Incident at Sheep Camp

On this day, February 20, 1898 two thieves were caught at Sheep Camp on the Chilkoot Trail. The first thief was flogged, but the second escaped and fled down the trail. Too frightened to face his accusers, he took out his gun and shot himself dead. Now this thief was probably William Wellington as his name appears as having shot himself on this date. The grainy photo above could be of this incident, it is from the Yukon Archives.

Although no record exists as to where he was buried, the earliest burial in the Dyea Cemetery was in March 1898. In February there were several other burials in the Gold Rush Cemetery, so he was most likely buried there, but without a headboard.

Pierre Berton page 261 of Klondike Fever; Amelie Kneass in October 1944, “The Flogging at Sheep Camp”. Alaska Sportsman; John Pearson, letter home about incident.