June 17, 2011

Soapy Smith mail from Skagway: artifact #37

(Click image to enlarge)

Artifact #37 is a registered receipt that Soapy Smith mailed a "parcel" from Skagway, Alaska to his cousin, Edwin Bobo Smith in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 1898. November 1897, seven months prior he went to Wash. D.C. to visit Edwin. On March 27, 1898 Edwin wrote the following letter to Soapy (see artifact #3).

Dear Brother Jeff:

Glad to get your letter. I am so busy you must excuse me for not writing sooner. I saw Senator [Edward Oliver Wolcott] Wolcott and he asked to be remembered to you. Ex-Congressman [John Calhoun Bell] Bell of Colorado and Congressman [John Franklin Shafroth] Shafroth also ask me about you every time I see them. Baily of Texas wants to know when you are coming back here. He will be the next speaker if the House goes Democratic. I wish you would write and give me all the news. I want to print in the Post.

Your brother Ed

Most likely Soapy was sending along "all the news." It was common for Soapy to send people issues of the Skaguay News so perhaps he was sending some of these as well? Cousin Ed and Soapy were boyhood chums and stayed in contact most of their lives. Cousin Ed was the one who witnessed the shooting of outlaw Sam Bass with Soapy in Round Rock, Texas. It is because of Edwin that we know so much about the early Georgia and Texas life and Soapy and his family. At the bottom of this post you will find a nice selection of links about Edwin Bobo Smith.

Time has not been kind to this artifact. I include an altered photograph of the same item below for a little easier reading.

(Click image to enlarge)

June 6, 2011
January 5, 2011
March 27, 2010
July 21, 2009

Edwin Bobo Smith: pages 20, 22-30, 32, 35-36, 333, 425, 428, 444-49, 589.

Jeff Smith


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