December 1, 2009

Sarah Palin/Soapy Smith/Craig Medred: It just keeps getting worse.

Staff writer, Craig Medred, author of Palin: Hunting Devils in the Details on Alaskan Dispatch is on a mission. Although he continually states he is done with the whole escapade about Soapy Smith and our correspondences about his errors, he continues to search for ammunition in his grand battle to prove Sarah Palin wrong. Please not that I am neutral when it comes to politicians, I dislike them all!

Searching around the net Mr. Medred found 'ole Cathy Spudes website and linked to it. Here is what Mr. Medred added to his article.

Clarification: The original passage about the events surrounding Soapy Smith's death was revised on Nov. 30. Soapy Smith's death is nowhere near as simple as a shootout with vigilantes. Officially, a coroner's inquest in Skagway in 1898 concluded that surveyor Frank Reid shot Soapy to death in self defense after the two wrestled over a gun. That conclusion, however, has since been questioned. What most sources now appear to agree upon is that Soapy marched down to the Juneau Wharf to confront a group of men meeting to discuss how to bring law and order to lawless Skagway. Soapy was carrying a rifle. There was a confrontation and then a struggle. Soapy was shot, either with his own rifle or Reid's pistol. Reid was mortally wounded. The coroner's inquest subsequently made its ruling, but reports later surfaced the Jesse Murphy, not Reid, had actually shot and killed Smith. Here is brief summary of various accounts compiled by Catherine Holder Spude, a retired historical archaeologist for the National Park Service.

Naturally Mr. Medred does not know, or care, that Cathy Spude's agenda is to knock Soapy Smith off his growing rank in the hall of historical infamy and replace him with J. M. "Do nothing" Tanner, one of the vigilante guards on the night of the Shootout on Juneau Wharf. He was later appointed a deputy U.S. Marshal. What Mr. Medred does not know is that Cathy Spude agrees with me on the outcome of the gunfight, that Jesse Murphy killed Soapy Smith not Frank Reid.

Mr. Medred's "clarification" is filled with errors but truth in history is not his goal. Disproving Sarah Palin's book is his goal.



  1. Mr. Smith, I followed a trail to your site while doing some research on a hit-piece that Craig Medred wrote about Sarah Palin. I've now read through all of your posts about your saga with him, and I can tell you unequivocally that I understood precisely what you were trying to tell him, and I laughed out loud when he was willing to hear the same thing you were trying to tell him from another person. Your final conclusion was spot-on. His entire agenda was to discredit Palin, and he didn't really care who or what else he mussed up in the process. Take heart, though; that's a very common syndrome for Palin-haters, and Medred writes his pieces for other Palin-haters. As long as he threw them a little red meat, they couldn't care less about the details. It wouldn't surprise me if her detractors end up blaming HER for your great-grandfather's death!

    P.S. I enjoyed your blog, and admire the work you've done chronicling your great-grandfather's history.

  2. Hello, Anonymous.

    Thank you for posting. That story and the attached battle I had went far and wide. It is interesting to note that the original site comments by Mr. Medrid were modified in order to make it appear that he was correct "all along" and that he was only trying to "help my book sales," that I was the bad guy.


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