Is Defense Planning Telling Blow At Testimony Given by Jim Conley?

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 10th, 1913

Will the defense strive to show by witnesses that the pencil factory elevator was not run on April 26 as told by Jim Conley in his remarkable story?

Since a question put to General Manager Darley by Luther Rosser when Darley was placed on the tand Friday, much speculation has been created in this regard.

Although attorneys for the defense will not discuss the subject, it is the prevalent belief that an effort will be made to show by mechanicians that the elevator was not in operation at any time during that fateful afternoon.

Darley was being questioned about workmen on the third floor who, as was a Saturday afternoon custom, were oiling and repairing the machinery while it was idle during a holiday. He asked if these same workmen did not oil and clean the motor which propels the elevator.

Before the question was answered it apparently was withdrawn as though in an effort to conceal its real purpose and not show an important card in the hand of the defense.

It is rumored that a mechanic, who gave much of his time to oiling and cleaning the elevator motor about the time Conley says he and Frank were lowering Mary Phagan’s body into the basement, is ready to testify that the motor was not in operation at this time or during any time of the afternoon.

If this evidence is produced, as rumored, it will be one of the most significant and telling points submitted by the defense thus far. It will come as near breaking the testimony of the negro Conley as any contradictory evidence yet presented.

* * *

Atlanta Constitution, August 10th 1913, “Is Defense Planning Telling Blow At Testimony Given by Jim Conley?” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Schiff Put on Stand to Refute Conley and Dalton Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 10th, 1913

HIS STATEMENTS HELP DEFENSE

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

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

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

“Yes, I do.”

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

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

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Schiff Testimony Contradicts That Given by Dalton and Negro Conley

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 10th, 1913

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

SAYS WOMEN DID NOT VISIT FRANK’S OFFICE

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

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

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

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Conley’s Story is Still Center of Fight in Frank Case

Questions asked witnesses by Attorneys Rosser and Arnold indicate that the defense may attempt to convince the jury that it would have been possible for the little girl to have been killed on the first floor of the factory and her body later disposed of through a chute leading from the first floor to the basement at the rear of the building. According to this theory the girl was met at the foot of the stairs leading from Frank’s office, taken toward the back of the building and killed. Her body was then dragged to the trap door leading to the chute and dropped into the basement. Later, according to the theory, it was taken to the spot where it was found by Newt Lee. The accompanying drawing was made from the model of the factory which is being used by the defense at the trial.

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

Atlanta Journal
August 10th, 1913

After Two Weeks of Testimony Only Evidence Directly Linking Frank With the Crime is the Sensational Statement Made on the Stand by Negro Sweeper-Summary of Developments in Trial to Date

STATE HAS INTRODUCED 34 WITNESSES, DEFENSE 10

A Synopsis of the Evidence Presented by Both Sides Shows Just What the State Has Sought to Prove and How the Defense Has Begun to Fight to Convince Jury of Frank’s Innocence

For two long and tedious weeks Leo M. Frank, indicted for the murder of Mary Phagan, has been on trial for his life. During those two weeks forty-eight witnesses have testified, innumerable exhibits, documents, books, diagrams, photographs and illustrative contrivances have been displayed to the jury.

Only the remarkable story of James Conley, the negro sweeper, directly connects the defendant with the crime, and even in this ingenious narrative the negro did not say that he actually saw Frank do the deed.

Time and again while under the merciless gruelling of Attorneys Rosser and Arnold, Conley frankly and complacently confessed that he had lied and lied frequently in his many statements and affidavits to the detectives. However, he clung fast to his story as related upon the witness stand Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday. He had every circumstance and feature of this story clear in his mind and not once during the sixteen and a half hours that he was in the witness chair did he admit that any portion of it was false — notwithstanding the terrific bombardment of questions hurled at him on cross-examination by Attorney Rosser.

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One Glance at Conley Boosts Darwin Theory

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 10th, 1913

Frank’s Accuser Is Not the Type of Negro White Men Consider Their Friend.

By TARLETON COLLIER.

Jim Conley is a low-browed, thick-lipped, anthropoidal sort of negro. You look at him and your faith in Mr. Darwin’s theory goes up like cotton after a boll-weevil scare.

Here is a burly, short-necked black man. On his upper lip is a scanty mustache of the kind that most negroes fondle with the vain hope that it will grow into a bushy thickness. Conley is the most common African type as to physique.

Never a flash of brightness, never a gleam of wit, never the sparkle of unconscious humor came during the three days Conley was on the stand. Newt Lee made the courtroom laugh. Conley didn’t. He was always deadly earnest.

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Conley, Unconcerned, Asks Nothing of Trial

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 10th, 1913

Despite the attacks of the defense in the trial of Leo Frank has made upon his story, Jim Conley—from whose lips fell the most damning and abhorrent testimony a Georgia jury has ever heard—sits calmly in his cell at the Tower, inscrutable and unconcerned.

The negro, for weeks the greatest puzzle in the criminal annals of the State, has become an even greater puzzle since he told his story and was taken back to the gloominess of the jail. The fact that he is an admitted accessory after the fact in the murder of little Mary Phagan does not apparently weigh upon his mind.

He asks no questions about the trial or whether the defense has succeeded in breaking down his remarkable tale, and whenever information is vouchsafd to him he receives it with the same cunning smile that baffled Frank’s attorneys and that has baffled students of criminology since the negro became connected with the Phagan case.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, August 10th 1913, “Conley, Unconcerned, Asks Nothing of Trial,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Frank or Conley? Still Question

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 10th, 1913

Issue Firmly Drawn Between Two Men

Defense Starting to Mould Its Case

Theory That Negro Attacked Mary Phagan With Motive of Robbing Her Will Be Shown; Two Charges Against Accused Must Be Refuted

By AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

The second week of the trial of Leo Frank, charged with the murder of Mary Phagan in the National Pencil Factory on the afternoon of April 26, came to a close Saturday noon.

The State’s case has been entirely made up in its primary aspects, and the defense has gone into its story of the great crime sufficiently to make clear both its theory and probable line of pleading.

The public, as the case has progressed, has been swayed this way and that, and to-day the remarkable mystery of Mary Phagan’s untimely and tragic end remains, in hundreds of minds, quite as much of a mystery as ever.

The Battle Is a See-Saw.

The State has had its good days and its bad days, and the defense has met the same fate. At times things have seemed dismally dark and gloomy for Frank, while at other times the clouds apparently have lifted from about him decidedly.

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Schiff Refutes Jim Conley and Dalton

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

Atlanta Journal
August 9th, 1913

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Scott Called by Defense To Refute Conley’s Story

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 8th, 1913

SHOWS NEGRO LIED MANY TIMES

The defense sprang a surprise during the afternoon session whey they called Detective Harry Scott to the stand to testify to the third-degree under which Jim Conley had been placed at police headquarters and which process had exacted his three conflicting confessions.

Scott stated throughout his testimony that Conley had told conflicting stories on numerous occasions during his early imprisonment, and that had failed to tell the detectives much of the story which he related on the witness stand Tuesday and Wednesday.

Scott’s statement created a telling of fact and it is said to have caused the wavering of opinion of the negro’s story. According to the detective’s testimony Conley’s story from past records showed itself to be an unfathomably mess of fabrications.

The Pinkerton man was not removed from the stand until the adjournment of the afternoon session.

He was questioned by Luther Rosser.

“You had information on Monday following the murder that Mrs. Arthur White had seen a negro loitering on the first floor, didn’t you? Did you give it to the police?”

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Dalton Corroborates Statements Contained in Conley’s Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 8th, 1913

C.B. Dalton a railroad carpenter who was heralded as one of the star witnesses for the defense was called to the stand by Solicitor Dorsey whe[n] court convened Thursday morning. The most startling statement uttered by Dalton from the stand was that he used the basement of the National Pencil company factory for clandestine meetings with girls and women.

Although not an employee of the factory and although his acquaintance with Frank was a [1 word illegible] Dalton testified that the factory superintendent knew of his visits to the basement with women. Dalton named three females with whom he went into the basement. He told Solicitor Dorsey that Jim Conley, the negro sweeper of the factory, allowed him to use the basement. He gave the negro a quarter to watch on one occasion.

Dalton admitted to Attorney Luther Rosser that he did not know his birthplace.

“Were you ever employed at the National Pencil factory?” asked Solicitor Dorsey after a perfunctory examination of the witness.

“No, sir,” Dalton replied.

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Bits of Circumstantial Evidence, as Viewed by State, Strands in Rope

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

By O. B. KEELER.

They call it a chain that the State has forged, or has tried to forge, to hold Leo Frank to the murder of Mary Phagan.

But isn’t it a rope?

A chain, you know, is as strong as its weakest link. Take one link out, and the chain comes apart.

With a rope, it’s different.

Strand after strand might be cut or broken, and the rope still holds a certain weight. Then might come a time when the cutting of one more strand would cause the rope to break.

The point is, the finished rope will sustain a weight that would instantly snap any one of its several strands.

Bits of Evidence Threads.

And that is what the various bits of circumstantial evidence might better be called—strands or threads.

Edgar Allen Poe, in “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” has nearly exhausted the philosophical phase of accumulative circumstance and its relation to evidence.

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Scott Put Conley’s Story in Strange Light

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

Harry Scott, of the Pinkerton agency, showed up the “confessions” of Conley in a peculiar light when he was called to the stand by the Frank defense Thursday afternoon.

The detective, questioned by Luther Rosser, told the jury that Conley, when he “had told everything,” when he had accused Frank of the killing and had made himself an accessory after the fact by declaring that he assisted in the disposal of the body; when every motive for holding anything back had been swept away by his third affidavit, still denied to him (Scott) many of the alleged circumstances to which he testified, while he was on the stand the first three days of the week.

It will be the contention of the defense that these many additions to Conley’s tale, inasmuch as all reason for concealing them had passed after Conley had come out with his accusations against Frank and his confession of his own part in the crime, are pure fabrications of the black man’s imagination, as are the other details of his tale.

Scott said that he had grilled and badgered Conley repeatedly about seeing Mary Phagan enter the factory. Even after the negro had made all his incriminating statements, he steadfastly denied seeing the girl victim go up the stairs to the second floor.

Denied He Had Seen Purse.

He denied also to Scott, the detective said, that he ever had seen the girl’s mesh bag or parasol, of that he ever had heard a girl’s scream while he was sitting on the first floor. He told the detectives that he did not see Lemmie Quinn or Monteen Stover enter the factory, although he later declared he had seen them both and so testified on the stand.

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State, Tied by Conley’s Story, Now Must Stand Still Under Hot Fire

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

By JAMES B. NEVIN.

As the defense in the Frank case gets under way, it is evident enough, as it has been from the beginning of this case, that there is but one big, tremendously compelling task before it—the annihilation of Conley’s ugly story!

The State climaxed its case thrillingly and with deadly effect in the negro.

He came through the fire of cross-examination, exhaustive and thorough, in remarkably good shape, all things considered. He unfolded a story even more horrible than was anticipated. Certainly, in every conceivable way, he has sought to damage the defendant—even going to the extent of lodging against him another crime than murder!

Through the cross-examination, however, there an an evident vein of deadly purpose upon the part of the defense. Conley was given full limit to go his length. He went it—no disputing that!

The question is, did he go TOO FAR?

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Witnesses Attack Conley Story

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 8th, 1913

Say Mary Phagan Did Not Reach Factory Before 12:10

FRANK TAKES ACTIVE INTEREST IN CASE AND ASSISTS HIS LAWYERS

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

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

Seeks to Discredit Epp’s Story.

Arnold Throws Doubt on Epps.

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

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Unable to Shake Conley’s Story Rosser Ends Cross-Examination

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

On the opening of court Wednesday morning when Judge L. S. Roan announced that he would postpone his final decision in regard to the admissibility of Jim Conley’s evidence in regard to Leo Frank’s alleged misconduct and also to the negro’s acting on previous occasions as his “lookout,” Luther Rosser began his final effort to break the negro down.

Conley stayed on the stand until 10 o’clock and was then excused. He had been testifying for fifteen hours in all and of this thirteen hours had been under the merciless grilling of Attorney Rosser.

The negro stuck to the last to the main points of his story, and, while admitting that he had lied on previous occasions, swore that he had only tried to save himself and that about the murder he was telling the whole truth. No amount of effort could break him from this declaration.

Conley also added a new point to his story when under additional questioning from Solicitor Hugh Dorsey he swore that he had seen Frank hide Mary Phagan’s meshbag in his safe. Before that both sides had declared that they could not account for the disappearance of the pocketbook or bag in which the girl had carried her money.

Reads Black Affidavit.

Mr. Rosser opened the morning cross-examination by reading to the negro the second affidavit he made to Detective John R. Black and Harry Scott. It was in this that the darkey swore he had left home at about 9 o’clock and after visiting several saloons and poolrooms, among which was one bearing the name of the “Butt-In” saloon, he had won 90 cents at dice and then gone to the factory at about 1 o’clock. In it he had admitted to writing the murder notes, but made no mention of helping Frank dispose of the body.

Then the lawyer read the next affidavit in which the negro declared he had aided Frank in taking the dead girl’s body to the cellar in which, despite the fact that he had put into it the claim that he was telling the whole truth, he had not told certain things which he waited until he got on the stand to tell.

Mr. Rosser made Conley acknowledge to having made these affidavits and with particular emphasis called his attention to the various discrepancies between them and also between the final one and his sworn testimony.

Then the lawyer asked the witness about several conversations he is alleged by the defense to have had with various factory employees after the murder was discovered and before he was arrested.

“Jim,” began Mr. Rosser, “soon after the murder weren’t you working near where Miss Rebecca Carson was and did she say to you, ‘Jim, they ain’t got you yet for this,’ and didn’t you say, ‘No, and they ain’t goin’ to, ‘cause I ain’t done nothin’?’”

“No, sir,” replied Conley: “dat lady ain’t never said nothing like dat to me and I ain’t never said nothing like dat to her.”

“Didn’t she say, ‘Well, they’ve got Mr. Frank and he ain’t done nothing,’ and didn’t you then say, ‘Mr. Frank is ez innocent as you is and de Lord knows you ain’t guilty’?”

“No, sir,” replied Jim positively: “no, sir, Mr. Rosser, wasn’t nothing lak dat passed ‘tween us.”

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Roan’s Ruling Heavy Blow to Defense

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 7th, 1913

Judge Roan administered a severe blow to the defense Wednesday when he ruled that all of Conley’s story should stand, although portions of it, he acknowledged, would have been inadmissible had objection been made at the time the testimony was offered.

Judge to Rule as Case Proceeds.

It was a particularly difficult allegation to combat. Unlike many allegations, it was exactly as hard to fight in the event it was false as in case it was founded on fact.

Judge Roan said in regard to the testimony of Dalton that he did not know what it was to be and that he would allow it to be presented so that he might rule on its admissibility as it came up.

Solicitor Dorsey put the final rivet in his case so far as it rested upon the testimony of Conley when at the close of his redirect examination of the negro he brought to light the State’s theory of the disposition that had been made of the Phagan girl’s mesh bag.

Practically no mention of the mesh bag had been made during the week and a half of the trial. The only reference made to it was in the examination of Mrs. J. W. Coleman, mother of the slain girl, and of the officers who visited the scene of the crime immediately after police headquarters was called by the negro nightwatchman, Newt Lee.

Tells of Mesh Bag.

Mrs. Coleman testified that Mary left home with the mesh bag in her hand. The detectives and policemen all testified that they were able to find no trace of it either the morning after the crime or in the search that had been conducted since then.

“Did you ever see the murdered girl’s mesh bag?” Dorsey asked Conley, just as it appeared that he had finished his questioning.

“Yes, sah, I see it,” Conley replied.

“Where was it?”
“It was right on Mr. Frank’s desk when I went in there to write the notes.”

“Did you see what became of it?”
“Yes, sah; Mr. Frank went and put it in his safe.”

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Jim Conley, the Ebony Chevalier of Crime, is Darktown’s Own Hero

This shows the Solicitor in an argument at the Frank trial.

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 7th, 1913

By James B. Nevin

Now that James Conley has been dismissed from the Frank trial, now that he has stood safely the fire of Mr. Rosser’s most exhaustive grilling, what of him?

If Frank is convicted, Conley subsequently will be convicted, no doubt, of being an accessory after the fact of Mary Phagan’s murder—and that will mean three years, at most, in the penitentiary.

After that—when the Frank trial, more or less, has been forgotten—Conley will be a liberty to come back amongst the people of Atlanta.

Not far from Five Points, a little due east along one of the big thoroughfares meeting there, there is a negro bootblack who now and then, when he is on the job, which frequently he isn’t, gives me a “shine” so much to my liking that it brings me back on other days.

He is a sort of Jim Conley negro—at least, he has a smattering of education, an ingratiating air, and is polite, particularly when it pays him to be.

Quite without previous design, I stopped at this negro’s stand Wednesday afternoon, and it was not long before he mentioned the famous trial. He having started the conversation, I asked him a few questions—and his replies, given herein in part, rather set me to thinking.

Complimented on All Sides.”

“George,” I said—not that I know his name is George, but that it so happens I address negroes unknown of name that way—“what do your friends down on Decatur street think of Jim Conley’s story over yonder in the big court? Rather clever, negro, Jim, eh?” said I to this bootblack.

“Well, boss, dat Mr. Rosser ain’t made nothing on Jim yit, is he?” replied George.

I ventured the opinion that Mr. Rosser failed, at least, to make Jim out so many different kinds of a liar that his story might not stick in spots.

“Well, boss,” continued my bureau of information, “dem niggers down on Decatur street, dey ain’t talking of nothing but Jim Conley. He’s de most talked about nigger anywhere, I guess. I hears him complimented on all sides!”

“In other words, Jim’s a sort of hero along Decatur street nowadays?” said I.

“Yassir, dat’s it—Jim’s a hero. Niggers all talking about him. He done got de best of de smartest of ‘um. Nobody can’t fool er nigger like Jim!”

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Defense Asks Judge Roan to Strike From Records Part of Conley Testimony

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

At the opening of the afternoon session, Attorney Reuben Arnold arose, asking that the jury be sent from the room. When the twelve men had passed into their ro[o]m, he made a motion asking the court to exclude from Conley’s statement that testimony pertaining to Conley having watched previously for Frank and to an unprintable scene the negro said he had witnessed between the superintendent and a young girl in Frank’s office.

The motion was made on grounds of irrelevancy.

“First,” said Mr. Arnold, “I desire to ask the court to rule out that testimony of Jim Conley’s which pertains to his having watched for the defendant on occasions before the date on which the girl was killed. The defense proposes to withdraw all cross-examination on this point.

Asks Testimony Ruled Out.

“We also desire to withdraw from the records that part of Conley’s statement in which he tells of Frank having told him at the head of the stairway on the second floor of the pencil factory that ‘he was not built like other men,’ the answer Conley made to Dorsey’s question: ‘What did he mean by that?’ and the scene which the witness related.

“It is here in the court. I don’t want to read it aloud before these ladies present, so I will show it to your honor. This, I want ruled out. This scene which the negro alleges he witnessed was brought into the case purely to prejudice the court against the defendant.”

In reply, Attorney Frank Hooper, for the prosecution, said,

“On the first motion to rule out evidence pertaining to other cases of Conley’s having watched for Frank, it comes too late, and to rule it out would give counsel opportunity to tamper with the courts. They have crossed the witness and brought out both direct and indirect testimony bearing on the particular phase. It’s now too late for their objection.

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Mincey Affidavit Is Denied By Conley During Afternoon

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

SMITH ALLOWED ACCESS TO CLIENT

After Judge Roan had ruled out the Conley testimony relating to alleged previous actions of Frank, the jury was returned to the courtroom, and Attorney Rosser resumed his cross-examination of Conley.

“Jim, you took the body of that girl, you say, and wrapped her in a cloth, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sir.”

“Was the cloth all around her?”
“No, sir, it didn’t go over her whole body.”

“Did it cover her head?”
“No, sir.”

“Her feet?”
“No, sir.”

“How much of her body was projecting out of the cloth?”
“I don’t know, sir.”

“You tied the cloth in a bundle around the body and put her on your shoulder, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sir.”

“Didn’t her head stick out and lean back?”
“Yes, sir.”

Negro Answers Yes.

The attorney arose and stood before the negro, illustrating the manner in which the negro carried the body, asking if he were not correct. The witnessed answered yes.

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Conley Remains Calm Under Grilling Cross-Examination

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 6th, 1913

ROSSER ADOPTS NEW TONE MONDAY

Jim Conley, upon whose story practically the entire result of the Frank case is believed to rest, went on the stand at 9:03 o’clock and when court adjourned for lunch at 12:30 he was still being cross-examined by Luther Rosser for the defense.

The lawyer had reached that point in his cross-fire of questions where he had begun to hector the witness and to take him up whenever he made a mistake, but it appeared that he was only about half through with his work. When the adjournment was taken Conley was still sticking to the main points of his story in a way that was considered remarkable, although he had admitted discrepancies in many of the minor points and had grown confused over them.

When Attorney Rosser started out Monday his manner was mild, but only throughout the afternoon he worked up to a slightly harsher manner. When he began Tuesday he was using his usual rather abrupt tone of voice.

Solicitor Hugh Dorsey and Frank A. Hooper, his colleague, made frequent objections to the manner in which the cross-examination was being conducted and did, to a certain extent, restrain the defense.

“Jim, you made your second statement to Mr. Black and Mr. Scott on a Saturday, didn’t you?” was the first question Mr. Rosser asked.

“I disremembers the day, boss,” replied Conley.

“You told them, though, that you wrote those notes on Friday?”
“Yes, sir, I tole ‘em dat.”

“They they [sic] told you that that wouldn’t do, didn’t they?”
“No, sir, dey didn’t say nothing about that.”

“Didn’t they tell you that it wouldn’t fit in?”
“They didn’t say them words.”

“Are you sure, Jim?”
“Yes, sir, I’m sure.”

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