October 15, 2014

Broadway and Fourth Street, early June 1898.

Broadway and Fourth Streets
Skagway, Alaska
June 1898
(Click image to enlarge)






kagway, Alaska, June 1898.

Broadway and Fourth Street, one month before the demise of the town's underworld boss "Soapy" Smith, during the Klondike gold rush. Not many people know of Alaska as being 'western history,' but towns there equaled those of their western state peers in roughness and violence.




Courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle









I beg leave to state that I have no gang, and that I have not been ordered out of Skaguay, or any other place, and that I expect to live here as long as I see fit to. I have taken the side of law and order here time and time again, and all reports like the one enclosed are base falsehoods. I helped a lot of citizens stop a murderous mob from hanging a man that no one knew whether guilty or not, and thereby caused the dislike of some of the members of the murderous outfit. I acknowledge I have been in the saloon and gambling business for a number of years, and when all games and saloons were placed under strict police surveillance. And I have never had any trouble in my place of business; was never convicted of any crime in my life, and don’t think that I am being treated right. ...

Respectfully yours,
JEFF R. SMITH.
Called “SOAPY.” 

—Alias Soapy Smith, p. 491.



OCTOBER 15


1860: 11-year-old Grace Bedell, writes to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, stating that he would look better if he were to grow a beard.
1879: Bandits rob a train in Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory of $2,000 in bills and time checks.
1880: The day after their victory over Victorio's Apache Indians, the Mexican militias are cheered in the streets of Chihuahua City, Mexico, as they parade waving 28 scalps.
1883: The U.S. Supreme Court blocks part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which allowed for individuals and businesses to discriminate based on race.
1892: The U.S. government announces that land in western Montana is open for settlement. The 1.8 million acres were bought from the Crow Indians for 50 cents per acre.
1892: Soap Gang member, Jeff Dunbar, tries to extort money from a prostitute named Flossie Leigh, at the Soapy Smith’s Tivoli Club in Denver, Colorado. When Leigh refuses to pay up, Dunbar strikes her upon the head several times with his pistol.




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