Here is Affidavit Charging Bribery

by Archivist on July 13, 2016

Here is AffidavitAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, May 23rd, 1913

Here is an affidavit in possession of the police sworn today Lanford’s secretary, G. C. Febuary and A. S. Colyar detailing the conversation alleged to have taken place Monday night in Colonel Felder’s office:

State of Georgia, County of Fulton—Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for the above State and County, A. S. Colyar and G. C. Febuary, who being duly sworn, deposes and says,

“We met Mr. Felder in his office Monday night at 8 o’clock p. m., and Mr. Felder said, ‘I know who killed Mary Phagan. I have had a Burns man here for three weeks, I know when she was killed and how she was killed. She was murdered 30 minutes after she reached that building, on the second floor, and then body was lowered to basement. And I know who wrote those notes that were found by her body.

“This d—d fellow Lanford has had that poor negro Ed [sic] Connally [sic] locked up for three weeks without a warrant, and he knows it, and he can be impeached from office for it; he knows there is no evidence against Newt Lee and yet he holds him. I would expose Lanford and Beavers right now, but I don’t want to detract attention from the Phagan case or mix their case up with the Phagan case.

“’Beavers is a — — —, but I came pretty near catching him one day last week, but when we do catch him, we are going to put the d—d reform — in a two-horse wagon, naked and drive him through the streets of Atlanta with a sign on him. “Here is Atlanta’s Reform Police Chief.” Lanford is a d—d drunkard and keeps a quart of whisky in his desk all of the time, and the people of this town are indignant at the conduct of those flunkeys down there. I am receiving at least twenty letters every day, and as many telephone calls, telling me that the people are behind me in this  fight to impeach those — —. Right here on my desk is a letter (getting letter from his desk and reading aloud) from one of the most prominent women in the city of Atlanta, commending my course.”

The affidavit then continues: “The Colonel then said, ‘I want the evidence to impeach both Beavers and Lanford.’ The remark was made that we might get in jail, and Colonel Felder said: ‘There are only two ways of getting to the jail; one is through the Mayor and the other is through the Governor; and if you get arrested by the policemen. Jim Woodward, with whom I had a long interview this afternoon, will make those — — — — down there jump a rope to turn you loose, and I don’t care a d—d who the Governor is, whether it be Joe Brown or Jack Slaton, I will have any man turned loose that will get me the evidence that will impeach those — — — —. If they arrest you, call on me and see if I don’t come with the bond at any hour. I can call a mass meeting to-morrow afternoon through the papers and have ten thousand of the best citizens in this town meet at Five Points to-morrow night and go to the station house and hang Beavers and Lanford to telephone poles, the two corrupt grafters and thieves.’

“’Now, I want to say to you further (talking to Febuary). You go and get me the evidence in the Phagan case and that Coleman af[fi]davit, and bring it to me, and I will give you one thousand dollars in cash for it. And if you lose your job I will place you in a government position in Washington or a job in New York, and if I llfa [sic] down on that I will give you a job here in my of[fi]ce.’ It was suggested to Colonel Felder that we would have to steal the papers, for no one knew the combination to the safe except Chief Lanford and Mr. Febuary, and in reply to this, Colonel Felder said, ‘Go ahead and get them and I will pay you one thousand dollars.’ And we then stated to Colonel Felder that this would be larceny after trust, and Colonel Felder said, ‘Larceny H—. It is not larceny to steal a perjured affidavit and forged statements and other, crooked papers that a d— thief like Lanford has gathered against an innocent man; and you get them and I will stand behind you and pay the money. I have such men as James G. Woodward, C. C. Jones, Robert F. Maddox, Sam Inman, J. W. English, and the best men in this town behind me, and who are determined to put that gang …. To the bad, and they will stand behind you gentlemen with their money and their lives.’”

“Colonel Felder further stated that Lanford and Beavers were feasting and fattening off of the rich graft they were getting out of certain disorderly houses they were shielding, after they had had people to believe that they had closed them up, and certain blind tigers and gamblers that were favored by these grafters; and upon being asked how much they got, Colonel Felder replied that the amount was colossal.”

The above is the sum and substance of a conversation between Col. T. B. Felder, A. S. Colyar and G. C. Febuary, held in the office of Colonel Felder, in the Equitable building, on Monday night, May 19, 1913, at about 8:15 p. m.

A. S. COLYAR,

G. C. FEBUARY,

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 24st day of May, 1913.

W. W. BROWN,

Notary Public Fulton County, Georgia.”

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Atlanta Georgian, May 23rd 1913, “Here is Affidavit Charging Bribery,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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