Mayor Eager to Bring Back Tenderloin, Declares Chief

by Archivist on August 17, 2016

Mayor Eager

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

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 26th, 1913

Chief of Police James L. Beavers issued a statement Monday forenoon defying his accusers to prove that he had been guilty of any act of moral turpitude as Chief of Police or as a citizen.

He characterized the attack by Colonel Thomas B. Felder merely as an effort to detract attention from his own (Felder’s) actions.

Referring to A. S. Colyar, in his sweeping denial of the charges that have been made against the police department, he made the pertinent observation, “that it many times required a crook to turn up another crook.”

“I never heard of A. S. Colyar, Jr., until this thing came up. He may be a crook, as far as I know. It seems that Mr. Felder has known for a long time that it is no uncommon thing for one crook to turn up another or turn State’s evidence. When I heard of this deal that Mr. Felder was fixing to make in the Phagan case I told Chief Lanford to confer with Solicitor Dorsey and get his advice in the matter, as I did not want anything done that was not perfectly legitimate.

“This he did, and G. C. Febuary, who is a trusted man in the detective department, was instructed to carry out the deal with him.

“It appears that Mr. Felder has been associated with this man Colyar for a long time and certainly should know what manner of man he is. If he knew him to be a crook, why did he enter into a deal of this sort with him, if he wanted to do the straight thing?

“I say I never heard of this man Colyar, but I would have listened to any report or rumor in hunting for the guilty party in a case like the Phagan mystery. It seems that Mr. Felder, in his ramifications, through the press tried to get eloquent and attempted to tell about the Government of Scotland and the conditions in Ireland, as if that had anything to do with the case. He is simply trying to attract attention away from what he has done.

“As for any evidence he claims to have about my moral turpitude as chief of police or as a citizen, I defy him or any one else to show it. If he is the good, loyal citizen that he claims to be, why did he not lay this evidence before the Police Commission? He knows well enough that if he had anything damaging to the police department he would have hurried to lay it before the proper authorities.

Raps Woodward.

“I see that Mr. Woodward says that he has nothing against me personally. Now, I don’t quite understand his connection with the Felder-Colyar affair. He knew that Febuary was a trusted employee of the police department, and that if Febuary knew of any crookedness in the department, Mr. Woodward should have forced him to divulge it in the proper way or seen that he was thrown out of the department.

“If Febuary had known anything of the kind and not made it known, he would have been equally guilty. Mr. Woodward knows that in his frequent talks with me since he has been Mayor there has hardly been a time that he did not bring up the question of the red light district.

“He gave me to understand in his first talk with me that these women should be allowed to go back to Manhattan Avenue, where they had previously plied their nefarious trade. No longer than Saturday, a week ago, he asked me if I was willing for Eva Clark and her mother to move into a house on Armstrong Street in front of Grady Hospital, where she had previously lived. I told him I would answer him as I did Alderman McClelland, that it was none of my business where she moved, provided she did not violate the law. But if she did she would have to suffer the consequences.

Not Afraid of Graft.

“Mr. Woodward told me the first of the year that if my vice policy was continued that the police department would soon be reeking with graft like the New York police department. I told him that I was not afraid of any graft in the police department, but that from what I had heard, certain people in Atlanta outside of the police department, had been receiving money from this vice traffic that virtually amounted to graft and extortion.

“I am willing and ready to compare my past record, both as a citizen and an official, with that of Mr. Woodward and leave the public to judge between us as to which is in the right and which is in the wrong.”

FELDER PREPARES REPLY TO BEAVERS.

Colonel Thomas B. Felder declined this morning to answer the new statement of Chief Beavers, saying all his statements hereafter would be written.

“I have decided,” said Colonel Felder, “to make no more statements except in writing. I will not write anything today.

“I am now working up this case. In due season I will make an appropriate reply.”

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, May 26th 1913, “Mayor Eager to Bring Back Tenderloin, Declares Chief,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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