Ordeal is Borne with Reserve by Franks

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 4th, 1913

Wife and Mother of the Accused Pencil Factory Superintendent Sit Calmly Through Trial.

By TARLETON COLLIER

Women are brought into a court room, as all the world knows, for one of two purposes. Their presence may have a moral effect in softening the heart of a juror, particularly if they be young, pretty or wistful of countenance. Or they may be there on the affectionate mission of cheering and encouraging a beloved defendant.

Two women sat with Leo Frank through all the hot, weary days of last week. Their object was the one or the other. Which?

A study of these women was the answer. Everybody studied them. Everybody knew that love and trust inspired them. Whether Frank be innocent or guilty, to his credit be it said that he is loved by the women closest to him.

His mother was one of the two, a woman on whose face was written plainly the story of a life in which there was much of grief, much of the tenderest joy, much of loving and being loved.

Tragedy in Mother’s Face.

Her eyes were sad. Her features never lost their tragic composure. But it was plain that smiles had come often to her in the course of her life. The face is common to mothers.

The other woman was his wife, a robust, wholesome young woman. Her face was the placid face of one whose life has been pleasant. No unhappy event had come to mar a single feature. None of the troubles that had been the mother’s had come to her until this calamity.

Continue Reading →

Trial is No Ordeal for Me, Says Frank’s Mother

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

Atlanta Journal
July 30th, 1913

She Declares Her Confidence in Son’s Innocence Makes It Easy for Her

“My son never looked stronger than at this moment,” said Mrs. Ray Frank, of Brooklyn, Wednesday morning. “The trial isn’t telling upon him because he isn’t worrying. He is confident because of his innocence and because of his certainty of an acquittal.

“Neither his wife nor myself is anxious. Of course, we feel the heat and it is tiring to sit here in the court room throughout the day. But, like my son, we are not afraid. Why should we be? We know that he is innocent and we know that, because of this fact, he will be acquitted.

“I, his mother, know that he is free from all guilt of the charge upon which he is being tried, and that this trial can have only one result—his acquittal.

Continue Reading →

Frank’s Mother Pitiful Figure of the Trial

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 30th, 1913

Defendant Perfect in Poise, His Wife Picture of Contemptuous Confidence.

By L. F. WOODRUFF.

Arm akimbo; glasses firmly set, changing position seldom, Leo M. Frank sits through his trial with his thoughts in Kamchatka, Terra del Fuego, or the Antipodes, so far as the spectators in the courtroom can judge.

He may realize that if the twelve men he faces decide that he is guilty of the murder of Mary Phagan, the decree of earthly court will be that his sole hope of the future will be an appeal to the Court on High. His mind may constantly carry the impression of the likelihood of the solemn reading of the death warrant, the awful march to the death chamber, the sight of the all terrifying gibbet, the dreadful ascension of its steel stairs, the few words of religious consolation—and then the drop.

Frank’s Face a Mask.

But if he does realize these things, his face is as completely masked against emotion as that of a skilled poker player.

Continue Reading →

Negro’s Affidavit Not Given Much Credence

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

Atlanta Journal

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

Even the City Detectives, It Is Said, Attach Very Little Importance to Document

Very little importance, it is said, is attached by the city detectives to the sensational and incoherent affidavit of Minola McKnight, the negro cook at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Selig, 68 East Georgia avenue, where Leo M. Frank, the pencil factory superintendent, and his wife reside.

Attorney Luther Rosser, chief counsel for the indicted superintendent, read the affidavit with apparent amusement. He had no comment to make, but it was evident that Mr. Rosser did not regard the affidavit seriously.

Mr. and Mrs. Selig and Mrs. Frank read the affidavit in The Journal, and although they would make no statement for publication, they appeared to view the negro woman’s testimony as absurd and ridiculous on the face of it.

But little of the cook’s testimony, even should she stick to her story until the day of the trial, will be admissible in court. It is largely alleged hearsay evidence and, therefore, barred.

The woman, in her affidavit, swears that Frank came home to lunch on the Saturday of the Mary Phagan murder, about 1:30; that he did not eat anything and that he remained only about ten minutes. If the negress knows of her own knowledge that this is true she can so testify in court. However, Mr. Selig, Frank’s father-in-law, will swear as he did before the coroner’s inquest, that Frank ate lunch with him and afterwards lay down on a lounge for a nap. Mrs. Selig will reiterate her testimony at the inquest, which was to the effect that Frank came home about 1:30 o’clock and that she and her daughter, Mrs. Frank, were dressed and ready to go to a grand opera matinee; that soon after his arrival they left.

The McKnight woman, in her affidavit, declares that some time on Sunday she overheard Mrs. Frank tell her mother, Mrs. Selig, that Frank came home drunk the night before, that he was very restless and acted queerly; that he told her (Mrs. Frank) that he was in trouble and begged her to get his pistol in order that he might kill himself. Continue Reading →

Mother Here to Aid Frank in Trial

mother-here-to-aid-frank

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

Atlanta Georgian

Thursday, June 5th, 1913

With the time when Leo M. Frank will go on trial for the murder of Mary Phagan rapidly approaching, perhaps no greater reinforcement to the accused pencil factory superintendent in facing his ordeal has been made than that in the person of his mother, who is now in Atlanta at the Selig home.

Mrs. Frank came on from Brooklyn, where she makes her home, and where Frank himself formerly resided. She will remain until after the trial.

A woman of considerable age, Mrs. Frank has shown wonderful bravery in coming to share her son’s burden.

Stands by Son.

Mrs. Frank has taken her place in the Selig household as the pillar of cheerfulness and hope, friends of the family declare. Her unbounded confidence in the ultimate release of her son, despite the horrible accusations made against him, is said to have prove the saving grace of the stricken household.

Since her arrival the mother has thrown aside every interest except that centered in her son. She reads everything that is obtainable regarding the Phagan case and is as well posted on it as anyone of the many who have followed the local reports of the mystery since its start.

Mrs. Frank has visited her son and at the of her son’s parents-in-law comforted them and their daughter.

Mrs. Frank is a woman of rare intelligence and understanding. She has introduced many variations into the Selig home to draw off the monotony of discussion, which has paralyzed all else in the family. Continue Reading →