John A. Sinclair

The Rev. Sinclair was the Presbyterian missionary who is quite famous in the North. He was the person who buried Soapy Smith and later built the famous church at Lake Bennett where he stayed until April 1900 when he went to Eldorado and Creeks.
Born on February 27, 1864 in Scotch Corners Ontario, he married in 1895 and was in Skagway for the famous 4th of July 1898 parade. He took the photo above, and wrote in his diary that he snapped the shutter at 9:00 am on July 7, 1898 a mere 36 hours before Soapy was shot dead, which makes this the last photograph taken of Soapy while he was alive.

Rev. John Sinclair died too young, on this day, January 15, 1904 of an appendectomy. He wrote a book called “Mission: Klondike” which is available for sale online.; Mills; Sinclair; Berton; Yukon site



3 Replies to “John A. Sinclair”

  1. Wonderful to see the Skagway Historical Society create this blog. I look forward to watching it! Speaking of watching, I am officially “following” your blog. If you create the “follow” app., you will be able to see all your followers.

    Be sure to check out my blog on Soapy Smith!

    Jeff Smith
    g-grandson of Soapy Smith
    Blog: Soapy Smith’s Soap Box

  2. My grandfather, Arthur Sheffield, and his brother Harry bought a shack from Rev J Sinclair in September 1899 in Bennett, with Mr Bethune acting as lawyer. The brothers were in Yukon/Alaska from 1897 to 1901 and worked on the White Pass Railway nearing the end of its construction. They were present when the first train left for Skagway on 6 July 1899.

    Yvonne Evans (Australia)

  3. Great to find this page! My mother was a Scotch Corners Sinclair relative of John A., and worked on the Mission Klondike book helping out the author, family member James Sinclair, with transcription. This John is descended from one of 3 brothers who came to Canada together in 1822 – John, Colin, and Alex. They settled on adjacent farms. The family was close. Rev. John A. was a grandson of that John, while I come from Colin’s line. I see you have Rev. John’s year of birth as 1864. I have it in the family tree passed down as 1863. Not saying you’re wrong, just curious. I’ll reach out to Clan Sinclair Canada in search of a definitive date. As a photographer, I am very interested in Rev. John’s documentary work, and have been trolling the British Columbia Museum Archives. I’m interested, if you can steer me to any other sources. Thanks so much!

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