February 24, 2013

A lady inside Soapy Smith's saloon?

Soapy Smith at his bar
inside Jeff Smith's Parlor
Yellow arrow points to a possible female
(Click image to enlarge)

erry Hazelet, a long-time friend, sent me the above picture of a postcard in his collection and sees something very interesting that everyone seems to have missed.

Jerry writes,

A while back, I sent you a copy of a photo postcard that I purchased last summer at a show. This image differs slightly from the one you had in your book. In addition to the different text, an image of a possible woman's silhouette can be seen just over Soapy's left shoulder and behind.  Let me know what you think.

Here's my response to Jerry:

Hi, Jerry.

From your email it sounds like I apparently did not answer your question about your postcard in the past? I always make it a point to answer my emails so I apologize if I did not, or it got lost in cyber space. Thanks for asking a second time! Your image and the one in my book are the same, that I can see. Everyone is in the exact same positions right down to their hands. The text is different probably because another photographer "stole" it, which was common among the Skagway photographers. Reverend John Sinclair took most of the early photographs of Soapy but did not sign his name to them. He sold most of them before leaving and other photographers put their names on them. Only in recent years since his diary and papers were donated to a library in Victoria, BC., are we learning which ones were actually his. With lighter contrast I do see what appears to be a woman sitting in Soapy's office (that small room). That will make a very interesting post, thank you!

There was at least one woman in Skagway that had a criminal association to Soapy. That was Violet "Vie" Tarpy. She is the only Soap Gang member who refused to be "deported" with the rest of the Soap Gang.

Tarpy, Violet, p. 573
*There were three photographs of Soapy at his bar inside Jeff Smith's Parlor. All three are published together for comparison in my book.

"OK, so Pop Haydn recommends "Alias Soapy Smith" I buy it. The service was fantastic, but here is the problem I start reading it three days ago and have been up late every night since reading it. This is a real treasure and so far I can't get over the pain staking research that has gone into this book. Here I go for another sleepless night! So fascinating!"
— Trent Tinney


1803: The U.S. Supreme Court rules itself to be the final interpreter of all constitutional issues.
1835: Siwinowe Kesibwi (The Shawnee Sun) is issued as the first Indian language monthly publication in the U.S.
1836: During the Siege of the Alamo (Texas Revolution) Lieutenant Colonel William Travis renewed his pleas for help in writing. His letter said "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World.... I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch…. I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or death!" 3,000 Mexican soldiers assault the Alamo, with its 182 Texan defenders, for 13 days before being victorious.
1839: William Otis receives a patent for the steam shovel.
1857: The first perforated postage stamps see usage.
1863: Arizona becomes a territory, comprising half of New Mexico Territory.
1868: The first use of floats in a parade began in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
1868: The House of Representatives impeaches President Andrew Johnson due to his attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The Senate later acquits Johnson.
1878: Outlaw Sam Bass and his gang rob the Houston and Texas Central train at Allen station, Texas.
1900: New York City begins work on the first rapid transit tunnel. The tunnel would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.
1903: The U.S. leases land in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a naval base.

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Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith