November 16, 2011

The schooner Janus once belonged to bad man Soapy Smith.

Jeff. Smith's Parlor.
Probably July 4, 1898
Soapy Smith is believed to be the right of the front door and his gray colored horse, 
on the left, is being attended to by a man sitting on the boardwalk.

On the morning of July 8, 1898 the day Soapy Smith was killed. He purchased the Janus, a schooner from Capt. S. E. Bright. It seems pretty clear that Soapy was preparing for a possible exit from Skagway, most likely due to the brewing trouble after the robbery of John Stewart's gold poke. After Soapy's death Bright claimed that although he had given Soapy a bill of sale, he had never been paid. The Janus was returned to Bright on July 23, 1898. Below is a newspaper article sent to me by Gay Mathas. Perhaps one day I will get lucky enough to come across a photograph of the infamous schooner.

The Oregonian
August 27,1897

The Little Schooner Janus to start for Alaska.

ASTORIA, Aug. 28. ― A party of 11 San Franciscans has purchased the little schooner Janus, and is fitting her out for a trip to Alaska. The adventurers expect to start within a few days. Some of the party will sale from here on the little vessel, but the majority will go on board of her at Port Townsend. The Janus will be taken as far as Dyea and there sold. E. C. Merwin will have charge. The Janus is but little larger than a fishboat, and the trip will be an extremely hazardous one.

The Janus: pages 530, 545.

Jeff Smith


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