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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                           THOMAS SHELTON

INTERVIEWER:                        SANDRA BERMAN

DATE:                                       JUNE 4, 2007

LOCATION:                              ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Transcript (PDF)


Thomas Shelton is an Atlanta attorney.  He was born in Atlanta in 1925.  He is the grandson of Luther Z. Rosser, Sr., who was the lead defense attorney in the Leo Frank case.  Luther Rosser, Sr., died in 1923. 


Thomas Shelton talks about his grandfather, Luther Z. Rosser, Sr.  He describes him as a highly respected man in the family and the Atlanta community.  His impression of him was that he was a kind, gentle man.  He talks about his grandfather’s legal work with high profile cases and the defense of Leo Frank. 

Thomas talks about family relations with the Hugh Dorsey family and having Christmas with them.  Thomas talks about his grandfather’s relationship as law partner with Governor John Slaton.  Thomas talks about the impact of the mob scene during the Leo Frank trial.  He tells the family story of the National Guard being called on the night Leo Frank’s death penalty sentence was commuted.

Thomas talks about other prominent figures involved in the Leo Frank case, his own legal background, and meeting Governor Slaton.  He reflects on the reactions of and influence of the northern newspapers on the Leo Frank case and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., opinion of the case.

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