The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 12, March 19, 2006, Article 2


John Kleeberg writes: "As many of readers of the E-Sylum will
know, Professor Ted Buttrey and I have long been researching
western gold bars and related numismatic items that emerged
onto the numismatic market in the 1950s.

Recently I obtained the capacity to search the New York Times'
article database, and I decided to look for the name of Paul
Franklin, the source of the "Franklin Hoard" of U.S. Assay Office
of Gold items that led to a major contretemps in 1967.  Paul Gerow
Franklin, Sr. was born on May 24, 1919, and died on March 13, 2000.
Franklin originally used Gerow as his first name, but later
reversed the order of the names.

Only one article came up as a result.  Entitled, "Evader of Draft,
Long Sought, Held; Small Arsenal Found in His Room, Including 2,000
Ammunition Rounds; Fake 4F Cards also Seized; Prisoner Says He
Avoided His Board Fearing Arrest as Parole Violator," it ran in
the New York Times of July 11, 1943, on page 26.

The article states that Gerow Paul Franklin, aged 24, was arrested
at the apartment in which he had been hiding out on West 74th Street,
New York City.  When arrested the FBI found in his room nine pistols,
four rifles, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, black powder, and smokeless
powder, plus knives, bayonets, and brass knuckles.  One pistol had
a home made-silencer.  A German luger was mounted on a stock, with
a canister of thirty rounds of ammunition.  The weapons are depicted
in a photograph that accompanies the article.

The FBI also found forged draft registration and classification
cards that classified the holder as 4F.

The arresting FBI agent stated that Franklin was a gunsmith
"of no mean ability", who had been able to construct some unique
weapons.  It also states that in 1941, Franklin had been arrested
for "possession of counterfeit molds which he used in the manufacture
of half-dollars."

He had been given probation because of his youth, but violated
his parole by not keeping in touch with his parole officer.
Franklin said that he had not reported for the draft because he
feared punishment as a parole violator.  He said he had so many
weapons in his apartment because he liked to collect them.

This article is quite enlightening.  It tells us that he was a
brilliant self taught mechanic, who knew how to do complex metal
work.  It tells us that Franklin was faking coins as early as 1941.
It tells us that he had faked documents.

It was news to me that Franklin had an actual criminal record.
I look forward to tracking down more details about his criminal

[I reviewed a copy of the original article, and edited John's
summary to include verbatim quotes.  Small excerpts such as these
are well within the Fair Use guidelines.  The article does not
actually state that Franklin forged documents, only that he was
found to be in possession of such documents.  It says he was
arrested for possession of counterfeit half dollar molds, but
also says he used them in the manufacture of fake coins.

John adds: "I have also now tracked down (on microfilm) the
same story about Franklin in the Sunday edition of the New York
Daily News, July 11, 1943, Four Star Final Edition, title,
"Draft Dodger with 'Arsenal' Seized."  This article also includes
a photograph of Franklin.  The New York Daily News at this period
printed about half a dozen editions a day, and the Franklin story
is only in the Four Star Final Edition (the last one)."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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