Applause Sweeps Courtroom When Dorsey Scores a Point

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 7th, 1913

Following Conley’s departure from the stand the jury was allowed a five minute recess and on their return Solicitor Dorsey tendered in evidence a picture of the pencil factory basement which was taken by Francis B. Price, The Constitution staff photographer on the morning that the body was found a [1 word illegible] of which appeared in The Constitution. He also tendered a scratch pad sample of one of those around the factory the murder notes and the pad found near the body.

There were no objections from the defense.

“Bring in C. B. Dalton,” called out the solicitor. Dalton is the man named by Conley as having gone into the factory with Frank when the latter chatted with women and had Conley act as lookout. Dalton took his place on the stand but was excused because the judge had not made his final decision with reference to the protested Conley testimony and Mrs. John Arthur White was called in.

Conley was brought back and Mrs. White was asked if he was the negro she claimed to have seen on April 26 concealed behind some boxes on the first floor of the factory.

She could not say that he was or was not but declared that he looked more like the man than anyone else she had seen and that he was about the same statue. The defense entered frequent objections while this was being brought out.

“Mrs. White,” the solicitor then asked, “on April 28 didn’t you tell your brother Wade Campbell, an employee of the pencil company that you had seen a negro there on the previous Saturday?”

Mr. Rosser objected.

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Negro Lurking in Factory Seen by Wife of Employee

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 2nd, 1913

Mrs. Maggie White, wife of John Arthur White, who was at work on the fourth floor of the National Pencil factory part of the day upon which Mary Phagan was killed, was the first witness the state called to the stand Thursday morning in the Frank trial.

The witness told of going to the factory twice on that day to see her husband, and of seeing Frank on both occasions, and also of seeing a negro lurking behind some boxes on the first floor.

“How long has your husband been working for the National Pencil factory?” Solicitor Hugh Dorsey asked after the usual questions as to her identity.

“About two years,” she replied.

“Does he still work there?”

“Was he at the factory on April 26, and at what time?”

“Yes, he was there; I left home to go there about 7:30 in the morning. I saw him there when I first went there about 11:50, and when I came back at 12:30 he was still there.”

“Who else did you see there?”

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Mrs. Arthur White Takes Stand Today

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 1st, 1913

Will Testify She Saw Negro Idling in Shadows of Stairway.

Mrs. Arthur White, wife of Arthur White, the witness who will testify that on Saturday morning when she appeared at the pencil factory to see her husband, she saw a negro idling in the shadows of the stairway on the first floor, will be the first called to the stand this morning.

A moment before adjournment yesterday afternoon she was summoned to testify, but Judge Roan ordered the session closed before she could reach the witness stand. Mrs. White, it is stated, has already declared that she is unable to identify Jim Conley as the negro she saw in the building that fatal Saturday.

Lawyers Battle Over Testimony of Frank’s Nervousness; Witness Swears Negro Was in Factory About 1 o’Clock

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

Atlanta Journal
August 1st, 1913


Having Admitted Frank Trembled, That He Was Pale and Seemed “Upset,” on Cross-Examination Mr. Darley Said Frank Was Naturally of a Nervous Temperament and Told of Tedious Work He Did on Saturday in Preparing Financial Sheet


Attorneys for Defense Had Intimated That His Refusal to Admit This Evidence Was Good Ground for Appeal—Mrs. White’s Testimony That She Saw Negro Lurking Near Stairway at 1 o’Clock Saturday a Feature of Morning Session

Little progress was made at the morning session Friday of the fifth day of the trial of Leo M. Frank for the murder of Mary Phagan. The state showed by one witness that a negro was sitting on a box on the main floor shortly before 1 o’clock at the point Jim Conley claims he was sitting when he says Frank called him.

The state also introduced its best testimony relative to the nervousness and general demeanor of the defendant on the morning that the crime was discovered.

The witness, who gave his testimony was N. V. Darley, who also materially aided the defense by a number of points brought out on his cross-examination by Attorney Reuben R. Arnold. Considered of special value to the defense was his statement that with the time clock in the condition that it was on Sunday anyone understanding its mechanism could have made the punches for twelve hours within five minutes. The defense, brought out by Darley a statement that it had been hammering home since the trial first started, namely that the elevator and its motor made much noise when running and that a saw on the fourth floor ran simultaneously with the elevator. The inference is that the defense will argue that if the elevator ran shortly after noon or even up to 3 o’clock that White and Denham, working on the fourth floor, would necessarily have heard it.

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Conley Takes Stand Saturday

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 1st, 1913

Lawyers Wrangle Over Frank’s Nervousness


Jim Conley, accuser of Leo Frank, will take the stand Saturday morning, according to all indications Friday, to repeat the remarkable story he told concerning his part in the disposition of the body of Mary Phagan and undergo the merciless grilling of the defense.

Solicitor General Dorsey said that he expected to have his case completed by Saturday night and police, believing he will call the negro to-morrow, had him shaved and cleaned up and in readiness for his appearance.

Regardless of statements by defense and State, it is generally conceded that the Frank trial will reach its crux in Conley’s appearance, and that on his story and whether it stands up or not under the first of the defense, will rest the outcome of the trial.

Objections by Attorney Hooper, assistant to Solicitor Dorsey, to questions put to N. V. Darley by Attorney Arnold about the contents of the financial sheet made out by Leo Frank developed the fact that the defense would introduce evidence in rebuttal.

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Conley Was in Factory on Day of Slaying

Conley Was in Factory

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

Police Secure Admission From Negro Sweeper During Examination for Phagan Clews.

Admission that he was in the National Pencil factory on the day of the murder of Mary Phagan was gained from James Conley, the negro sweeper on whom suspicion has turned, after cross-examination by detectives at police headquarters.

The negro, who became the center of attention with his amazing story that Leo Frank had told him to write the death notes, changed his narrative again to-day. Confronted by E. F. Holloway, a foreman in the plant, he admitted having been in the factory after having steadily maintained that he was on Peters Street between 10 and 2 o’clock that fatal Saturday and at home all other hours of the day.

Says Confession Is Near.

Holloway, after leaving the secret grilling at which the admission was obtained, declared he was sure it was only a matter of hours before Conley would confess. He asserted that if he had been allowed to put questions to Conley he could have gotten important information.

The police questions were, of course, all put with the idea of gaining information against Frank.

Chief Lanford had announced that he would go before Judge Roan with a request for an order allowing him to confront Frank with the negro, so that Conley’s statement would be admissible in court. Lanford, however, failed to carry out his plans, although he would not admit they had been abandoned.

Found Negro Falsified.

Conley told the officers when he was first arrested that he could not write. Later they found releases that he had written for watches, and he admitted he had been lying. He gave them an address on Tattnall Street when they took him in custody. It later was found that he had not lived there for six months or a year. Continue Reading →

Conley Says Frank Took Him to Plant on Day of Slaying

Conley Says

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

Atlanta Georgian

Wednesday, May 28th, 1913

Negro Sweeper in New Affidavit Denies His Former Testimony and Makes Startling Assertions; Now Declares He Wrote Notes Saturday.

James Conley, negro sweeper, in an affidavit made Wednesday, said that he was lying when he said he went to the National Pencil Factory on Friday. He said that he made the statement that it was Friday when Frank (as he says) told him to write the death notes, because he was afraid he would be accused of the murder of Mary Phagan if he told the truth.

He said he felt that if he said he was there Saturday the police would connect him with the murder. Conley said he got up between 9 and 9:30 o’clock Saturday morning, he knew the time because he looked at the clock on the Atlanta University from his front door. He returned indoors and had breakfast.

He got three silver dollars from his wife to exchange for paper money so that she would not lose it. He continued: Continue Reading →

Suspicion Turned to Conley; Accused by Factory Foreman

Suspicion Turned

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

Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, May 27th, 1913

Negro, Whose Story That He Wrote Notes at Frank’s Dictation Is Generally Disbelieved, Was Often Drunk. Mrs. White Can Not Identify Him.

Suspicion in the Phagan case was Tuesday morning turned full-flare upon James Conley, the negro whose unexpected assertion last week that he had written the notes found beside the body of Mary Phagan, at the dictation of Leo M. Frank, was followed by a speedy indictment of the pencil factory superintendent.

In the opinion of E. F. Holloway, timekeeper and foreman in the factory, Conley is the guilty man.

Careful study of the negro’s story has revealed many absurdities in its structure, wherein evidences of childish cunning are rife in an effort to throw the blame onto Frank. It is this which has served to bring the deed to Conley’s door.

However, Mrs. Arthur White, wife of a machinist at the factory, who testified that she saw a negro lurking in the building between 12 noon and 2 o’clock on the afternoon of the murder, denied the published report in an afternoon paper that she had identified Conley as the one. Mrs. White stated Tuesday morning that she had secured only a glimpse of the man. It may have been Conley, or another negro. Mrs. White was asked to pick Conley out of a crowd of twelve negroes some time ago, but her identification was a second choice. Continue Reading →