State’s Exhibit J: Minola McKnight Affidavit

State’s Exhibit J is from the Leo Frank trial Brief of Evidence, 1913

Affidavit executed by Minola McKnight for Solicitor Dorsey, as follows:

State of Georgia, County of Fulton.

Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for the above
State and county, Minola McKnight, who lives in the rear of 351 Pulliam St.,
Atlanta, Ga., who being duly sworn deposes and says:

On Saturday morning, April 26, 1913, Mr. [Leo] Frank left home about
eight o’clock, and Albert [McKnight], my husband, was there Saturday, too.
Albert [McKnight] got there I guess about a quarter after one [1:15 PM] and
he [Albert McKnight] was there when Mr. [Leo] Frank come for dinner (Dinner is what they called Lunch back then), which was about half-past one [1:30 PM], but Mr. Frank did not eat any dinner (Lunch), and he left in about ten minutes [1:40 PM] after he [Mr. Leo Frank] got there.

Mr. [Leo] Frank come back to the house at seven o’clock that night, and Albert [McKnight] was there when he [Leo Frank] got there. Albert [McKnight] had gone home that [early] evening but he come back. I don’t know what time he [Albert McKnight] got there, but he come sometime before Mr. [Leo] Frank did, and Mr. [Leo] Frank eat supper about seven o’clock, and when I left there that night about eight o’clock, I left Mr. [Leo]
Frank there.

Sunday morning I got there about eight o’clock, and there was an
automobile standing in front of the house and I didn’t pay any attention
to it. I saw a man in the automobile get a bucket of water and pour into
it. Mr. [Leo] Frank’s wife [Lucille Selig Frank] was downstairs and Mr. [Emil Selig] and Mrs. [Josephine] Selig were upstairs. Albert [McKnight] was there Sunday morning, but I don’t remember what time he got there. I called them down to breakfast about half past eight [8:30 AM] and I found out that Mr. [Leo] Frank was gone.

Mr. [Emil] Selig and Mrs. [Josephine] Selig eat breakfast, but Mrs. [Lucille] Frank didn’t eat until Mr. Frank come back and then they eat breakfast together. I didn’t hear them say anything at the breakfast table. After dinner I understood them to say that a girl and Mr. [Leo] Frank were caught at the office Saturday. I don’t know who said it, Miss Lucile (Mrs. Frank) and
Mr. [Emil Selig] and Mrs. [Josephine] Selig and Mr. [Leo] Frank were standing there talking, after dinner when they said it; I understood them to say it was a Jew girl.

On Tuesday, Mr. [Leo] Frank says to me, ‘It is mighty bad Minola, I might
have to go to jail about this girl, and I don’t know anything about it.’

Sunday, Miss Lucile said to Mrs. Selig that Mr. Frank didn’t rest so good
Saturday night; she said he was drunk and wouldn’t let her sleep with him,
and she said she slept on the floor on the rug by the bed because Mr. [Leo] Frank was drinking.

Miss Lucile [Selig Frank] said Sunday that Mr. [Leo] Frank told her Saturday night that he was in trouble, and that he didn’t know the reason why he would murder, and he told his wife to get his pistol and let him kill himself. I heard Miss Lucile [Selig Frank] say that to Mrs. [Josephine] Selig, and it got away with Mrs. [Josephine] Selig mighty bad; she didn’t know what to think. I haven’t heard Miss Lucile say whether she believed it or not. I don’t know why Mrs. Frank didn’t come to see her husband, but it was a pretty good while before she would come to see him, maybe two weeks. She would tell me, ‘Wasn’t it mighty bad that he was locked up,’ she would say, ‘Minola, I don’t know what I am going to do.’

When I left home to go to the solicitor general’s office, they told me to mind how I talked. They pay me $3.50 a week, but last week they paid me $4.00, and one week she paid me $6.50. Up to the time of the murder I was getting $3.50 a week and the week right after the murder I don’t remember how much she paid me, and the next week they paid me $3.50, and the next week they paid me $6.50, and the next week they paid me $4.00 and the next week they paid me $4.00. One week, I don’t remember which one, Mrs. Selig gave me $5, but it wasn’t for my work, and they didn’t tell me what it was for, she just said, ‘ Here is $5, Minola.’ I understood that it was a tip for me to keep quiet. They would tell me to mind how I talked and Miss Lucile
gave me a hat.”

Question: “Is that the reason you didn’t tell the solicitor yesterday all about this, that Miss Lucile and the others had told you not to say anything about what happened at home there’?”

Answer: “Yes, sir.”

Question: “Is that true?”

Answer: “Yes, sir.”

Question:. “And that’s the reason you would rather have been locked up last night than tell?’”

Answer: “Yes, sir.”

Question: “Has Mr. Pickett or Mr. Cravens or Mr. Campbell or myself influenced you in any way or threatened you in any way to make this statement? ”

Answer: “No, sir.”

Question: “You make it of your own free will and accord in their presence and in the presence of Mr. Gordon, your attorney?”

Answer: “Yes, sir.”


Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 3d day of June, 1913.

(Signed) G. C. FEBRUARY, Notary public, Fulton County, Ga.