. He sent a letter to Atlanta before him, saying he objected to being made a goat.

It is believed Colyar saw George M. Gentry while in Washington and got from him an affidavit. This is said to be much the same as the one printed admitting that the dictograph records had been padded, as charged in Gentry’s recent affidavit, but that the general charges were upheld.

Promises Story in Letter.

Colyar’s letter, mailed before he left Washington, follows:

“He laughs best who laughs last. When you get tired publishing all of the lies the gang of political crooks are publishing on Lanford and myself I may be able to give you a story that will cause some people to sit up and take notice.

“It’s indeed comforting to think one purchased affidavit can cause a certain man in Atlanta to consider himself vindicated completely. Whitewash is cheap, as we all know.

“Then there is Mayor Woodward. He says ‘Colyar went to Mrs. Gentry’s house and worried her.’ Indeed, where did he learn this? It’s news to me. But we all know the Mayor. He is the same Mayor Hon. R. F. Maddox defeated after he (Woodward) was nominated by his party, and all Atlanta knows why. Let them make a goat out of me and see what I publish in my own defense.

“The crooks got caught. And they sent Miles away to see if he could not fool the people. A. S. COLYAR.”

Felder’s Trip Causes Comment.

Speculation was rife Monday as to the nature of the trip of Colonel Thomas B. Felder, who left Atlanta Sunday afternoon with the statement that he was bound for Cincinnati.

Rumors had it that Colonel Felder in reality is on his way to Washington, for the purpose probably of conferring with George Gentry, the missing stenographer in the recent dictagraph sensation. If this is Colonel Felder’s intention, he kept it to himself.

It has been suggested that Colonel Felder would feel much safer in going to Washington by way of Cincinnati than through the State of South Carolina.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 16th 1913, “Colyar Returns Promising Sensation,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Gentry, Found by Journal, Says Notes Will Show Enough to Justify What Was Sworn To

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, June 15, 1913

“Upon Reading My Notes Before the Court It Will Be Proven That There Is Enough of It There to Justify What Was Written and Sworn to be Me as Being Practically the Gist of What Was Said,” Says Young Stenographer of Dictograph Records Transcribed by Him


“As Far as What The Journal Published, Will Say, as Far as I Can Remember, What They Printed Were the Facts In a General Way, and the Changes Were Immaterial.” Located by The Jounaal’s [sic] Washington Correspondent, Gentry Talks Freely.

By Ralph Smith

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 14.—Living under an assumed name and holding a lucrative position as an expert stenographer, George M. Gentry, of Atlanta, who made the famous dictograph notes, was located in Washington today by the Journal correspondent. He has been here since May 27. He left Atlanta via the Southern railway on the evening of May 26, following the Felder exposure. He claims to have seen no one from Atlanta other than E. O. Miles, and The Journal correspondent, though he is in communication with the members of his immediate family.

Gentry’s real identity is unknown to his employers, and at his request his present address and the place of his employment are withheld by the correspondent. Their publication, he believes, might cause him unnecessary annoyance.

“I left Atlanta because I feared that I might be arrested for perjury,” he said.

Gentry today voluntarily made an affidavit, elaborating and elucidating the statements contained in the affidavit he recently gave to E. O. Miles. This affidavit, made today, was sworn to and subscribed before Isaac Heidenheimer, of 1226 Pennsylvania avenue, notary public, for the District of Columbia. It was witnessed by Senator William Hughes, of New Jersey and Congressman Frank Doremus, of Michigan.

The original and a carbon copy are in the possession of The Journal correspondent, and Gentry himself has a copy. The affidavit was written by Gentry, without suggestion or dictation from anyone.

“Unfortunately I did not go into enough detail in my previous affidavit, hence the necessity of making a further one,” swore Gentry today.

Continuing the affidavit says, “I neglected to mention in same (the Miles affidavit) that I was allowed to read a proof of what The Journal published, in connection with the Felder conference. This conference was transcribed first and printed in Friday’s issue of the Journal. The other conferences, all of which were held Wednesday afternoon and evening, preceding the date of publication, were not published until after the Felder conference was published. I made one or two changes in the proof of the Felder conference, this being the only proof I was allowed to see. As I remember in one instance, I had written the word “intrude” any my notes contained the word “intruding.”

“Further than this I do not remember of any change that I made in same, with the exception of ordinary corrections, such as marking misspelled words, adding periods and commas, and striking them out.” Continue Reading →

Asks Jury to Resume Probe of Dictograph

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, June 14, 1913.

Attorney Felder Wants Gentry Affidavit Weighed—Foreman Beck Non-committal

Thomas B. Felder, the attorney, is said to have requested Foreman L. H. Beck, of the Fulton county grand jury, to take up an investigation of an affidavit alleged to have been signed by George W. [sic] Gentry in which it is charged that the famous dictograph records were padded.

Mr. Felder took up the matter with the grand jury foreman by letter, it is said, and stated that he was ready to produce young Gentry whenever the jury needs him. Gentry is said to be in Washington, and Felder states that he is in daily communication with him.

Another figure in the dictograph episode who now is missing from the city is A. S. Colyar. At the Williams house, where he lived in the city, Colyar left no address, but reserved a room, saying that he expected to return to the city.

Chief of Detectives Lanford declares that he does not know the whereabouts of either Colyar or Gentry, although he is conducting a vigorous search in Washington for the latter.

Foreman L. H. Beck of the grand jury has stated again that the term of service of the present body is so short that it is absolutely necessary that it take up the routine business of the solicitor’s office.

The foreman, however, will not make a definite statement relative to the dictograph probe or to the vice probe.

* * *

The Atlanta Journal, June 14th 1913, “Asks Jury to Resume Probe of Dictograph,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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 →

Chief Beavers Unable to Locate Gentry

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

The Atlanta Journal

June 12, 1913

He Wires Chief Lanford That Young Stenographer Can’t Be Found

All efforts on the part of Detective Chief Lanford to locate George M. Gentry, the stenographer who wrote the famous dictograph records, have failed.

Following the publication Wednesday of an affidavit from Gentry made in Washington, D. C., in which the young stenographer charged that the dictograp [sic] records were padded after he had written them. Chief Lanford wired to Police Chief James L. Beavers, who is attending the police chief’s convention in that city, to locate Gentry.

Thursday afternoon, Chief Lanford received the following telegram from Chief Beavers:

“Washington, D. C.,
“June 12, 1913.

“N. A. Lanford,
“Chief Detectives.
“Atlanta, Ga.
“Have been unable to locate Gentry.


Chief Lanford takes for granted that Chief Beavers enlisted the aid of the Washington police and detectives in his search for Gentry and their future [sic] to find him indicates that he is not now in Washington.

Members of Gentry’s family state that they have no idea where he is, and E. O. Miles, the private detective, who brought back the Washington affidavit, refuses to divulge the young man’s address.

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The Atlanta Journal, June 12th 1913, “Chief Beavers Unable to Locate Gentry,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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 →

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 →

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 →

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)

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 →

Grand Jury Probe of Vice Conditions Finished Thursday

grand-jury-probeAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Jury Adjourned Until Next Tuesday Without Drawing Any Bills—Inquiry Not Likely to Be Resumed, It Is Said


Declares It Dates Back to Case He Made Against Charlie Jones and Was Accentuated by Dictograph Episode

The most interesting testimony given to the Fulton county grand jury Thursday was that of Detective Chief N. A. Lanford, who a few minutes before he was called to the stand had engaged in a near-fight with Colonel Thomas B. Felder.

Chief Lanford is himself authority for what transpired in the grand jury room, where he remained in the neighborhood of a half hour.

“I was questioned principally about vice conditions,” he said, “although a number of questions were asked me concerning the dictographing of Felder and others.”

“Some of the grand jurymen inquired why Felder seemed so bitter toward me. I told them that as far as I knew his feeling toward me dated back several years ago when I made a case against Charlie C. Jones for operating a disorderly house on Jenkins street. Felder was Jones’ attorney in that case.

“I also expressed the opinion that his bitterness had perhaps increased since I made public the dictograph records and certain affidavits showing that he was not duly employed in the Phagan case, and that he was no doubt further embittered by reason of the fact that these publications put a stop to his collection of public subscriptions with which to employ Burns detectives. Continue Reading →

Challenges Felder to Prove His Charge

challenges-felder-to-proveAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Attorney Reiterates Graft Accusations Following Lanford’s Defiance—Offers More Proof.

Newport A. Lanford, Chief of Detectives, issued a statement Thursday morning defying Colonel Thomas B. Felder, or anyone, to substantiate the charge of graft made against him and his department in the Grand Jury’s probe of vice conditions and alleged corruption in the detective and police departments.

“I defy Felder, or anyone, to prove to the Grand Jury that a penny of graft has ever gone into the detective department, and I defy him to substantiate one of his blackmailing utterances against me. He can’t do it, and he knows he can’t.”

Colonel Felder, in turn, reiterated Thursday morning every charge of corruption he has made against Chief Lanford and his detectives. He said he had presented a great amount of evidence along this line to the Grand Jury and was in readiness to present more when that body called him at its session to-day.

“Opens Grand Jury’s Eyes.”

“I have given the Grand Jury a great number of facts in this matter and I think they are beginning to see things about like a great many people in Atlanta see them.”

“In next Sunday’s issues of the Atlanta papers I will issue a statement setting forth in full the foundation for every statement I have made and showing the people how corrupt their Chief of Detectives really is. I will not comment here on how great a failure he is as a detective. When William J. Burns reads of some of his marvelous deductions in the Phagan case, the great detective will bow his head in shame and pronounce himself a timid amateur. Continue Reading →

Felder Says He Will Lay Bare ‘Startling Police Graft Plans’


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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, June 3rd, 1913

Attorney Ready to Go Before Grand Jury, but Has Not Been Called; Hutcheson Summoned in the Airing of the Dictograph Controversy.

[Investigation of Reports That Disorderly Houses Again Are in Operation Begun—Foreman’s Move Surprise. Dictograph Row Not Taken Up.

A broad and exhaustive probe into vice conditions in Atlanta was the unexpected turn taken by the Fulton County Grand Jury when it convened Tuesday morning supposedly to take up the Felder-Beavers-Lanford dictograph controversy with the attending charges of corruption and bribery of police officials. Foreman Beck himself conducted the inquisition.

Witnesses who gave testimony at the morning session were asked for evidence pertaining to the existence of vice only. That the Grand Jury will conduct a sweeping investigation of new red light districts which are reported to have sprung up, despite the persistent warfare against such resorts by Chief of Police Beavers, is almost certain.

Mayor James G. Woodward, Colonel Thomas B. Felder and Carl Hutcheson, the lawyer who says he has a list of disorderly houses of holding forth by reason of police protection, were the men called to testify in the morning.

The Mayor was questioned closely as to his knowledge of existing vice conditions. He is said to have informed the grand jurors that his information was only hearsay. However, he gave out what he had heard in full. The Mayor also pointed out the jurymen possibilities for the existence of such practices. The examination of Mr. Woodward continued for more than an hour.

Colonel Felder was before the Grand Jury for ten minutes. The attorney was not subpoenaed to appear at the hearing, but presented himself voluntarily. He is said to have outlined his own position in reference to the bribery charges and also the wholesale charges of corruption which have been made against the police.

Felder Offers Evidence.

In connection with the latter accusations, Mr. Felder declared to the investigating body that he would submit documentary evidence showing the existence of vice in Atlanta to prove his previous assertions.

It is believed that Carl Hutcheson, the young attorney in Felder’s office, is counted upon to supply this evidence. Mr. Hutcheson was called before the Grand Jury shortly before noon. While he did not carry in with him the list of resorts said to be operating now in this city, which he has compiled, he declared that if this document were asked for by the jurymen he would hand it over to them.

That the Grand Jury was in possession of sufficient information to indict the keepers and proprietors of at least 30 houses of disreputable character was the announcement made by Mr. Hutcheson when he emerged from the session chamber after he had been before the jurors for more than an hour.

Says He Furnished Proof.

He said that he had furnished positive evidence that these resorts and houses of assignation existed and that the policemmen [sic] on the beats knew of their existence.

“But did you give them positive information that Chief Beavers and Chief Lanford knew of their existence?” he was asked.

“I told them enough so that they must draw the conclusion that Beavers and Lanford could hardly help but know,” he replied. “The heads of departments always are responsible for the workings of the men under them.” — Added from the “Evening Edition” of the same paper — Ed.]

Colonel Thomas B. Felder appeared before the Grand Jury Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock, prepared, he said, to substantiate every charge he had made against the police department and its heads, and promising to open the eyes of the city to a condition of affairs that was startling in the extreme.

“I have not been served with a subpena to go before the Grand Jury,” Colonel Felder said, “but Mr. Hutcheson has been, and I will be there in case I am called upon. The people of Atlanta have no idea how far-reaching this thing will be. I will show the conditions as they are, and the men higher up will not escape. If the grand jury takes up this thing fully it will be the most sensational probe that has ever been made into affairs in Atlanta.”

The announcement that the Grand Jury would take up the Felder-Beavers-Lanford dictograph controversy with the attending charges of corruption and bribery was made late Monday afternoon when Foreman L. H. Beck had the assistant solicitor general serve a number of subpenas to those concerned.

Mayor Woodward, Chief of Police Beavers, Chief Lanford, Charlie Jones, proprietor of the Rex saloon; Carl Hutcheson, City Detective John Black and Mrs. Mina Formby were the persons summoned. Continue Reading →

Grand Jury Ready to Investigate Charges

grand-jury-readyAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal

Monday, June 2nd, 1913

Foreman Beck States Position, Probe Awaits Request From Chief Beavers

The Fulton county grand jury will investigate the Felder-Beavers controversy if any of the interested parties ask an investigation, according to Foreman L. H. Beck.

Mr. Beck has not yet been approached on the matter by Chief J. L. Beavers, who has declared that he will ask a grand jury investigation of the charges made against him and his department by Colonel Thomas B. Felder, and unless the police officials make a formal request for an investigation there is little likelihood of the grand jury taking up the matter at the special meeting to be held on Tuesday morning.

The specific object of the meeting, according to the foreman, is the appointment of routine committees, which have not yet been named, owing to the pressure of criminal business, although the jury has only a month more to serve.

Mr. Beck frankly stated his position to The Journal Monday, saying that if the solicitor or any individual member of the jury brings the matter up officially it will be investigated. Also an investigation will be inaugurated, he says, if Chief Beavers or Chief N. A. Lanford request a probe of him as foreman of the jury.

Up to a late hour Monday Chief Beavers had not seen Solicitor Dorsey nor Mr. Beck. The chief stated that he had been extremely busy Monday, but that he would certainly take the matter up during the week. Continue Reading →

Negro Sweeper Tells the Story of Murder Notes

Negro Sweeper Tells

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

Atlanta Constitution

Thursday, May 29th, 1913

James Conley Makes New Affidavit, Swearing That He Wrote at the Dictation of Leo M. Frank.


Conley Declares Frank Gave Him $2.50 for Writing the Notes—He Writes “Night Witch” for Night Watchman.

James Conley, the negro sweeper at the National Pencil factory, in which little Mary Phagan was murdered, made a new affidavit Wednesday morning in which he threw additional light on the case, incriminating Leo M. Frank, and which detectives think will solve the long-drawn-out mystery.

“Write ‘night watchman,’” he is said to have been commanded by detectives Wednesday morning. The result was ‘night witch,’ just as in the note found by the body of the murdered girl. This, the detectives declare, is the strongest corroboration of his statement that he wrote the notes at the direction of Frank, the factory superintendent.

The city detectives are said to put full credence in his statements now, as in the new affidavit he is said to have sworn that the notes were written on Saturday, about 1 o’clock, and not on Friday, as he first declared.

Feared for His Neck.

His reason for deception the first time is said to be that he feared for his own neck if he admitted the truth. As matters stand now, he is regarded by the detectives merely as an unwilling tool, and not as an accomplice of the murderer, whomever he may be.

According to this new affidavit, the negro’s complete story of his part in the affair is said to be as follows: Continue Reading →

Conley Tells in Detail of Writing Notes on Saturday at Dictation of Mr. Frank

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

Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

Negro Declares He Met Mr. Frank on the Street and Accompanied Him Back to the Factory, Where He Was Told to Wait and Watch—He Was Concealed in Wardrobe In Office When Voices Were Heard on Outside, It Is Claimed


Chief Beavers Confer With Judge Roan In Reference to Taking Conley to Tower to Confront Frank but Is Told That It Is a Question for Sheriff to Decide—No Effort In This Direction Likely Until Mr. Rosser Returns to City

“Write ‘night-watchman,’” the city detectives are said to have commanded James Conley, negro sweeper at the pencil factory, in jail Wednesday.

The result is said to have been “night-wich.”

So also the note found beside the dead body of Mary Phagan spelled it.

The detectives regard this strongly corroborative of Conley’s admission that he himself wrote the notes found beside the dead girl. Conley declares that he wrote them, however, at the dictation of Leo M. Frank, superintendent of the pencil factory, under indictment for the murder. The detectives are disposed to place full credence in his story now, it is said, since he has declared that he did the writing on Saturday afternoon instead of on Friday afternoon as he first swore, and has gone into details.

A new and lengthy affidavit, going into detail in sequence throughout the day of the fatal Saturday, was sworn to by the negro in the detective headquarters Wednesday morning.

In it the negro recited as minutely as he could remember them, his actions and movements upon the day. Continue Reading →

Here Is the Dictagraph Record of Woodward’s Conversation

Here is the Dictagraph Record

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

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Going to A. S. Colyar’s room in Williams House No. 2, on Forsyth street, Wednesday afternoon to make efforts to get information of alleged grafting on the part of Chief of Police Beavers and Chief Lanford, Mayor James G. Woodward walked into as neat a trap as was ever devised. The same dictagraph which was alleged to take down the statements of Colonel T. B. Felder, is said to have been working while the mayor of Atlanta was in conference with E. O. Miles, a private detective; Febuary, Chief of detectives Lanford’s clerk, and A. S. Colyar.

The mayor admits frankly he was there, but says he offered no money, but that he would subscribe to a fund to unearth graft in any city department; and also said that his visit had nothing whatever to do with the Phagan case.

“These parties told me they had evidence of the corruptness of Beavers and Lanford. I wanted to see what they had,” he is quoted as saying.

Part of the conversation, as alleged to have been taken down by George M. Gentry, nephew of the president of Southern Bell Telephone company, dealt with the early arrival of Miles, who discussed the Phagan case with Colyar.

After Mayor Woodward arrived in the room, Colyar stated that Febuary had the goods on certain members of the police and detective department. There was some discussion about the right of the police to arrest anyone who could get such evidence. Mayor Woodward staying that he didn’t understand how such an informer could be thrown in jail. Continue Reading →