(Click image to enlarge)
OUND UP OF THE SOAP GANG
Skagway, Alaska, July 9, 1898
Two photographs taken by the photographers Webster and Stevens, within minutes of one another, in front of the Skagway city hall where members of the Soap Gang were being held after their capture the day after bad man Soapy Smith met his demise on the Juneau Company Wharf in a shootout with the vigilante Committee of 101. Three armed vigilantes or deputy U.S. Marshals can be seen in the door way blocking the entrance. Some of the more radical vigilantes outside, seek to obtain custody of the prisoners to serve their own brand of justice.
Photos courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, Washington.
The criminal element had the advantage of being thoroughly organized and armed, and skillfully led by a man named “Soapy” Smith, who was the uncrowned King of Skaguay. He was not a constitutional monarch, but his word was all the law there was. [Thus,] the criminal element … had things all their own way, until the railroad builders began to oppose them on behalf of decency and order, and to form a nucleus round which the law-abiding element could rally.
— Samuel H. Graves
president of the White Pass and Yukon Railway
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 524.
1774: The Continental Congress passes a proclamation that citizens "discountenance and discourage all horse racing and all kinds of gaming, cock fighting, exhibitions of shows, plays and other expensive diversions and entertainment."
1803: The U.S. Senate approves the Louisiana Purchase.
1818: The U.S. and Great Britain establish the 49th parallel boundary between the U.S. and Canada.
1870: The town site of Phoenix, Arizona Territory is established.
1871: Bad man “Coal Oil” Jimmy and two others rob a stage near Vermeho, New Mexico Territory.
1873: Phineus. T. Barnum opens his Hippodrome in New York City.
1877: Dick Brewer, Charles Bowdre, and Doc Skurlock arrive in Las Cruces, New Mexico Territory with arrest warrants for Jesse Evans and his gang.
1880: Charles Earl “Black Bart” Bowles holds up the Redding, California-Roseburg, Oregon stage 1 mile from the Oregon state line. At the conclusion of the robbery he leaves behind an unusual calling card: a poem.
1889: Oil is discovered in Douglas, Wyoming.
1890: General Nelson Miles recommends that the U.S. government turn its abandoned forts and military posts into schools or reservations.
1892: The city of Chicago dedicates the World's Columbian Exposition. Soapy Smith takes his wife in October 1893.
1894: Crawford “Cherokee Bill” Goldsby and his Cook Gang, rob a train north of Wagoner, Oklahoma. The train is crashed into a line of empty boxcars, where it is riddled with bullets. All of the passengers are robbed, including 2 U.S. marshals and 2 railroad security officers.
1903: A Joint Commission made up of Great Britain and the U.S. rules in favor of the U.S. concerning a dispute over the boundary line between Canada and the District of Alaska. The U.S. legally gains the ports along the coast of southeast Alaska that it already possessed.