Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Did Soapy Smith Work For the Rio Grande?

If the letter displayed on the Soapy Smith's Soapbox blog is credible and not a fabrication of Smith or a descendant, Smith worked as a "train baggag" (sic) manager for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad out of Pueblo for 14 months, ending in 1882. But hold on, it doesn't appear to be all it claims to be, as the blog lists several alternatives for the letter's origins.

For those unfamiliar, Soapy Smith was the con man's con man. From Denver to Creede, he ran games, swindled money and even charged money to view a "mummy" found in the mountains (the mummy was later found to be concrete). His end came not in Colorado, but Skagway, Alaska. Nonetheless, he was one of the most colorful characters to ride the railroads of Colorado.

1 comment:

Jeff Smith said...

Hi, Thank you for linking the Soapy Smith story to my blog. I have a website too, at Alias Soapy Smith, which has a lot more details and information than the Wikipedia article.

I wanted to let you know that the letter is indeed authentic. Soapy (my great grandfather) ran his empires like a business and thus kept records plus most of his correspondence and documents. There are thousands of letters and documents of which I have almost 200 myself.

The "mummy" was actually a real human being ... and still exists! I will have all the details in my new book being printed as I write this. The blog has all the details.

Jeff Smith