The late Senstor Tom Watson of Georgia, who led the fight against Leo Frank in Georgia made $1,000 a week as a result of the case, was the statement made here today to the Jewish Correspondence Bureau by Tom Loyless, until recently editor of the Columbus (Georgia) “Sun-Enquirer” who is now in New York.
“If they had let Frank live another year, Watson would have become a millionaire”, Loyless declared.
Watson, the Georgia editor continued, openly urged the lynching of Frank, but he didn’t expect them to act on his word so quickly. Personally, he would have preferred probably to delay Frank’s lynching for a while until he could amass a greater fortune out of the case.
Loyless claims to have the actual figures from the Thompson Ga. post-office (Watson’s home town) showing the increased earnings of his paper following his vicious attacks on Frank. “His paper jumped immediately from 25,000 to 80,000 circulation”.
Watson, Loyless says, did not personally dislike either Jews or Catholics although he wrote the most inflammatory articles against both. His attacks were purely a matter of business with him. “Watson was too smart a man” said the Georgia editor “to have any personal animus on racial or religious grounds.”
Governor Slaton, of Georgia, whose own life was endangered as a result of his commutation of the penalty against Frank to life imprisonment has now regained his popularity in that state, Loyless asserted.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.