Baker, Bill 1975-10-01

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Bill Baker gives a presentation detailing the life of Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, known as the Scamp of Skagway.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Bill Baker

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: October 1, 1975



Length: 50 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith, The Scamp of Scagway, Made his living off miners, Writers who should have written about Smith, Mark Twain, Robert Service, Biography of Soapy Smith, The Reign of Soapy Smith, By Edwin Westrate and William Collier, Anecdote about Dean W. C. Holden, Sources of anecdotes about Smith, The Tales, Trails and Trials of the Yukon, By Judge James Wickersham, The Klondike Fever, By Pierre Burton, The Highjinks of the Klondike, By Richard O'Connor, "Soapy" Smith, Worked on West Texas cattle drives, Born in Georgia (1860), Southern background, Brother named Baskum, To San Antonio, Texas, Learned to play "shell" game, To Leadville, Colorado, Origin of nickname, To Denver,Colorado, Opened up two gambling halls, Became influential, Description of gambling halls, The Arcadia, Use of barbers and street steerers, Ran a fake stock exchange, Reasons for success, Anecdote about being arrested, To Creed, Colorado, Description of town, Opposition from Bob Ford, Gambling/dance hall owner, Source of reputation as law-abiding, Anecdote about church contribution, Returned to Denver, Opened the Tiddily Club, Crooked gambling hall, Speech given by Smith in defense, To Mexico City, Mexico, Met with President Porfirio Diaz, Scheme to raise Mexican Foreign Legion, To Rangle, Alaska, To Scagway area, Alaska, Route to gold fields described, Geographical areas mentioned, Story about Sam McGee, Warning written by William B. Haskell, Smith's crooked and illegal activities, Hired help, Law enforcement efforts, Illegal activities detailed

Tape 1, Side 2: "Soapy" Smith (continued), Smith's crooked and illegal activities (continued), Ways of controlling people, Information bureau, Telegraph operation, United States Army Recruiting Center, Attempt to drive Smith out, Committee of 101, Smith's reply, Underworld in Scagqay, Passage by O'Connor read, Story about Smith told by Scott Howard, Story about a preacher, Smith organized the Scagway Guards (1898), For Cuban conflict, Story written by San Francisco journalist, "Scagway Guns" (poem), Smith's death (July 9, 1898), Committee of 101 reorganized, Killed by Frank Reed, Museum devoted to Smith in Scagway

Range Dates: 1860-1898

Bulk Dates: 1860-1898

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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