July 4, 2009

Skagway, July 4, 1898

(Click image to enlarge)
Fitzhugh Lee float
Soapy Smith's eagle

The photograph above was taken by Reverend John Sinclair on July 4, 1898. It depicts the moments previous to the big scheduled parade. The float, a freight wagon, holds a large wire cage containing the live American bald eagle given to Soapy Smith a short time earlier. Behind the wagon a man holding a large American flag will be followed by Soapy's private volunteer army, the Skaguay Military Company, in which Soapy is Captain. The small boy dressed as "Uncle Sam" is the 9-year-old son of Soapy's business partner John Clancy. The wagon rests in front of Soapy's saloon, Jeff Smith's Parlor (far right). The white and grey horse between the Parlor and the wagon is Soapy's. He will be riding the same as (officially) the fourth division marshal of the parade, but Soapy manages to force his way to the front of the parade, becoming the unofficial grand marshal.

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