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Archive Record

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Catalog Number MS 2361-OS2-004
Object Name Newspaper
Scope & Content This collection contains the publications, correspondence, preparatory notes, and outlines of author and journalist Steve Oney, dating from 1896-2009. Also included in the collection are photographs, posters, and audiovisual material. Additionally there are two copies of the script for The People v. Leo Frank, a documentary film on which Oney collaborated. The bulk of the collection relates to his book And the Dead Shall Rise, published in 2003, about the trial and lynching of Leo M. Frank, a Northern-born Jewish man residing in Atlanta, Georgia in the first half of the 20th century. In 1913, Mary Phagan, a 13 year old employee of the National Pencil Company, was found murdered in the basement of the factory. Frank, superintendent of the same company and last known person to see Phagan alive, was accused and convicted of her murder in 1913 and sentenced to death by hanging on August 26, 1913. Frank’s conviction rested predominately on Jim Conley, the factory’s janitor and African-American. At this time in the south, the conviction of a white man on the testimony of a black man was nearly unheard of. Between 1913 and 1915 several appeals were unsuccessfully attempted and on June 21, 1915, Frank’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison by Georgia Governor John M. Slaton. Later that year, on August 17th, Frank was lynched in Frey's Gin, two miles east of Marietta, Georgia, by a group of vigilantes. The aftermath of the lynching lead to approximately half of the Jewish population of Georgia to leave the state. Frank’s 1913 arrest and trial resulted in the founding of the Anti-Defamation League. After multiple failed attempts for Frank to be granted a posthumous pardon, the Anti-Defamation League convinced the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue a pardon on March 11, 1986. The case of Leo Frank and the murder of Mary Phagan has been dramatized into a Broadway musical, Parade, and in 2009 the PBS production by Ben Loeterman, The People v. Leo Frank premiered. Oney contributed his files for the production’s research.
Title The Atlanta Georgian. "Conley's lawyer says 'I'll prove Frank innocent'"
Copyrights Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Collection Steve Oney papers
Subjects Newspapers
Murders
Lawyers
Trials
People Frank, Leo, 1884-1915.
Phagan, Mary.