Pinkertons Now Declare Leo M. Frank Is Innocent

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

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

NOTED SLEUTHS WHO HAD ACCUSED FRANK NOW CHANGE THEORY

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

AGENTS HAVE WORKED ON CASE ALONG WITH POLICE

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

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

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

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Grand Jury Is Called Monday to Indict Jim Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Friday, July 18, 1913

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

GRAND JURY CALLED TO TAKE UP MATTER OVER DORSEY’S HEAD

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

SOLICITOR REFUSED TO ISSUE THE CALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AS THE MURDERER.

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Detectives Working to Discredit Mincey

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, July 18, 1913

POLICE HALT GRILLING OF CONLEY

Detective Bent on Questioning Negro Is Barred From Cell by Chief Lanford.

With Pinkerton detectives taking the trail in search of W.H. Mincey, whose startling accusations against Jim Conley stirred the police department and won the negro another “sweating” from Solicitor Dorsey, the Mincey affidavit Friday became the storm center about which the prosecution and defense in the Frank case waged their battle.

Despite the degree of indifference with which the detectives and prosecuting officials affected to look upon the remarkable statements of Mincey, it became known Friday that every effort was being bent toward locating him and turning the light on his past history.

Pinkertons Have Clew.

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Many Rumors Afloat Regarding Grand Jury

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Friday, July 18, 1913

Among These Is One That Effort Will Be Made to Indict Conley.

That the grand jury would meet possibly today or tomorrow and take steps toward indicting James Conley, the negro sweeper of the National Pencil factory, was a persistent rumor in circulation Thursday. From Foreman W.D. Beattie came the statement that he had not called for a meeting of the grand jury and that as far as he knew there would be no such action taken. Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey also declared that he had issued no call for the grand jury and knew nothing of any such action.

“I have not issued a call for a meeting,” explained Mr. Beattie, “and as far as I am concerned the grand jury will not take steps to indict Conley. Of course, the members of the grand jury have the right to come together and to take any steps they may desire, and I am speaking only for myself in saying that no steps will be taken to start an investigation of Conley’s alleged connection.”

“There is nothing new in the Mary Phagan murder case, as far as I know,” said the solicitor, “and I have issued no call for the grand jury. The state is continuing its work and will be ready on July 28 for the trial of Leo M. Frank.”

Attorneys Reuben R. Arnold and Luther Z. Rosser held a consultation Thursday afternoon in Mr. Arnold’s office at which they discussed the phases of their case, according to Mr. Arnold. At the courthouse it was said that Judge L.S. Roan, who is due to preside over the Frank trial, was in consultation with lawyers on both sides and that there was a possibility of the case being postponed.

Both Solicitor Dowrsey [sic] and Attorney Arnold denied this, and Attorney Arnold stated that the only consultation was that between him and Mr. Rosser.

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 18th 1913, “Many Rumors Afloat Regarding Grand Jury,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Effort Being Made to Indict Negro Conley

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

The Atlanta Journal

Thursday, July 17, 1913

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CERTAIN TO CONSIDER CASE.

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

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

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

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

SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE.

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

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

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

* * *

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

Dorsey Blocked Indictment of Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, July 17, 1913

*Editor’s Note: This article ran in other editions of the Georgian with slight variations in the headline.

GRAND JURY AGREED NOT TO ACT

Solicitor Bitterly Opposes Plan of New Body to Reconsider Slaying Case.

That the most strenuous opposition of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey was all that prevented the last Grand Jury from reopening its investigation of the Phagan mystery with a view of indicting the negro Jim Conley became known Thursday.

It was admitted by persons acquainted with the events in the Grand Jury room that the Solicitor’s determined stand only blocked a consideration of the negro’s connection with the crime. Well-substantiated report also has it that Solicitor Dorsey before he would venture on his vacation took the precaution of insisting on some sort of a guarantee from the jurors that they would take no action in his absence.

Acceding to his request, the Grand Jury of that time passed resolutions pledging itself to waive all consideration of the Phagan mystery until the Solicitor’s return.

Hot Fight Certain.

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Second Phagan Indictment Probable

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

The Atlanta Journal

Wednesday, July 16, 1913

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

CONLEY NEGRO MAY BE INDICTED OVER DORSEY’S PROTEST

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

NEGRO HAS ALREADY ADMITTED COMPLICITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEETS THIS WEEK.

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State to Fight Move to Indict Jim Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 16, 1913

Grand Jury Foreman Admits That Action Against the Negro Is Considered.

The reported proposal by some of the members of the Grand Jury to meet for an investigation of Jim Conley’s connection with the murder of Mary Phagan has precipitated a sharp struggle in which Solicitor Dorsey has declared himself bitterly opposed to any action looking toward the indictment of the negro as a principal in the crime or even as an accessory after the fact, as the negro admits himself to be.

The fight has resolved itself into a contest to determine whether Conley shall go on the stand in the trial of Leo Frank as a reputable, trustworthy and free citizen, the status in which the Solicitor wishes to maintain him, or as a prisoner with the shadow of an indictment hanging over him.

In the latter aspect, several of the members of the Grand Jury are said to contend that he should appear, inasmuch as he is a confessed accessory and a possible principal.

The defense is said not to be opposed to the review of the case by the Grand Jury at this time nor to the indictment of Conley. Luther Z. Rosser, chief counsel for Frank, has charged from the first that Conley was the man guilty of the slaying of Mary Phagan, and it is presumed that he would be willing to enjoy the tactical advantage that the indictment of Conley probably would give the defense.

W.D. Beattie, foreman of the Grand Jury, intimated Thursday morning that the matter of calling the body together to consider a Conley indictment was under consideration by some of the members, but he said that no formal request had as yet been made for him to convene them. He said that he would issue the call when he had received a sufficient number of requests.

It is understood that the requests will be submitted to the foreman Thursday, on the ground that the evidence connecting Jim Conley directly with the crime is infinitely stronger than the evidence on which Leo Frank was indicted about two months ago, and that for this reason Conley should not be permitted to go before a jury as a free and unsuspected man and testify against Frank.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 16th 1913, “State to Fight Move to Indict Jim Conley,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Dorsey Adds Startling Evidence

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, July 16, 1913

*Editor’s Note: This article also ran in the Final (Box Score) Edition under the headline “State Finds New Frank Evidence.”

Solicitor Declares Prosecution’s Plans Are Unchanged—Doesn’t Expect Conley Indictment.

That affidavits as sensational and direct against Leo M. Frank, accused of murdering Mary Phagan, as the Mincey statement was against the negro, Jim Conley, are in the hands of the State and will be substantiated by witnesses at the trial, July 28, was admitted by Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey Wednesday morning.

The Solicitor and Frank A. Hooper, associated with him in the prosecution, made it plain that in their opinion the Mincey affidavit had in no way hurt the State’s case against Frank, and that they could anticipate no development that would make Conley instead of Frank the principal in Atlanta’s greatest murder mystery.

They say they do not expect the Grand Jury to indict the negro before the trial of Frank, and do not hesitate to say that any move in that direction will meet with opposition from the Solicitor, who would necessarily have to introduce witnesses to secure the indictment.

State’s Case Complete.

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No New Indictment Says Jury Foreman

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Wednesday, July 16, 1913

State Has No Intention of Changing Plan of Action in Phagan Case.

The declaration of W.D. Beattie, foreman of the grand jury, that the grand jury had no intention of taking steps to indict James Conley, and a statement from Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey that as far as he was concerned the state would continue its present plan of action in regard to the Mary Phagan murder, apparently put a block to the rumor that the grand jury would go over the solicitor’s head and indict the negro sweeper for murder.

The same rumor was put into circulation in regard to the former grand jury which served during the May term, but nothing ever came of the reporta [sic].

Solicitor Dorsey stated positively that he had no intention of shifting the present plan and would continue to prosecute on the indictment returned against Leo M. Frank by the previous grand jury. Newport Lanford, chief of detectives, also declared that as far as the detective department was concerned that there would be no shift.

It apparently means that the state will continue an even course in the matter with the intention of threshing out the matter of the guilt of Superintendent Frank before taking up the question of the guilt of the negro.

It was rumored Wednesday that the solicitor had given Conley another grilling with a view to extracting further statements from him in regard to the case. He declined to discuss this feature of the case and also refused to state anything further in regard to the Mincey affidavit.

Should the solicitor in the week and a half left before the Frank trial obtain a confession from Conley or secure evidence from another source that would brand him as the guilty party that would, of course, change the entire affair.

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 16th 1913, “No New Indictment Says Jury Foreman,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Mincey Affidavit Not New to the Solicitor

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

The Atlanta Journal

Tuesday, July 15, 1913

State Officials Refuse to Consider Seriously Statement of Insurance Agent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Prosecution Attacks Mincey’s Affidavit

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 14, 1913

MRS. CRAWFORD BEGINS FIGHT FOR HER FREEDOM

STATE STILL CONFIDENT OF CASE

Story of Negro Who Says He Was Eyewitness of Slaying Disbelieved by Solicitor.

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper, engaged in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank, were induced Monday to break the silence they have maintained grilling the negro Jim Conley last week. They made their first public comments on the sensational developments of the last few days in the Phagan murder mystery.

Both declared emphatically that neither the affidavit of W. H. Mincey, insurance solicitor, nor the reported confession of the negro Will Green, who is said to have been an eyewitness of the attack upon Mary Phagan, gave evidence sufficient to shake their conviction of Leo Frank’s guilt.

Rumors that the State was preparing to change its theory and to ask for the indictment of Jim Conley were laughed at.

Mincey Affidavit Discounted.

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Seek Negro Who Says He Was Eye-Witness to Phagan Murder

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 13, 1913

Fugitive, Reported to Have Been Traced to Birmingham, Declares That He Witnessed the Attack on the Girl Slain in the Pencil Plant.

LAYS CRIME TO BLACK WITH WHOM HE HAD GAMBLED

Loser at Dice, He Declares, Planned to Rob Victim as She Came From Getting Pay—Tried to Prevent the Crime and, Failing, Fled.

Report that a negro who has declared that he witnessed the attack by another negro upon Mary Phagan, which resulted in her death in the National Pencil Factory on the afternoon of April 26, has been apprehended in Birmingham, became known Saturday night.

If this information is substantiated, its substance is of such startling character as to revolutionize the present status of the Phagan case, casting down practically every bulwark which has been erected in the prosecution of Leo M. Frank for the murder.

In its present form, however, The Sunday American does not vouch for the correctness of the report. Only the fact that it comes from a source which is so near the defense of the pencil factory head as to make it authoritative and the admission by those connected with the actual legal defense of Frank, prompts this newspaper to present the sensational story, asking that it be taken for what, on its face, it is shown to be worth.

Negro Hunted Since May.

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Detective Harry Scott’s Hunch — Thrilling Story of How it Secured James Conley’s Confession

Caption reads: Detective Harry Scott (in Panama hat), of the Pinkertons, who played the hunch that Jim Conley, the negro, knew something of the girl’s murder. The accompanying figure is Detective John Black, of police headquarters, whose work in co-operation with the Pinkerton man did much to solve the crime. Great dependence will be put in their testimony at the coming trial of Leo Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan.

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 13, 1913

By Britt Craig.

Have you ever had a hunch that there wasn’t anybody around the table that held a higher hand than your Jacks over tens and consequently you shoved a ‘blue’ to the mahogany with the result that every hostile hand went to the discard?

Have you ever had a hunch that it was going to rain and you pulled in the rugs and took the clothes off the line and let down the windows just in time to see the elements express themselves in a downpour?

Have you ever had a hunch of any kind—one of those real, undeniable inner promptings that chases round and round in your bonnet and worries the life out of you and invariably forces you to do something that you really intended doing but about which you were sorely undecided?

If you’re human, you have.

Detective Harry Scott had one about Jim Conley, the negro sweeper in the Phagan mystery. It was one of those irresistible hunches that buzzes about like a June bug. He took it for its word with the result that he found the key that is predicted to unlock the secret of Atlanta’s most hideous murder.

Detectives are very normal beings. They have hunches like the weakest of us. They’re superstitious, too. You can’t find a single one that will walk under a ladder or fail to knock wood when he brags about himself.

A hunch is one of the most common of human afflictions. It is the very essence of a frailty that affects every normal somebody. The very fact that it is a weakness requires a nerve of steel and backbone of similar fortitude to play one to the limit like Detective Scott played his.

Good detectives, like genius, are utterly human. Genius frequently stalks about in its shirt sleeves without a shave and wearing suspenders. It has been known to chew tobacco and cuss volubly. Sometimes, it has a red nose and a thirst. It can sleep as contentedly on Decatur street as on Peachtree.

Detectives Very Human.

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Affidavits to Back Mincey Story Found

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 13, 1913

Attorney Leavitt Declares Tale That Conley Admitted Killing Girl Will Stand Test.

NEWT LEE STILL HELD IN JAIL

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey Promises to Present a Bill Against Him as Suspect.

That several negro women overheard Jim Conley when he ran the insurance agent, Mincey, away with the alleged statement that he had just killed a girl and didn’t want to kill anyone else, and that the affidavits from the women are in the hands of the attorneys for the defense, was stated Saturday by Attorney J.H. Leavitt, who aided in obtaining the sensational affidavit from Mincey.

Attorney Leavitt defended the character of the man who made the affidavit and denied emphatically that Mincey even asked about the money he would receive as a witness, except whether his railroad fare would be paid if he were out of the city.

Explains Dukes’ Doubts.

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Lee Must Remain Behind the Bars

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

The Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, July 13, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Does Not Believe the Negro Guilty of Any Part in Crime.

That Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey does not believe that Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the National Pencil factory, who was bound over by the grand jury with Superintendent Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan, is guilty, was the only matter of importance brought out yesterday at the hearing of the habeas corpus before Judge W.D. Ellis by which Lee’s attorneys, Graham & Chappell, sought to free him.

Judge Ellis denied the motion for habeas corpus and remanded Lee back to the custody of the sheriff to await the outcome of Frank’s trial. Attorneys L.Z. Rosser and Reuben Arnold were also successful in their fight to prevent Frank being brought into court to testify.

Solicitor Dorsey declared that he had not brought a bill against Lee before the grand jury because he believed he had no evidence which would indict Lee.

The negro’s attorneys secured from the sheriff a statement that Lee would be given more eexrcise [sic], as the darkey declared that this was all that was troubling him. He said he was getting stiff from staying in his cell.

“Frank has the entire freedom of the jail whenever he wants it,” declared Attorney Chappell, “and Lee ought to be allowed some chance to take exercise.”

The character of the darkey and his love for the juicy fruit of a Georgia watermelon came out when Lee was being taken back to jail in charge of Deputy Plennie Miner.

“Why don’t you get Mr. Miner to buy you a nigh beer, Newt?” said a bystander.

“Ah don’t want no beer; all Ah wants is er watermelon,” replied the negro, and his large eyes rolled hopefully in his head.

“Ah ain’t had er melon this summer, and it’s the fust time that July ever come ’round without me having er melon.”

* * *

The Atlanta Constitution, July 13th 1913, “Lee Must Remain Behind the Bars,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Conley Again Quizzed by Prosecutor Dorsey

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

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

Solicitor and Hooper Grill Negro at Police Headquarters for Three Hours

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

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

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

* * *

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

More Affidavits to Support Mincey Claimed

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

The Atlanta Journal

Saturday, July 12, 1913

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEE DENIED FREEDOM.

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Conley Kept on Grill 4 Hours

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, July 12, 1913

After Gruelling Third Degree, Officials Refuse to Deny or Affirm Negro Confessed.

Habeas corpus proceedings to release Newt Lee collapsed in the court of Judge Ellis Saturday morning.

By agreement, Bernard L. Chappell, representing Lee, withdrew his application for a habeas corpus; Solicitor Dorsey promised to present a bill against Lee as a suspect in the Phagan murder case, with the expectation that a “no bill” would be returned. This appeared satisfactory to the attorneys for Lee, as well as to the State.

Luther Z. Rosser, Reuben R. Arnold and Herbert J. Haas, of counsel for Frank, were in court to fight against the appearance of Frank as a witness. William M. Smith represented Conley, one of the witnesses subpenaed.

Jim Conley underwent a racking third degree late Friday afternoon at the hands of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey and Attorney Frank A. Hooper in an effort to verify or discredit the W.H. Mincey affidavit, in which the negro was charged with confessing to the murder of a girl on the afternoon that Mary Phagan met her death.

The grilling of nearly four hours followed The Georgian’s publication of the details of Mincey’s accusations and was undertaken with the utmost secrecy, an attempt being made to avoid knowledge of the “sweating” becoming public by taking Conley to the Commissioners’ room on the second floor of the police station by a circuitous route.

Negro’s Most Severe Ordeal.

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Says Women Heard Conley Confession

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, July 12, 1913

*Editor’s Note: This article also ran with the headlines “Says Women Overheard Conley Confess” and “Says Women Heard Conley Confess” in the Final and Home Editions, respectively. The headline used here is from the Night Edition.

AFFIDAVITS SUPPORT MINCEY STORY

Attorney Leavitt Declares Tale That Negro Admitted Killing Girl Will Stand Test.

That several negro women overheard Jim Conley when he ran the insurance agent, Mincey, away with the alleged statement that he had just killed a girl and didn’t want to kill any one else, and that the affidavits from the women are in the hands of the attorneys for the defense, was stated Saturday by Attorney J.H. Leavitt, who aided in obtaining the sensational affidavit from Mincey.

Attorney Leavitt defended the character of the man who made the affidavit and denied emphatically that Mincey even asked about the money he would receive as a witness, except whether his railroad fare would be paid if he were out of the city.

Explains Dukes’ Doubts.

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