• Creator
  • Unidentified
  • Created Date
  • ca. 1898
  • Description
  • The lure of gold brought more than honest miners and foolish adventurers to the North. It also brought con men, thieves and opportunists who got rich by preying on gullible miners. Notorious among them was Jefferson "Soapy" Smith, whose gang of over 100 ruffians ruled Skagway in 1897 and 1898. He ran crooked gambling halls, freight companies that hauled nothing, telegraph offices that had no telegraph link, even an "army enlistment" tent where... more
    The lure of gold brought more than honest miners and foolish adventurers to the North. It also brought con men, thieves and opportunists who got rich by preying on gullible miners. Notorious among them was Jefferson "Soapy" Smith, whose gang of over 100 ruffians ruled Skagway in 1897 and 1898. He ran crooked gambling halls, freight companies that hauled nothing, telegraph offices that had no telegraph link, even an "army enlistment" tent where the victim's clothes and possessions were stolen while a "doctor" gave him a physical. His men met newcomers at the docks posing as clergymen, newspaper reporters, knowledgeable old-timers and freight company representatives. After sizing up a fellow with a fat wallet, they would direct him to one of Soapy's bogus businesses or mark him for a later robbery. Soapy met his end when he and his thugs fleeced a miner of $2,800 in gold. The miner, instead of slinking away beaten, fired up the citizens of Skagway who formed a vigilante committee... less
  • Format
  • Photograph
    image
    Scanned from a photographic print at 100-150 dpi in JPEG format at compression rate 3 and resized to 768x600 ppi. 2015