A Wrong Corrected
Regarding misinformation and the use of Jeff's name out of context in the book, Alexander, The Man Who Knows, by David Charvet, from the research of John Pomeroy, 2004.
"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
...But pictures are better
by Jeff Smith
the 1990's I was contacted by, now deceased, author John
Pomeroy for information about Soapy Smith for a book he was writing on Claude Alexander Conlin, a well
know magician of the early twentieth century. His co-author was
and I continued to communicate about his theory that one of the men
standing by Soapy Smith in a photograph was possibly that of Conlin. In
2005, I learned that John
and David used my words, in a letter written to John back in the 1990's, out of context
to aid in an outlandish theory of theirs that Claude Alexander
Conlin had shot Soapy Smith on July 8, 1898. In their book,
Alexander-The Man Who Knows, 2004, I am used as a footnote
reference. In the reference, it appears that I agree with his
theory. This is simply and positively untrue. The Smith family has known for years who killed Soapy and it was not Conlin.
In a phone conversation, John claimed that he had paid for some expensive computer
analyzations to be performed between known photographs of Claude Alexander Conlin, and
the man standing next to Soapy inside Jeff Smith's Parlor.
I believed him, and sent him a letter of congratulations for his scientific
discovery that Conlin had been a member of
the Soapy Smith gang while in Skagway, Alaska. John
never discussed or disclosed his theory to me, about Conlin having shot Soapy
Here's how David and John did it
For years, because of what John had stated was an undeniable truth, I believed that the man's identity, standing near Soapy in a photograph, had been scientifically
proven to be that of Claude Alexander Conlin. I continued to disclose this information for years in public talks, interviews and a few published articles. There was one major problem.
John Pomory most probably lied to me
computer analyzation of photographs, or reliable evidence, has been produced and nothing was published about it in their book. I feel I was duped into supporting an outlandish theory. I
cannot, and will not accept falsehoods, especially when my name is involved as a reference. I have spent too many
years researching the life and death of Soapy Smith to stand idly
by while someone uses my own words, out of context, to give credence to ridiculous theories. All writers and historians should be aware that when they make outright false
statements in a published work, it can come back to haunt them. Furthermore, if it is discovered that information was intentionally falsified then the remaining information in their work (past, present and future work as well) become
subject to suspicion. It can ruin a reputation.
If you wish to purchase a nice, honest and well-researched historical scrapbook on the
life and magic of Claude Alexander Conlin, I strongly suggest the book,
ALEXANDER-THE MAN WHO KNOWS
by Darryl Beckmann
(published in 1995 but comes with a very recently published, 50 page addendum)
Order your copy here Market Magic Shop
Or go to
(and click on "Alexander")
Quotes on history and historians
Frank Reid may not have been the only person to shoot Soapy is accepted by
quite a few folks today, but to imply that Conlin had something to do with
Soapy's death is simply a fabrication and a fairy tale.It certainly doesn't give the reader much confidence in the myriad other
'facts' presented in the book.
-"Silverking" (from the Magic Cafe forum, regarding thebook,
Alexander Conlin, The Man Who Knows, by David Charvet 7/1/2007)
Generally, I suppose there are at least three types:
sentimental pap (which I find stomach turning), unfounded speculative filler
(much different from reasonable and logical editorial attempts at
interpretation), and false filler. The last for me is not just a supreme
disservice but a crime against history.
-Art Petersen, publisher, historian (6/20/2007)
People want make-believe to be like reality while wanting reality to be like make-believe.
-Jeff Morey, historian (8/3/2007)
One owes respect to the living, but to the dead, only the truth.
- author unknown
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