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The "Soapy" Smith Tragedy. (Cover Title) SHEA & PATTEN [COMPILERS].

The "Soapy" Smith Tragedy. (Cover Title)


Other works by SHEA & PATTEN .

Publication: Shea & Patten, 1907, Skagway

First edition. Oblong 16mo. Red pictorial wrappers, n.p. [24 pp.], illustrated, plates. There are thirteen plates, including the title page, and the text is on verso of plates. One of the most well-known con men of the 1800s, Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, II, operated several rackets in the American West for decades. From Texas to Colorado, to Alaska, Smith organized groups of bunko men into gangs that operated shell games, crooked gambling, and other scams. When the Klondike Gold Rush began in 1897, Soapy saw new opportunities and soon made his new home in Skagway, Alaska. Working from his saloon named Jeff Smith's Parlor, Soapy's cons began in earnest. But, some of the Skagway citizens weren't impressed with Soapy. Soon, several Skagway citizens had had enough and a vigilante group threatened to drive Smith out of town. Finally, when Soapy and his gang took $2,600 in gold from a Klondike miner in an illegal Three-card Monte game, the vigilantes demanded that Soapy give him back his gold. Soapy, of course, refused. Before long a gunfight erupted, leaving Soapy dead. Six Guns 1988 says "Rare." "This exceedingly rare little book is said to have been written by H. B. LeFevre, of Skagway. It is a condensed history of the reign of terror and outlawry in White Pass and the Skagway country in 1898, the formation of the vigilance committee, Soapy Smith's counter organization of thugs and cutthroats known as the "Law and Order Committee of 303," and the killing of Soapy and the breaking up of his gang." Soapy Smith was killed by Frank H. Reid, the elected City Engineer, during a brief altercation on July 8, 1898. Original covers are lightly worn at the fore-edges and the extremities, however all of the text is fine. Housed in a leatherette clamshell case with titles stamped in gilt on the front cover and spine.

Inventory Number: 50625