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Jewish Heritage: The Oral Histories - Cuba Family Archives

MEMOIRIST:                            ELIZABETH SLATON WALLACE

INTERVIEWER:                        SANDRA BERMAN

DATE:                                       OCTOBER 16, 2007

LOCATION:                               ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Transcript (PDF)



Elizabeth Slaton Wallace was born in Atlanta in 1928.  She is the great niece of Governor John Marshall Slaton, Sr.  He was born in 1895.  Slaton served as governor of the State of Georgia from 1911-1915.  His most notable act as governor was commuting the death penalty sentence of Leo Frank.  Slaton was a partner in the law firm Rosser, Brandon, Slaton and Phillips.  He later served as president of the Georgia State Bar Association.


Elizabeth Slaton Wallace talks about her great uncle, Governor John Slaton, Sr.  She describes him as a Southern gentleman and a man of great integrity.  She reflects on his thoughts on the Leo Frank case and his decision to commute the death penalty sentence of Frank.  She discusses how Slaton saw himself as doing the right thing in commuting the sentence because he could not send an innocent man to his death.  She tells of hearing about the mob going to Slaton’s house after his decision and the National Guard being called to stop them.  She talks about other notable people involved in the case.  She talks about Slaton’s career after the Frank case and the legacy he left with the family.


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