April 14, 2010

Artifact #8: A letter of introduction.

(Click image to enlarge)
An introduction letter to Jeff and Frank June 13, 1898
(artifact #8)

Artifact #8 in my private collection is a quick letter/note from Jim Wilson addressed to "Frank Clancy or Jeff Smith" and reads as follows.

Seattle, Wash. June 13th 1898

Frank Clancy or Jeff Smith
Dear friends

This will introduce to you Morris Behan a brother of Hugh Behan. He is all right and anything you can do for him will be appreciated by your friend as ever
Jim Wilson.

I believe this note was written by Jim Wilson in Seattle and handed to Morris Behan, who traveled to Skagway and handed it to Soapy. It is not known if Morris succeeded in landing a position on Soapy's payroll, an honest job at one of the local merchants, or given fare back home to Seattle.

Jim Wilson: According to Marlene McCluskey of the Skagway Historical Society, was a gambler at the Pack Train saloon. There is also "Diamond Jim" Wilson, the successful Dawson businessman and gambler who later operated the Anvil Saloon in Nome.

Frank Clancy: Frank and brother John were saloon operators in Seattle who moved to Skagway and began operating with Soapy. Posts on this blog related to Clancy brothers can be found on Aug. 20, 2009 - July 4, 2009 - June 7, 2009 and Oct. 5, 2008.

Hugh and Morris Behan: There is little known of these two brothers. Gay Mathis found and shared the newspaper clipping below that shows Hugh listed at the Grand Hotel in Seattle, after Soapy had been killed.

(Click image to enlarge)
Hugh Behan at the Grand Hotel
courtesy Gay Mathis

p. 552
Richard O'Connor, High Jinks on the Klondike. NY: Bobbs-Merrill, 1954, pp. 234-35.


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