Teddy Should Have Killed Him

The following humorous letter exchange was published in the February 8, 1910, edition of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner:

Teddy Reached Sweden With $20,000 on Him and His People There Cannot Understand How He Got That Much Money Without Having Killed Gus Conradt for it—Allege He “Should Have Killed Gus”

Teddy Bloom, an old-timer in the North and who has been mining on Ester, landed in Sweden with $20,000. How he could come by so much money honestly could not be understood by the authorities, and someone started the story that he got it by killing and robbing his partner, Gus Conradt, of Ester, who is alive and well today. So, they jailed poor Teddy and wrote Washington D. C., to obtain from Delegate Wickersham of Alaska the corroboration of their suspicions.

The letter to our Delegate and his reply have reached us from Barney Goss, and are herewith given:

November 19, 1909

To: Honorable James Wickersham

Dear Sir,
Last winter arrived here on a visit from Alaska a person by the name of M. T. Sjolblom, who apparently has a little money and which he claims to have made through mining in Alaska. But lately there has been stories circulating here that he should have killed his partner, Gus Conradt, and stolen something over twenty thousand dollars and that should have been the way he made it.

Now, he claims that your Honor has known him both as a mail carrier on the Yukon and as a miner on Ester Creek, Fairbanks. Therefore I have taken the liberty of writing to you Honor and asking if you would kindly send us a few lines about his reputation and circumstances there and help to clear his reputation or else to punish the guilty. By doing so you would greatly oblige.

Yours very respectfully,
August Eriksson

P. S. To help your honor’s memory he wishes it stated that he was among his friends known mostly by the name of Teddy Bloom and was a partner of Gus Conradt on six below right limit on Ester Creek.

Wickersham’s Reply written on January 10, 1910

Dear Sir,
So you have got “Teddy Bloom” in jail? Well, any man who will work as hard as “Teddy” did in Alaska and then fool his money away to go back to Sweden ought to be sent to jail. I notice you give “Teddy” credit for stealing $20,000. I am sure he would not steal any less, and a record of that kind will be looked on by his friends in Alaska as creditable. You are mistaken, however, in your suspicion that “Teddy” killed Gus Conradt, for I saw Gus in Fairbanks, Alaska in November, in his own proper person, as sober as a judge. Gus is not dead and will be greatly surprised to learn that he ever had $20,000. From what I know about the friendship between Gus Conradt and “Teddy Bloom,” if either of them had $20,000 he would divide it with the other. Yes, I know “Teddy” when he was a mail carrier on the Yukon River, and I knew him as a miner on Ester Creek; he is as ugly as a Norse pirate ought to be, and looks as if he would kill a man for 20 cents, but he won’t. If he gets to drinking some of your Swede “hootch” he may look uglier and get more like a pirate, but when he gets sober it will be all right.

Officially, Mr. M. T. Sjoblom is a citizen of Fairbanks, Alaska. He bears a good reputation there, and what money he has with him in Sweden he got honestly mining in Fairbanks, Alaska. Ask him to telegraph me if he is in trouble, and I will help him out.

James Wickersham
Delegate From Alaska

Note: August Conradt was a charter member of Igloo No. 4 here in Fairbanks and later went on to serve as president for that Igloo. Judge James Wickersham was a member of Juneau Igloo No. 6. This history nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.

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