September 22, 2015

Is this Soapy Smith and his brother Bascomb

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Full card showing photograph

Jeff Smith collection
(Click image to enlarge)

I cannot find my source, but long ago I found an author who made the claim that this stereo-card shows bad man "Soapy" Smith and his younger brother Bascomb aboard a Northern Pacific train "heading to the Klondike." The train is most likely heading to Seattle, Washington where those heading to Alaska and then the Klondike, would board a steamer.

So is this Soapy and Bascomb? It could be. It sort of looks like it could be them, and Soapy did go to Washington numerous times, but unfortunately, there is no provenance.

A friend made the comment that the gentleman I think might be "Bascomb" actually looks a little like gang member John L. Bowers.

"It is popularly believed Reid killed Smith, but those claiming to know assert Murphy fired the fatal shots."
— Will Clayson
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 550.


1789: U.S. Congress authorizes the office of Postmaster General.
1862: U.S. President Lincoln issues the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. It states that all slaves held within rebel states would be free as of January 1, 1863.
1886: Famed lawman Bat Masterson has an altercation with a man named Bagsby inside The Exchange saloon in Denver, Colorado. Masterson strikes Bagsby, who draws a pistol and shoots Masterson in the leg. Neither men wish to make a complaint and no one is arrested. Masterson is a friend of bad man “Soapy” Smith’s.
1891: Sak, Fox, and Potawatomi lands are open for settlement in Oklahoma Territory.

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