December 26, 2014

Inside Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club.

INSIDE THE TIVOLI CLUB
November 20, 1966
courtesy of Getty Images







HE ONLY KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF INSIDE THE TIVOLI CLUB




This is a biggie for me. The Tivoli Club has always been somewhat of a mystery for my family. As the most popular and longest lasting of Soapy's saloons (1887-1895), there is little actually known about it, other than what we have in family letters and documents, and what the Denver newspapers reported.

The photograph comes from the Getty Museum and is dated NOV 20 1966. The caption for it reads "Police swarm over inside of Denver's Oldest Bar, 17th And Market Streets, after reports of burglary; Patrolman reported he found lock broken on bar's front door and saw suspect standing inside with money in pockets." (Photo By Duane Howell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

A few years ago I came across a photo of the Tivoli Club from the outside, and looking closely, you can see the letters "ivol" of "Tivoli," the rest being blocked by patriotic banners. Next was a modern (1960s) closeup photograph of the front of the saloon, and now this inside view. Now I need to see a photo of the inside, upstairs (gaming room) and downstairs (saloon ) from the 1890s. The name of the bar was Denver's Oldest Bar, which a number of bars in Denver lay claim to, but considering the Tivoli opened in 1887, it is probable that if standing and still operating, it would have truly held the honor as all the others date after 1892.













The Tivoli Club
(there are numerous posts and they are not in order of importance)










The Tivoli Club: page 79-81, 89, 120, 124-29, 131-32, 138-39, 171-72, 176, 182-83, 185, 188, 190, 197, 247-48, 256-57, 260-64, 272-78, 283-84, 286-87, 324, 336, 338, 352, 358, 389, 420.





He was one of the most kind-hearted men that ever lived. I will venture that there is scarcely a big city in the country where you couldn’t find some man that could tell you of a good act that Jeff Smith had done him.
— R. M. Eddy
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 590.



DECEMBER 26


1620: The Mayflower, with 102 passengers, arrives at New Plymouth, Massachusetts to create the Plymouth Colony, with John Carver as Governor.
1776: The British suffer a major defeat against the Colonial Army in the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolution.
1859: 173 Texas Rangers and 165 U.S. regulars attack the outlaw position held by Juan Cortina in Rio Grande City. Hand-to-hand combat forces Cortina's retreat.
1861: Confederate irregulars defeat pro-Union Indians at Chustenahlah, Indian Territory.
1862: 38 Dakota Indians are hung in Mankato, Minnesota for their part in an uprising. The mass execution is the largest in U.S. history.
1865: The coffee percolator is patented by James H. Mason.
1866: Lieutenant Colonel George Crook leads a company of the 1st Cavalry against Indians at Owyhee Creek, Idaho Territory, killing 30 and taking 7 prisoners while losing only one soldier.
1867: A detachment of Company K, 9th Cavalry, near Ft Lancaster, Texas, is attacked by Indians. Three soldiers are killed during the two days of fighting.
1869: Lieutenant Howard B. Cushing with Company F, 3rd Cavalry, from Ft Stanton, New Mexico, along with 28 citizen volunteers, attack a Mescalero Apache Indian village at the old stage stop of Pine Spring in the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas. One officer is severely wounded.
1874: The first commercial buffalo hunt is conducted in Texas by Joe McComb.
1880: Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garret deposits his prisoners, including Billy the Kid, in the Las Vegas, New Mexico, Territory jail.
1883: Soapy Smith purchases a street vendors license in Phoenix, Arizona for selling his prize package soap.
1909: Western artist Frederic Remington dies at age 48 in Connecticut.





December 22, 2014

The ever-escaping "Slim-Jim" Foster.

Three-card monte
(Click image to enlarge)






ohn H. Foster alias "The Kid"

Not to be confused with W. E. "Slim Jim" Foster, both were members of the Soap Gang in Skagway, Alaska in 1898. John H. Foster ran the Grotto Saloon. He was placed on the Skagway City Council to assist with Soapy's empire. After Soapy was killed at the shootout on Juneau Wharf, Foster and other city council members were forced to resign and leave the city. He is recorded here as still getting into trouble and trying to escape the law, 25-years after the demise of his old boss!

John H. "The Kid" Foster was one of the gang members in Skagway, Alaska. Soapy had him placed on the Skagway City Council. After Soapy's death he was deported out of Skagway and joined the Blonger Gang in Denver. He was sent to prison with the rest of the Blonger Gang when they were rounded up in 1923. The newspaper story below is from 1923 and tells of his attempted escape from prison.



Bunko Man, Heavily Guarded, to Visit Dentist-Teeth Hurt

DENVER. May 17.—False teeth and jail victuals, according to the officials of the district attorney’s office, are the responsible for a court order issued today permitting J. H. Foster, convicted bunko man, to leave his cell at the county jail.

Foster is to start visiting a dentist to have a new plate made. He will be the first of the twenty convicted men to appear on the city’s streets since the trial.

“I’ve got to have a better fit, if I’m going to chew this jail grub,” is Foster’s complaint.

Foster, alias the Kid, according to Deputy Sheriff Jim Marshall, will be accompanied to the office of a dental specialist in the Metropolis building by an armed guard.

Special precautions are necessary, according to Marshall, because it was Foster who hid in a small closet the day the twenty bunko men were being led to their cells after the jury verdict had been returned.

Foster was missed from the line and a search was made for him immediately. He was found hiding in the locker, possibly intending to make a break for freedom before he was missed. Marshall declares that he is determined to keep close watch on the man to prevent any possible attempts at escape in the future.

Source: Fort Collins Courier (Fort Collins, Colorado) May 18, 1923.

















John H. Foster: page 80, 518, 563.





I have seen American citizens deliberately plundered before the marshal’s eyes in dens kept for that purpose…. I had to pay the marshal $20 after he had recovered stolen property, before he would make a return to the court commissioner, as he threatened to turn it back to the thieves unless I did so.
—Lewis Levy, commissioner for parks, Tacoma, Washington.
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 512.



DECEMBER 22


1775: The Continental naval fleet is organized in the American colonies under the command of Ezek Hopkins.
1807: The U.S. Congress passes the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.
1856: Captain Richard W. Johnson and Company F, 2nd Cavalry, from Camp Colorado attacks a Comanche Indian camp along the Concho River in Texas. Two soldiers are killed and two wounded. Three Indians are killed and three wounded. Thirty-four horses are captured and a Mexican captive is recovered.
1864: During the Civil War Union General William T. Sherman sends a message to President Lincoln from Georgia, which reads, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."
1872: Texas Jack Omohundro, who is appearing with Buffalo Bill in a stage show, The Scouts of the Prairie, in Chicago, Illinois, falls in love with Giuseppina Morlacchi, an Italian dancer in the show.
1877: The American Bicycling Journal is published.
1877: The Sam Bass gang robs a stagecoach heading towards Fort Worth, Texas. Soapy Smith would later witness the shooting death of Sam Bass in Round Rock, Texas.
1878: Outlaw Billy the Kid surrenders to sheriff George Kimball in Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory, but escapes a short time later and heads for Las Vegas, New Mexico Territory.
1887: “Big Ed” Burns is the defendant in the first recorded court case of the shell game in Los Angeles, California. He soon leaves for Colorado where he joins the Soapy Smith gang.
1888: Annie Oakley appears in the stage show Deadwood Dick: or the Sunbeam of the Sierras.
1890: 294 members of Sitting Bull's Indian tribe surrender in Cherry Creek, South Dakota.
1894: The U.S. Golf Association is formed in New York City.
1900: The Sherman Tunnel in Wyoming, on the Union Pacific line is completed.





December 19, 2014

Is This Soapy Smith's revolver?

IS THIS SOAPY'S PISTOL?
Single action army .45 caliber
Courtesy of Scott Bradley
(Click image to enlarge)





ould this be Soapy Smith's revolver?

I received an interesting email from Scott Bradley, who claims his great-great-uncle came into possession of Soapy Smith's revolver moments after the shootout on Juneau Wharf! I'll let him explain everything in his own words.



My name is Scott Bradley and I have in my possession a Colt 45 caliber single action revolver. This revolver was manufactured in the mid to late 1800’s. Typical of firearms of this age, there is a story that goes with it.

In the late 1800’s my great-great uncle Henry [Grau] went to Alaska to seek his fortune in the gold fields. Eventually, Henry returned to Wisconsin with stories of the far north including a story about this revolver.

Henry told our family that he acquired the Colt when he was in Skagway on that fateful July evening when your great grandfather, Soapy, was killed. According to Henry, who was on the street during the mob scene, Soapy threw his revolver into the crowd after he was struck by gunfire. My great-great uncle caught the revolver and returned to the hotel where he was staying, waiting for the “dust to settle.”

A few years later Henry relocated to the state of Washington where he was later murdered (another story). My great Uncle Bill went to Washington to claim Henry’s belongings, including the Colt revolver.

The revolver has remained in the family ever since and to this day the story of the handgun and how it relates to Soapy Smith continues to be told.

Of course, a lot of time has passed since Henry Grau brought the tale from Alaska and it seems unlikely that the story has not been embellished upon. If guns could talk………

A relative recently found your website and suggested that I pass this story along to you.


Soapy's pistol?
Courtesy of Scott Bradley
(Click image to enlarge)

My great-great uncle's last name was "Grau." My maternal grandmother, Hattie, was a Grau.

The serial number of the gun is: 83480

My great-great Henry was murdered in the early 1900's in Washington. His body was found after the spring thaw and the revolver was exposed to the elements for several months. Needless to say, the revolver was in pretty bad shape. At some point in time the revolver was restored. The serial number/s (cylinder and frame) are quite easy to see but the majority of other identifiers are gone. A local gunsmith confirmed that the revolver is a Colt but the letters can no longer be made out.

serial number 83480
Courtesy of Scott Bradley
(Click image to enlarge)


Scott, what a great story and artifact to have passed down through your family! As I wrote in my email to you, there are a few problems with the story Henry told, in relation to the known story of the Shootout on Juneau Wharf. One of the main problems is that Soapy had a Winchester rifle. Henry stated that the pistol was thrown. I wonder if the weapon could have been from another person other than Soapy, perhaps even from one of the Soap Gang members on the scene? Honestly, I don't think this was Soapy's pistol. One of the gang could have tossed it, for fear of being captured with a weapon on his person, or, as strange as it might sound, it could have been from one of the four vigilantes on the wharf that night, as none except for Reid were said to be armed, which has always sounded odd to me, considering the long day was filled with violence and threats. I am not implying that Henry lied. He very well could have obtained the revolver at the gunfight site, but embellished on the story as the years rolled by, not realizing that getting a weapon from one of the Soap Gang members, or one of the vigilantes, would have been an equally fascinating story to relate today. It would not be the first time something like that happened. Unfortunately, there is no provenance, and that's a very common problem with such artifacts. It's a great family heirloom with an interesting story! I thank you very much for sharing it with the world!

Do any of you readers have additional information on this revolver, or on Henry Grau? We need to hear from you!

On my main website is a page devoted to Soapy's Weapons. Most have no provenance and some are simply fraudulent attempts to make a quick buck.










Everything is orderly now, but there is a character there now by the sobriquet ‘Soapy Smith’ and he seems to have the gambling element completely under his control.
— Alaska Governor John G. Brady
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 523.



DECEMBER 19


1732: Benjamin Franklin publishes his first Poor Richard's Almanac.
1776: Thomas Paine publishes his first American Crisis essay.
1777: General George Washington leads his army of 11,000 to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to camp for the winter.
1842: Hawaii's independence is recognized by the U.S.
1863: George Ives is hung in Bannack, Montana Territory for the murder of Nicholas Thiebalt.
1864: Nicholas Earp and family, including son Wyatt Stapp Earp, and six other children arrive by wagon-train in San Bernardino, California from Iowa.
1871: Albert L. Jones wins a patent for corrugated paper.
1880: Outlaws Billy the Kid, David Anderson alias Billy Wilson, Dave Rudabaugh, Charlie Bowdre, Tom O'Folliard, and Tom Pickett are ambushed in New Mexico Territory by Lincoln county Sheriff Pat Garrett and several deputies who fire on the outlaws. Pickett and O'Folliard are shot dead from their saddles. Rudabaugh's horse is shot and collapses, but Rudabaugh manages to mount Anderson’s horse and escapes with the Kid and Bowdre.
1887: Jake Kilrain and Jim Smith fight a bare knuckle boxing match fight which lasts a seemingly impossible 106 rounds. The fight is halted due to darkness and Kilrain is given the win.
1893: Soapy Smith files a $5,000 damage suit in Denver against Charles G. Chever and William B. Palmer at whose property at 1705 Larimer had a coal-delivery hole which was left open and he fell in. Outcome of the suit is unknown.
1903: The Williamsburg Bridge opens in New York City. It is the largest suspension bridge in the world 1924. It is the first major suspension bridge to use steel towers to support the main cables.
1905: Outlaws Robert Leroy “Butch Cassidy” Parker and Harry A. “The Sundance Kid” Longabaugh are positively identified by witnesses as having robbed the Banco de la Nacion in Villa Mercedes, Argentina of 12,000 to 14,000 pesos. Although not identified, two others were seen at the bank, which may have been Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan and the fourth person, some claimed was a woman, which may have been Etta Place.
1907: A coalmine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania kills 239 workers.





December 18, 2014

Grand Central Hotel: Denver's bunco bosom.

Grand Central Hotel, Denver
circa 1901
Call number MCC-9
(Courtesy of the Denver Library Digital Collection)



January 26, 2015











he Grand Central hotel in Denver, Colorado resided on the north-east corner of Seventeenth and Blake Streets, 1/2 block from Union Station, which made it one of the prime hotels utilized in a great many escapades by Soapy Smith and his Soap Gang of bunco sharps between the years 1879 to 1895, largely due to it's location, between the train station and Soapy's saloon and gambling house, the Tivoli Club. It's history of criminal association with the infamous gang of swindlers is still largely unknown. There are only a few key instances and examples, possibly due to graft, the payoff Soapy handsomely paid the hotel for its selective and occasional use.

The earliest account of Soapy performing the infamous prize package soap sell occurred in Denver in 1879. George T. Buffum was the witness, and he recorded what he saw in a 1906 collection of sketches of his frontier experiences.

I first saw him in the spring of 1879. Standing in front of the old Grand Central Hotel one day, I saw approaching me a man driving a bay horse hitched to a light buggy. He stopped by my side and lifted a box from the bottom of the buggy seat, and I noticed that it contained several cakes of soap. Looking at me squarely in the face, he said, “Will you allow me to present you with fifty dollars?” I declined with thanks, though such benevolence might have received more consideration had I been more familiar with his game.

— Alias Soapy Smith, p. 37.



The Grand Central Hotel
(Building on the right)
Courtesy Denver Library Digital Collection


The hotel was the probably the perfect residence for numerous members of the soap gang, although at this time only Ned "Banjo" (and "Professor") Parker is known to have been listed as living there in 1877 (Rocky Mountain News 08/23/1877).

William Relue, one victim of Soapy, sent him the following note:

Jan. 15th, 1887

Sir, if you will call at the Grand Central hotel, Room 7 and return to me that money you took from me on the 11th on the corner of Blake and 17th streets all will be well. If not I will see what can be done with you. If you comply with this [request] call between 2 and 3 p.m. this afternoon. Yours respectfully,

Wm. Relue

— Jefferson R. “Little Randy” Smith col.


The bottom floor of the Grand Central Hotel held street front businesses. Soapy opened a cigar store at 1531 Seventeenth Street, placing his young brother in charge and calling it the Bascomb Smith and Company Cigar Store. The whole setup was just a front for swindles, for travelers just getting off the trains. In the back of the store there was small room with a poker table, always waiting for the next victim of the "big hand" con, an illusionary innocent game of poker that never saw the dupe win. Bascomb listed the business address as his residence for a time. 

The Smith cigar store was located next to the saloon complex of George B. Fisher at 1535, 1537, and 1539 Seventeenth. A letter from Fisher to Soapy dated 1896 shows that the men were personal friends and that Fisher was well-acquainted with members of the Soap Gang. It is most probable, therefore, that victims were often brought to the Fisher saloon complex as prelude or finale to a swindle. All this information adds to the theory that the Grand Central Hotel was at one time a key instrument of the Soapy Smith criminal empire. I will report new findings as they turn up.



















Grand Central Hotel: pages 34, 37, 88, 114.





There is not a man on the Denver police force who did not breath a sigh of relief when he read that “Soapy” was dead. It was bound to come, and all realized that, but the question bothering the police officials was how long “Soapy” was to go about killing other men.
Rocky Mountain News
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 584.



DECEMBER 18


1787: New Jersey becomes the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1796: The Monitor of Baltimore, Maryland is published as the first Sunday newspaper.
1856: Lieutenant James Witherell of Company C, 2nd Cavalry, and two officers from the 8th Infantry, battle with a party of Apache Indians while scouting by the Rio Grande from Ft. Clark, Texas.
1862: The first orthopedic hospital, the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled, is organized in New York City.
1865: Slavery is abolished in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
1894: Soapy Smith and John Bowers are arrested in Denver on complaint from Thomas Moody. Soapy pays a $300 bond to get them out of jail.
1898: A new automobile speed record is set at 39 mph.
1899: President McKinley commutes the sentence of Soap Gang member “Slim Jim” Foster in the robbery of John D. Stewart in Skagway, Alaska, after one year due to his having contracted consumption.
1903: The Panama Canal Zone is acquired 'in perpetuity' by the U.S. for an annual rent.
1912: The discovery of the Piltdown man in East Sussex is announced. It will be proved a hoax in 1953. Bad man Soapy Smith had a petrified man found in 1892. It was not proven to be a hoax until 2012, when it was determined that the corpse was intentionally mummified. 






December 8, 2014

Holly Street (6th Street) Skagway, Alaska

Holly Street
Skagway, Alaska
Circa 1899-1900
(Click image to enlarge)






olly Street

JEFF SMITH'S PARLOR
Skagway, Alaska 1899.

Oh, to be able to go back in time and walk down this street.  - Jeff Smith


A great photograph by Eric Hegg, of Holly Street (now 6th Street) looking west from Broadway. In 1897-98 Holly was the main business street in town. This was taken in 1899, about a year after Soapy Smith was shot dead. His saloon, Jeff Smith's Parlor is now Clancy's Cafe, owned by John and Frank Clancy, business partners of Soapy's, who were oddly let out of any vigilante actions against the Soap Gang, even though they were very involved. The old sign bracket can still be seen on the front of the building in this photo.

Also in the photo are the Hotel Mondamin, where Soapy lived (room #61), and where John D. Stewart stayed the night before he was robbed by the Soap Gang. According to personal accounts, Soapy also owned the small building in-between the Parlor and the Mondamin, which was used as a restaurant and gambling room. In this photo it is the Skaguay Oyster Parlor, under proprietorship of Frank Clancy.

Down the street is the People's Theater, where Deputy Marshal James Rowan was shot and killed by gambler John Fay January 31, 1898. The vigilante committee of 101 wanted to perform their own trial and punishment of the killer but Soapy did not want them to take over control of the town so he hid Fay until the US Marshall could come in from Sitka and make the legal arrest of Fay and take him to Juneau for trial. Although Soapy had ulterior motives, what he did was the "legal" law and order thing to do, as opposed to taking the law into their own hands. Hiding Fay caused a lot of mixed feelings among the residence of the town, but surely Soapy made numerous "law and order" speeches that worked in his favor. Fay has been accused of being one of the Soap Gang, but more likely, this was Soapy doing his part as a "fixer," no doubt receiving a nice monthly sum from most, of the gambling houses, for his efforts.

Across from the Mondamin was the Pack Train Saloon, which is rumored to have been in alliance with Soapy.















Mondamin Hotel










Mondamin Hotel: pages 461, 525-26.





He was sprawled out with his Stetson lying there, but nobody dared put his feet together or place his hands over his heart. They didn’t dare show sympathy for fear somebody would pull out a gun.
— Bobby Sheldon
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 537



DECEMBER 8


1765: Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin and the concept of interchangeable parts, is born in Westboro, Massachusetts.
1776: During the American Revolution General George Washington moves his retreating army across the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
1863: President Lincoln announces Reconstruction, a plan to punish the southern states for the Civil War.
1863: American boxer, John Heenan, is defeated by Tom King of England in the first world heavyweight championship.
1869: The first 32 prison cells of the Colorado State Penitentiary are completed in Canon City, Colorado Territory.
1874: An unknown gang of men stop and rob the Kansas Pacific Railroad train near Muncie, Kansas, of a reported $30,000 and personal effects from the passengers. William "Bud" McDaniel, an associate of the James-Younger gang, is arrested in Kansas City, but he escapes from jail and is killed shortly afterward.
1874: A Comanche Indian camp in the Mushaqua Valley of Texas is attacked by soldiers under Lieutenant Lewis Warrington. Two Indians are killed, one is wounded, and one taken prisoner.
1879: “Big Ed” Burns is arrested with three men for stealing a gold watch and chain. Burns eventually becomes a member of Soapy Smith Soap Gang in Denver. Burns stays with the gang until Soapy’s death in 1898.
1883: John Heath and four masked men rob the store of A. A. Castanada in Bisbee, Arizona. Shooting erupts and several townspeople are killed in what newspapers call the Bisbee Massacre. The robbers rode away with $3,000 but are eventually captured and lynched.
1886: The American Federation of Labor is founded during a convention of union leaders in Columbus, Ohio.





December 7, 2014

The earliest (first) known soap sell racket (1856)?

1856 SOAP SELL RACKET
"Vox Populi" Print,
Lowell, Massachusetts.
courtesy of Capitalism by Gaslight








hen researching the prize package soap sell racket for my book, Alias Soapy Smith, one of the mysteries I wanted to solve, was whether Soapy Smith had invented the scam, as some earlier biographies suggested. I sought out the earliest examples of the swindle I could find, and quickly learned that Soapy was not the first to use the con, although there is no doubt that he is the most famous of the soap spielers. In searching old newspapers I found a few, but none earlier than the 1870s. I am thrilled to have accidentally come across this newspaper ad for the confidence trick, dating way back to 1856!


The following is from the Capitalism by Gaslight page.

“Grand gift distributions” and “prize packages” awarded cash and gifts to people who purchased tickets through the mail, attended special theatrical performances, or purchased products. Similar to lotteries (some charged they were too similar), gift distributions promised people would qualify to receive amounts of money and luxurious goods that were otherwise out of their reach.

Using a variety of techniques, prize package operators were swindlers by degrees. Major Ross induced customers to buy more bars of soap than they needed by entering into drawings for everything from handkerchiefs and gold watches to tracts of land. The fine print, however, reveals that people had only a one-in-20,000 chance of winning the grand prize – a house – if it existed at all.

Following is the text from the ad.

"Let those now wash who never washed before,
And those that often wash, now wash the more!"

MAJOR ROSS
THE WORLD-RENOWNED SOAP MAN!
Is in town with pints, quarts, gallons, hogsheads, tierces of soap. Yes, any quantity of soap:
WHO WILL BUY?
A BOX OF SOAP AND
A PRESENT!
Ranging from 25 cts to $500, for only $1. WHO WILL BUY!
The Major may be found at town hall,
Thursday, March 27, at 7 o'clock, P.M.
Admittance Free. Ladies respectfully invited.
Come, See, and Hear
Ross, Soap Man.

The list of prizes given is hard to decipher from this digital copy, but it includes a plot of land, gold watches, gold and silver charms and jewelry, all the way down to handkerchiefs. All told, over $1000 in merchandise is offered up as prizes. Below the list of prizes is the "remarks," which unfortunately are too small to read and be able to copy faithfully, but enough of it can be partially made out to form the opinion that it is a "warning" that not all who buy a chance will win a prize. It also explains that with each sale of soap, an envelope is given, in which contains a slip of paper. That slip of paper informs the purchaser if there is a prize to be awarded. Naturally, as in Soapy Smith's soap racket, Major Ross surely had shills and boosters working with him, hidden in place-sight within the crowd, who would expertly play the part of purchaser who "won" a prize. These bunko-sharps would make a spectacle of themselves, loudly proclaiming, and then claiming their prize in front of all to see. At this point the soap man would announce that certain larger prizes still remain unclaimed, which always excited the crowd to purchase up the remaining cakes of soap. 

Source:
Capitalism by Gaslight














Prize Package Soap Sell Racket
(There are numerous posts and they're not in order of importance so make sure to scroll) 










Prize Package Soap Sell Racket: pages 8, 15, 37-39, 41, 43, 45-56, 48, 52, 55-56, 58, 75, 95-97, 106, 119-20, 149, 159, 163, 410, 464, 485.





Not the least amusing trait of “Soapy” Smith’s character is the eager interest which he takes in the preservation of law and order. The interest is, of course, not purely unselfish, for he realizes that crimes of violence create a sort of public opinion likely to be unhealthy for his own peaceful, if peculiar, industry. He feels that there are times when fine distinctions get confused, and therefore he is always foremost for law and order coupled with life, liberty and the pursuit of a sure thing.
San Francisco Examiner
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 493.



DECEMBER 7


1787: Delaware is the first state to ratify the U.S. constitution.
1796: John Adams is elected the second president of the U.S.
1836: Martin Van Buren is elected the eighth president of the U.S.
1863: George Ives, a member of the “innocents” outlaw gang, robs and kills Nick Thiebalt in Ruby Valley, Montana Territory.
1868: The outlaw James-Younger gang robs the Gallatin, Missouri bank. John W. Sheets, a former captain in the Union Army, is shot and killed by Jesse James.
1871: The town of Kit Carson, Colorado Territory is surrounded by thousands of buffalo, who are ranging 200 miles farther west than usual. The Indians of the region say that it is a prediction of a bad winter.
1874: Twenty-six Indians surrender to Captain Keyes and the 10th Cavalry at Kingfisher Creek, Indian Territory.
1874: Four men rob the Tishomingo Bank in Cornith, Mississippi. Newspapers and some historians say it is the work of the James-Younger gang.
1875: John Clark brings the first flock of sheep into Arizona Territory.
1878: The first train to enter New Mexico Territory comes from Colorado via the Raton Pass.
1888: Buffalo Bill Cody visits Cheyenne, Wyoming.