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
“I WAS ALLOWED TO READ PROOF OF WHAT WAS PUBLISHED ABOUT FELDER CONFERENCE,” HE SAYS
“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.”
Gentry swore today that he received absolutely nothing for writing his previous affidavit and that he did not receive one penny for writing the affidavit today.
WHY HE GOT FRIGHTENED.
“I allowed myself to become so frightened because I thought that according to law, if one change was made by me, from what I had in my notes, I had committed perjury and was liable, and as I had myself made several changes during the transcribing of the notes. I felt rather guilty. However, Mr. Febuary assured me that I was writing what had been said as so I accordingly swore that what I had written was what I had heard. I discovered later that I had sworn that what I had written was a true and correct transcription of my notes. I did not realize at the time of signing the affidavit that I had sworn any such thing or I would have not signed the affidavit. The affidavit that I signed in connection with the transcription of my notes, was dictated to me and I signed it before a notary public without reading same in detail. I simply glanced over same to ascertain as to the correctness of the typewriting.
THE JOURNAL’S STORY CORRECT.
“As far as what The Journal published not being correct, will say with the exception cited, as far as I can remember, what they printed were the facts in a general way, and the changes were immaterial with the exception of how they might be considered in law, about which I know very little.
“I have already stated under oath that I did not hear the names of Chief Beavers or Chief Lanford mentioned in the Woodward conference. I desire to modify this to the extent that I did not hear their names mentioned by Mayor Woodward. They may have been mentioned by other parties in the room. In fact, as I remember it, they were:
“In conclusion will say upon the reading of my notes before the court it will be proven that there is enough of it there to justify what was written and sworn to by me as being practically the gist of what was said.
“The Journal’s position in the matter as far as I know is fair, and I believe, although I do not make the positive assertion, that what they published was given to them by Colyar, Febuary and myself.
Gentry declared in his affidavit that when it was found necessary or advisable for him to return to Atlanta he will return, and will read his original notes before the court. He says that they will not be read before any private individuals, and he desires that what he reads shall be taken down and compared with what he wrote.
TELLS WHERE HE HAS BEEN.
In reference to leaving Atlanta, Gentry says in his affidavit:
“I will start by giving an account of my actions since the memorable dictograph affairs. I have already set fourth [sic] my reason for leaving Atlanta, in my affidavit published on June 11, 1913, as aforesaid. My original intention was to go to Baltimore, but upon my arrival at Washington, I did not go any farther, feeling that this city was large enough to get lost in. The day after my arrival here, Wednesday, I went to work as a stenographer, but not under the name of Gentry. My reason for assuming another name was to avoid the attendant annoyance that would follow the knowledge that I was in Washington. I can be reached through Mr. Ralph Smith, The Journal’s correspondent here, whenever it is necessary, who knows my place of employment, and who has further agreed not to divulge it, at my earnest request. Mr. E. O. Miles is also acquainted with both my business and residence address.”
While Gentry makes no reference to the matter in his affidavit, the original note book is now in the possession of a well known Atlanta attorney, whose name is known to The Journal correspondent.
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