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He showed no fear of any man. Wyatt was lucky during the few gun fights he took part in from his earliest job as an assistant police officer in Wichita to Tombstone, where he was briefly deputy U. Unlike his lawmen brothers Virgil and James, Wyatt was never wounded, although once his clothing and his saddle were shot through with bullet holes.

Flood's biography as dictated to him by Wyatt Earp , Wyatt vividly recalled a presence that in several instances warned him away or urged him to take action. This happened when he was on the street, alone in his room at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, at Bob Hatch's Pool Hall, where he went moments before Morgan was assassinated, and again when he approached Iron Springs and surprised Curly Bill Brocius, killing him. After the shootout in Tombstone, his pursuit and murder of those who attacked his brothers, and after leaving Arizona, Wyatt was often the target of negative newspaper stories that disparaged his and his brothers' reputation.

His role in history has stimulated considerable ongoing scholarly and editorial debate. A large body of literature has been written about Wyatt Earp and his legacy, some of it highly fictionalized. Considerable portions of it are either full of admiration and flattery or hostile debunking. Wyatt was repeatedly criticized in the media over the remainder of his life. His wife Josephine wrote, "The falsehoods that were printed in some of the newspapers about him and the unjust accusations against him hurt Wyatt more deeply than anything that ever happened to him during my life with him, with the exception of his mother's death and that of his father and brother, Warren.

It described Behan as "an honest man, a good official, and possessed many of the attributes of a gentleman".

Tombstone Arizona

Earp, on the other hand, "was head of band of desperadoes, a partner in stage robbers, and a friend of gamblers and professional killers Wyatt was the boss killer of the region. Former nemesis Johnny Behan continued to spread rumors about the Earps for the next 20 years. On December 7, , he was quoted in a story in the Washington Post , reprinted by the San Francisco Call , describing the Earp's lawbreaking behavior in Tombstone.

After referring to the Fitzimmons-Sharkey fight, the article quoted Behan. Between them and Earps rose a bitter feud over the division of the proceeds of the looting. The Earp boys believed they had failed to get a fair divide of the booty and swore vengeance.

They caught their former allies in Tombstone unarmed and shot three of them dead while their hands were uplifted. Warrants were issued for their arrest, and, summoning a posse, I went out to bring the Earps in. They were chased entirely out of the country and Tombstone knew them no more. After Earp left Alaska in , the New York Sun printed a story in that described a confrontation Earp had reportedly had with a short 5 feet 1. The story was reprinted as far away as New Zealand by the Otago Witness. Raines described the gunfight as an ambush. He said that he remembered the Earps shot the Cowboys and killed Ike Clanton when they actually killed his brother Billy before the Cowboys had a chance to surrender.

He recalled that the Cowboys "were leading their horses out of the gate when they were confronted, almost from ambush, by four of the Earps, Virgil. Wyatt, Morgan and Jim and by Doc Holliday. Virgil Earp, armed with a sawed off express shotgun, and accompanying his demand with profanity, yelled "Hands up! Tom McLowery [ sic ] showed his empty bands, and cried.

Ike Clanton fell at the first fire, mortally wounded, but he rolled over and fired two shots from his pistol between his bent knees. During , Frederick R. Bechdolt published the book When the West Was Young , [] which included a story about Wyatt's time in Tombstone, but he mangled many basic facts. He described the Earp-Clanton differences as the falling-out of partners in crime.

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It said that the Earps were allies of Frank Stilwell, who had informed on them, so they killed him, [] and that Earp had died in Colton, California. The author concocted a fictional description of the Earp's relationship with Sheriff Behan and the Cowboys:. Trouble arose between them and Sheriff John Behan, who tried to 'clean up' the town. Trouble began when four cowboys refused to recognize the right of the Earp gang to rule the town.

The Earps ordered the cowboys out of town and they were preparing to leave when they were waylaid and a gun battle followed during which Virgil Earp was shot in the leg, Morgan Earp in the shoulder and Ike Clanton was killed. The town was aroused and Frank Stilwell, who led the stage robberies, brought the trouble to a climax when he informed against his partners, because the Earps would not divide fairly.

In a gun battle that followed, Stilwell killed Morgan Earp. A few months later another stage was robbed, and the driver, 'Bud' Philpot, was killed. Josephine and Earps' friend and actor William Hart both wrote letters to the publisher. Josephine demanded that the error "must be corrected and printed in the same sensational manner" given to the correction as to the original article, which the paper published. At the time of his death, Earp may have been more well known for the controversy that engulfed him after the Fitzsimmons vs. Sharkey match in San Francisco than for the gunfight in Tombstone.

As Deputy United States Marshal, Earp had been sent from town to town to quell disturbances and establish peace. His only recorded visit to California in those days was his memorable trip to Colton, then known as the "toughest town untamed. Earp's modern-day reputation is that of the Old West's "toughest and deadliest gunman of his day". Author Walter Noble Burns visited Earp in September and asked him questions with the intent to write a book about Earp. Earp declined because he was already collaborating with John Flood.

Burns visited Tombstone and based on what he learned decided instead to focus his book on Doc Holliday. He pestered Earp for facts, and on March 27 the next year, Earp finally responded to Burns' repeated requests in an page letter outlining the basic facts from Earp's point of view. When their efforts to get the Flood manuscript published failed, the Earps decided to appeal to Burns, whose own book was near publication. But he was not interested. His book was about to be published, free of the constraints imposed by a collaboration with Earp.

I should have been delighted six months ago to accept your offer but it is too late now. My book has championed Mr. Earp's cause throughout and I believe will vindicate his reputation in Tombstone in a way that he will like. In late , Burns published Tombstone, An Iliad of the Southwest, a mesmerizing tale "of blood and thunder," that christened Earp as the "Lion of Tombstone". Something epic in him, fashioned in Homeric mold.

In his way, a hero. Readers and reviewers found they had a difficult time discerning between "fact and fiction. Burns treated Earp as a mythical figure, a "larger-than-life hero whose many portrayals in film, television, and books often render fidelity to truth the first casualty. Breakenridge was assisted by Western novelist William MacLeod Raine , who since had published more than 25 novels about Western history.

The book was published in before Wyatt died. Corral gun fight stated that the Clanton and McLaury brothers were merely cowboys who had been unarmed and surrendered but the Earp brothers had shot them in cold blood. Earp complained about the book until his death in , and his wife continued in the same vein afterward. Edwin V.

Burkholder, who specialized in stories about the Old West, published an article about Wyatt in in Argosy Magazine. He called Wyatt Earp a coward and murderer, and manufactured evidence to support his allegations. Qualey", for the Western magazine Real West. His stores were filled with sensational claims about Wyatt Earp's villainy, and he made up fake letters to the editor from supposed "old-timers" to corroborate this story. Allie Earp was so upset by the way Waters distorted and manipulated her words that she threatened to shoot him.

In it, Waters vociferously berated Wyatt:. Wyatt was an itinerant saloonkeeper, cardsharp, gunman, bigamist, church deacon, policeman, bunco artist, and a supreme confidence man. A lifelong exhibitionist ridiculed alike by members of his own family, neighbors, contemporaries, and the public press, he lived his last years in poverty, still vainly trying to find someone to publicize his life, and died two years before his fictitious biography recast him in the role of America's most famous frontier marshal.

Purportedly quoting Allie, he invented bitter public fights between Mattie and Wyatt, and told how Wyatt's affair with Sadie Marcus, "the slut of Tombstone," had humiliated Mattie. He condemned the Earp brothers' character and called them names. Waters used Allie Earp's anecdotes as a frame for adding a narrative and "building a case, essentially piling quote upon quote to prove that Wyatt Earp was a con man, thief, robber, and eventually murderer". Reidhead, author of Travesty: Frank Waters Earp Agenda Exposed , spent nearly a decade searching for Water's original manuscript, researching him, his background, and his bias against the Earps.

In doing so, the author discovered that the story Waters presented against the Earps was primarily fictitious. Because of his later reputation, few writers, even today, dare question Waters' motives. They also do not bother fact checking the Earp Brothers of Tombstone , which is so inaccurate it should be considered fiction, rather than fact. Anti-Earp writers and researchers use Frank Waters' Earp Brothers of Tombstone , as their primary source for material that presents Wyatt Earp as something of a villainous monster, aided and abetted by his brothers who were almost brutes.

Waters detested the Earps so badly that he presented a book that was terribly flawed, poorly edited, and brimming with prevarications. In his other work, Waters is poetic. In the Earp Brothers of Tombstone , he is little more than a tabloid hack, trying to slander someone he dislikes.

His books were strongly anti-Earp and attacked Wyatt Earp's image as a hero. Bartholomew went about this by reciting snippets of accumulated anti-Earp facts, rumors, gossip, and innuendo. Bartholomew's books started a trend of debunking Earp, and the academic community followed his lead, pursuing the image of Earp as a "fighting pimp". One inconsistency by Barra, pointed out by another reviewer, includes a description of the poker game the night before the shootout.

He wrote a letter to John Hays Hammond on May 21, , telling him "notoriety had been the bane of my life. I detest it, and I never have put forth any effort to check the tales that have been published in which my brothers and I are supposed to have been the principal participants. Not one of them is correct. He was tired of all the lies perpetuated about him and became determined to get his story accurately told. Earp did not trust the press and preferred to keep his mouth shut. The many negative, untruthful stories bothered Earp a great deal, and he finally decided to tell his own story.

Scanland, the author of the LA Times article, and extract a written retraction from him, which he finally did in In , Earp began to collaborate on a biography with his friend and former mining engineer with John Flood to get his story told in a way that he approved. Lake published the first biography of Wyatt Earp, [] : — Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal in , [31] two years after Earp died.

Lake wrote the book with Earp's input, [] but was only able to interview him eight times before Earp died, [] during which Earp sketched out the "barest facts" of his life.

Wyatt Earp - Wikipedia

Lake initially sought Earp out hoping to write a magazine article about him. Earp was also seeking a biographer at about the same time. Earp, who was 80, was concerned that his vantage point on the Tombstone story may be lost, and may have been financially motivated, as he had little income in his last years of life. During the interviews and in later correspondence, Josephine and Wyatt went to great lengths to keep her name out of Lake's book. Lake's creative biography portrays Earp as a "Western superhero", [] "gallant white knight" [] and entirely avoided mentioning Josephine Earp or Blaylock.

A number of Hollywood movies have been directly and indirectly influenced by Lake's book and its depiction of Earp's role as a western lawman. Corral in the public consciousness and Earp as a fearless lawman in the American Old West. The book "is now regarded more as fiction than fact", [] "an imaginative hoax, a fabrication mixed with just enough fact to give it credibility".

Josephine Earp worked hard to create an image of Wyatt as a teetotaler , [] but as a saloon owner and gambler, he drank occasionally as well. When Flood and Lake wrote their biographies, Prohibition was in force. Among the other facts Josephine wanted scrubbed from Earp's history, was that he liked a drink. She persuaded biographers Flood, Lake and Burns to write that Earp was a non-drinker. A good friend of Earp's, Charlie Welsh, was known to disappear for days at a time "to see property", the family euphemism for a drinking binge, and Earp was his regular partner.

Buntline was supposed to have presented them to lawmen in thanks for their help with contributing "local color" to his western yarns. According to Lake, the revolver was equipped with a detachable metal shoulder stock. However, neither Tilghman nor Brown were lawmen then. Researchers have never found any record of an order received by the Colt company, and Ned Buntline's alleged connections to Earp's have been largely discredited. After the publication of Lake's book, various Colt revolvers with long 10" or 16" barrels were referred to as "Colt Buntlines".

Colt re-introduced the revolvers in its second generation revolvers produced after Earp's reputation has been confused by inaccurate, conflicting, and false stories told about him by others, and by his own claims that cannot be corroborated. For example, in an interview with a reporter in Denver in , he denied that he had killed Johnny Ringo. In , he was interviewed by an agent of California historian Hubert H. Bancroft , and Earp claimed that he had killed "over a dozen stage robbers, murderers, and cattle thieves". However, Earp included details that do not match what is known about Ringo's death.

Earp repeated that claim to at least three other people. At the hearing following the Tombstone shootout, Earp said he had been marshal in Dodge City, a claim he repeated in an August 16, , interview that appeared in The San Francisco Examiner. But Earp had only been an assistant city marshal there. During an interview with his future biographer Stuart Lake during the late s, Earp said that he arrested notorious gunslinger Ben Thompson in Ellsworth , Kansas , on August 15, , when news accounts and Thompson's own contemporary account about the episode do not mention his presence.

However he was not convicted of the last charge and was released. In the same interview, Earp claimed that George Hoyt had intended to kill him, although newspaper accounts from that time report differently. Cowboy Charlie Siringo witnessed the incident and left a written account. Wyatt outlived his brothers, and due to the fame Wyatt gained from Lake's biography and later adaptations of it, he is often mistakenly viewed as the central character and hero of the gunfight at the O. Marshal and Tombstone City Marshal, actually held the legal authority in Tombstone the day of the shootout.

Wyatt was only a temporary assistant marshal to his brother. Western historian and author John Boessenecker describes Earp as an "enigmatic figure He always lived on the outer fringe of respectable society, and his closest companions were gamblers and sporting men Wyatt never set down roots in any one place; when the money stopped coming in or his problems became too great, he would pull up stakes and move on to the next boomtown For his entire life was a gamble, an effort to make money without working hard for it, to succeed quickly without ever settling in for the long haul.

One of the most well known and for many years respected books about Wyatt Earp was the book I Married Wyatt Earp , originally credited as a factual memoir by Josephine Marcus Earp. Published in , it was edited by amateur historian Glenn Boyer , [] : 4 [] and published by the respected University of Arizona Press. It was immensely popular for many years, capturing the imagination of people with an interest in western history, studied in classrooms, cited by scholars, [] : 50 and relied upon as factual by filmmakers.

In , writer Tony Ortega wrote a lengthy investigative article for the Phoenix New Times for which he interviewed Boyer. Boyer said that he was uninterested in what others thought of the accuracy of what he had written. I don't have to adhere to the kind of jacket that these people are putting on me. I am not a historian. I'm a storyteller. Boyer and the University Press' credibility was severely damaged. In the university referred all questions to university lawyers who investigated some of the allegations about Boyer's work. As a result, other works by Boyer were subsequently questioned.

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His book, Wyatt Earp's Tombstone Vendetta , published in , was according to Boyer based on an account written by a previously unknown Tombstone journalist that he named "Theodore Ten Eyck", but whose identity could not be independently verified. Boyer claimed that the manuscript was "clearly authentic" and that it contained "fascinating revelations if they are true and would make an ace movie".

History professor William Urban also described "the questionable scholarship of Glenn Boyer, the dominant figure in Earpiana for the past several decades, who has apparently invented a manuscript and then cited it as a major source in his publications. This does not surprise this reviewer, who has personal experience with Boyer's pretentious exaggeration of his acquaintance with Warren County records.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American gambler and frontier marshal. For other uses, see Wyatt Earp disambiguation. Earp at about age 39 [1] : Monmouth, Illinois. Urilla Sutherland m. Sally Heckell m. Celia Ann "Mattie" Blaylock m. Josephine Sarah Marcus m. Main article: Nicholas Porter Earp. Further information on political issues and election fraud: Cochise County in the Old West. Main article: Gunfight at the O. Main article: O. Corral hearing and aftermath. Main article: Earp Vendetta Ride. Main article: Fitzsimmons vs.

Further information: Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. Main article: Colt Buntline. Main article: I Married Wyatt Earp. Main article: Wyatt Earp in popular culture. Retrieved November 29, True West Magazine. August 31, Retrieved July 10, Archived from the original on November 4, Retrieved February 13, Archived from the original on April 13, Retrieved October 21, Archived from the original on November 7, Retrieved March 15, Retrieved July 31, March 18, Archived from the original on February 13, Retrieved February 12, Visit Nome Alaska. Archived PDF from the original on February 13, The New York Times.

January 14, Archived from the original on October 18, Retrieved November 6, Western Illinois University Archives.

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Monmouth, Illinois: Monmouth College. Archived from the original on March 5, Genealogy Magazine. Archived from the original on March 26, Retrieved March 25, Archived from the original on March 16, Retrieved April 11, Archived from the original on July 9, Retrieved June 26, American Experience. Archived from the original on April 12, Retrieved November 17, Archived from the original on November 18, Retrieved November 5, Archived from the original on February 11, City of San Bernardino, California.

Archived from the original on May 12, Retrieved April 27, Spartacus International. Archived from the original on November 19, Retrieved November 19, The Lure of Olde Arizona. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. Archived from the original on May 11, January 25, Archived from the original on January 30, Archived from the original on October 2, Retrieved April 23, University of Illinois Press.

Archived from the original on October 11, Retrieved July 1, Archived from the original on November 11, Retrieved November 1, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life. Archived from the original on June 19, Retrieved April 14, Archived from the original on February 1, Retrieved January 27, Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal.

New York: Pocket Books. Archived from the original on July 24, Retrieved March 1, Earp First ed. Daily Alta California. June 22, Archived from the original on November 12, November — December American Cowboy. Active Interest Media, Inc. American Heritage. Archived from the original on May 7, Retrieved April 17, Archived from the original on October 7, Retrieved November 3, Retrieved September 13, Retrieved July 25, Wyatt Earp. Chelsea House Publications. Archived from the original on May 29, Archived from the original on March 17, Boxing in New Mexico, — Archived from the original on March 7, Retrieved November 2, Famous Trials: The O.

Corral Trial. Archived from the original on February 3, Retrieved February 6, From Turner, Alford Ed. Summer Kansas Historical Quarterly. Archived PDF from the original on March 26, Retrieved June 28, Around Tombstone: Ghost Towns and Gunfights. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. Archived from the original on May 1, Corral Gunfight.

New York: Morrow. Clum's Tucson and Tombstone Years". The Journal of Arizona History. Retrieved May 12, Archived from the original on December 22, Real West. January Archived from the original on September 28, January 16, Retrieved February 28, Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters. Archived from the original on October 30, The Spell of the West. Brown, Richard Maxwell ed. Helldorado: Bringing the Law to the Mesquite. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Archived from the original on June 4, Los Angeles Herald.

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October 29, Retrieved October 16, American Heritage Magazine. March 22, The Tuth about Wyatt Earp. San Jose, CA: iUniverse. Arizona Weekly Citizen. January 1, Archived from the original on October 28, Retrieved October 27, Flood Manuscript Unpublished manuscript ed. Archived from the original on March 19, Archived from the original on August 31, Retrieved May 5, Archived from the original on September 27, John Ringo First ed.

John Ringo first ed. Archived from the original on May 20, Curly Bill". Tombstone Vigilantes. Archived from the original on June 21, Sierra Bonita Historical Society Newsletter. Archived PDF from the original on May 15, Retrieved September 14, Arizona Genealogy. Archived from the original on July 13, County Website. Cochise County. Archived from the original on September 3, Retrieved September 25, Retrieved May 22, Arizona Territory — A Political history.

Tucson: University of Arizona Press. December 5, Law and Disorder. Archived from the original on December 15, Retrieved February 7, The Encyclopedia of Lawmen, Outlaws, and Gunfighters. New York: Checkmark. Wild West History Association Journal. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on November 6, Archived from the original on March 18, To avoid bloodshed, Cowboy Frank Patterson promised Hurst they would return the mules and Hurst persuaded the posse to withdraw.

Hurst went to nearby Charleston , but the Cowboys showed up two days later without the mules, laughing at Hurst and the Earps. In response, Hurst had printed and distributed a handbill in which he named Frank McLaury as specifically assisting with hiding the mules. He reprinted this in The Tombstone Epitaph on July 30, When Virgil said he had not, McLaury said if Virgil had printed the handbills it was Frank's intention to kill Virgil. He had taken the reins and driver's seat in Contention City because the usual driver, a well-known and popular man named Eli "Budd" Philpot, was ill. Philpot was riding shotgun.

Near Drew's Station , just outside Contention City , a man stepped into the road and commanded them to "Hold! Paul, in the driver's seat, fired his shotgun and emptied his revolver at the robbers, wounding a Cowboy later identified as Bill Leonard in the groin. Philpot, riding shotgun, and passenger Peter Roerig, riding in the rear dickey seat , were both shot and killed.

Paul, who normally rode shotgun, later said he thought the first shot killing Philpot had been meant for him. Deputy U. Robbery of a mail-carrying stagecoach was both a federal crime and territorial crime, and the posse consisted of both county and federal authorities and deputies. The posse trailed the robbers to a nearby ranch where they found a drifter named Luther King. He wouldn't tell who his confederates were until the posse lied and told him that Doc Holliday 's girlfriend had been shot. Fearful of Holliday's reputation, he confessed to holding the reins of the robbers' horses, and identified Bill Leonard, Harry "The Kid" Head and Jim Crane as the robbers.

Behan and Williams escorted King back to Tombstone. Somehow King walked in the front door of the jail and a few minutes later out the back. Woods claimed that someone had deliberately unlocked a secured back door to the jail. They returned to Tombstone on April 1. Virgil was incensed. After he was passed over by Johnny Behan for the position of undersheriff, Wyatt thought he might beat him in the next Cochise County election in late He thought catching the murderers of Bud Philpot and Peter Roerig would help him win the sheriff's office.

Ike began to fear that word of his possible cooperation had leaked, threatening to compromise his standing among the Cowboys. Undercover Wells Fargo Company agent M. Williams suspected a deal, and said something to Ike, who was fearful that other Cowboys might learn of his double-cross. The fallout over the Cowboys' attempt to implicate Holliday and the Earps in the robbery, [27] : along with Behan's involvement in King's escape, was the beginning of increasingly bad feelings between the Earp brothers and Cowboy factions. Wyatt Earp and Cochise County sheriff Johnny Behan were interested in the same sheriff's position and also may have shared an interest in the same woman, Josephine Marcus , known as Sadie.

Citizens of Tombstone believed that Behan and Marcus were married, but Behan was a known womanizer and had sex with prostitutes and other women. In early , Marcus ended the relationship after she came home and found Behan in bed with the wife of a friend [65] and kicked him out, [66] although she used the Behan surname through the end of that summer.

She rented her home sometime before April to Dr. George Goodfellow. Wyatt Earp lived with Mattie Blaylock [67] : who was listed as his wife in the census, who had a growing addiction to the easily available opiate laudanum. There are no contemporary Tombstone records that indicate a relationship between Marcus and Earp, but Earp certainly knew her, because both Behan and Earp had offices above the Crystal Palace Saloon.

Sadie, traveling as either Mrs. Earp or Mrs. In July , Wyatt left Colorado and went to San Francisco, [71] where he sought out Sadie and his brother Virgil, who was seeking treatment for his arm. Tensions between the Earps and the McLaurys further increased when another passenger stage on the 'Sandy Bob Line' in the Tombstone area, bound for Bisbee , was held up on September 8, The masked bandits robbed all of the passengers of their valuables since the stage was not carrying a strongbox.

During the robbery, the driver heard one of the robbers describe the money as "sugar", a phrase known to be used by Frank Stilwell. Stilwell had until the prior month been a deputy for Sheriff Behan but had been fired for "accounting irregularities". Wyatt and Virgil Earp rode with a sheriff's posse and tracked the Bisbee stage robbers. Virgil had been appointed Tombstone's town marshal i. However, Virgil at the same time continued to hold his position of deputy U. At the scene of the holdup, Wyatt discovered an unusual boot print left by someone wearing a custom-repaired boot heel.

Frank Stilwell had just arrived in Bisbee with his livery stable partner, Pete Spence , when the two were arrested by Deputy U. Marshal Virgil Earp for the holdup. Both were friends of Ike Clanton and the McLaurys. At the preliminary hearing, Stilwell and Spence were able to provide several witnesses who supported their alibis. Judge Spicer dropped the charges for insufficient evidence just as he had done for Doc Holliday earlier in the year. Released on bail, Spence and Stilwell were re-arrested October 13 by Marshal Virgil Earp for the Bisbee robbery on a new federal charge of interfering with a mail carrier.

Ike and other Cowboys believed the new arrest was further evidence that the Earps were illegally persecuting the Cowboys. Milt Joyce, a county supervisor and owner of the Oriental Saloon, had a contentious relationship with Doc Holliday. Tyler had been hired by a competing gambling establishment to drive customers from Joyce's saloon. Joyce did not like Holliday or the Earps and he continued to argue with Holliday.

Joyce ordered Holliday removed from the saloon but would not return Holliday's revolver. But Holliday returned carrying a double-action revolver. Milt brandished a pistol and threatened Holliday, but Holliday shot Joyce in the palm, disarming him, and then shot Joyce's business partner William Parker in the big toe. Joyce then hit Holliday over the head with his revolver. Holliday and his on-again, off-again mistress Big Nose Kate had many fights. After a particularly nasty, drunken argument, Holliday kicked her out.

They plied Big Nose Kate with more booze and suggested to her a way to get even with Holliday. She signed an affidavit implicating Holliday in the attempted stagecoach robbery and murders. Holliday was a good friend of Bill Leonard, a former watchmaker from New York , one of three men implicated in the robbery. The Earps found witnesses who could attest to Holliday's location at the time of the murders and Kate sobered up, revealing that Behan and Joyce had influenced her to sign a document she didn't understand. With the Cowboy plot revealed, Spicer freed Holliday.

The district attorney threw out the charges, labeling them "ridiculous. Wyatt Earp testified after the gunfight that five or six weeks prior he had met Ike Clanton outside the Alhambra Hotel. Ike told Wyatt that Doc Holliday had told him he knew of Ike's meetings with Wyatt and about Ike providing information on Head, Leonard, and Crane, as well as their attempted robbery of the stage. Ike now accused Earp of telling Holliday about these conversations. Earp testified that he told Ike he had not told Holliday anything. Wyatt Earp offered to prove this when Holliday and the Clantons next returned to town.

A month later, the weekend before the shootout, Morgan Earp was concerned about possible trouble with the Cowboys. He asked Doc Holliday to come back to Tombstone from a fiesta celebration in Tucson where Holliday had been gambling. Upon his return, Wyatt Earp asked Holliday about Ike's accusation. They were in town to sell a large number of beef stock , most of them owned by the McLaurys.

Dodge, who had been sick, got up and went looking for city marshal Virgil Earp. Near midnight, Holliday saw Clanton in the Alhambra Saloon and confronted Ike, accusing him of lying about their previous conversations. They got into a heated argument. Wyatt Earp who was not wearing a badge encouraged his brother Morgan to intervene. Morgan took Holliday out onto the street and Ike, who had been drinking steadily, followed them.

City Marshal Virgil Earp arrived a few minutes later and threatened to arrest both Holliday and Clanton if they did not stop arguing. Wyatt Earp walked over to the Oriental Saloon and Ike followed him. They talked again, and Ike threatened to confront Holliday in the morning.

Ike told Earp that the fighting talk had been going on for a long time and that he intended to put an end to it. Ike told Earp, "I will be ready for you in the morning. At about dawn on October 26, the card game broke up and Behan and Virgil Earp went home to bed. Ike Clanton testified later he saw Virgil take his six-shooter out of his lap and stick it in his pants when the game ended.

Shortly after am barkeeper E. Boyle spoke to Ike Clanton in front of the telegraph office. Clanton had been drinking all night and Boyle encouraged him to get some sleep, but Ike insisted he would not go to bed. Boyle later testified he noticed Ike was armed and covered his gun for him. Boyle later said that Ike told him, "'As soon as the Earps and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street, the ball would open—that they would have to fight' I went down to Wyatt Earp's house and told him that Ike Clanton had threatened that when him and his brothers and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street that the ball would open.

He woke Virgil, who listened, and went back to sleep. Ike's ongoing threats were not worth losing sleep. Later in the morning, Ike picked up his rifle and revolver from the West End Corral, where he had deposited his weapons and stabled his wagon and team after entering town. By noon that day, Ike was still drinking and once again armed, in violation of the city ordinance against carrying firearms in the city.

He told anyone who would listen he was looking for Holliday or an Earp. At Fly's boarding house where Holliday and his common-law wife Mary Katharine Horony were sleeping, proprietor Mary Fly heard Clanton's threats and banged on Holliday's door. Fly told Horony, "Ike Clanton was here looking for [Holliday], and he had a rifle with him.

Wallace for violating the ordinance. Wyatt waited with Clanton while Virgil went to find Justice Wallace so a court hearing could be held. While Wyatt waited for Virgil to return with Justice Wallace, witnesses overheard Wyatt tell Clanton, "You cattle thieving son-of-a-bitch, and you know that I know you are a cattle thieving son-of-a-bitch, you've threatened my life enough, and you've got to fight! Ike reported in his testimony afterward that Wyatt Earp cursed him. He said Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan offered him his rifle and to fight him right there in the courthouse, which Ike declined.

Ike also denied ever threatening the Earps. Ike paid the fine and Virgil told Ike he could pick up his confiscated rifle and revolver at the Grand Hotel, which was favored by Cowboys when in town. Ike testified that he picked up the weapons from William Soule, the jailer, a couple of days later. Outside the court house where Ike was being fined, Tombstone Deputy Marshal Wyatt almost walked into 28 year-old Tom McLaury as the two men were brought up short nose-to-nose. Tom, who had arrived in town the day before, was required by the well-known city ordinance to deposit his pistol when he first arrived in town.

When Wyatt demanded, "Are you heeled or not? Wyatt testified that he saw a revolver in plain sight on the right hip of Tom's pants. Witnesses reported that Wyatt drew his revolver from his coat pocket and pistol whipped Tom McLaury with it twice, leaving him prostrate and bleeding on the street. Saloon-keeper Andrew Mehan testified at the Spicer hearing afterward that he saw McLaury deposit a revolver at the Capital Saloon sometime between — pm, after the confrontation with Wyatt, which Mehan also witnessed.

Wyatt said in his deposition afterward that he had been temporarily acting as city marshal for Virgil the week before while Virgil was in Tucson for the Pete Spence and Frank Stilwell trial. Wyatt said that he still considered himself a deputy city marshal, which Virgil later confirmed.

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Since Wyatt was an off-duty officer, he could not legally search or arrest Tom for carrying a revolver within the city limits-—a misdemeanor offense. Only Virgil or one of his city police deputies, including Morgan Earp and possibly Warren Earp , could search him and take any required action. Wyatt, who was portrayed as a non-drinker, testified at the Spicer hearing that he went to Haffords and bought a cigar and went outside to watch the Cowboys.

At the time of the gunfight about two hours later, Wyatt could not know if Tom was still armed. It was early afternoon by the time Ike and Tom had seen doctors for their head wounds. The day was chilly, with snow still on the ground in some places. Both Tom and Ike had spent the night gambling, drinking heavily, and without sleep.

Now they were both out-of-doors, both wounded from head beatings, and at least Ike was still drunk. At around — pm, after Tom had been pistol-whipped by Wyatt, Ike's year-old younger brother Billy Clanton and Tom's older brother Frank McLaury arrived in town. They had heard from their neighbor, Ed "Old Man" Frink, that Ike had been stirring up trouble in town overnight, and they had ridden into town on horseback to back up their brothers.

Both Frank and Billy were armed with a revolver and a rifle, as was the custom for riders in the country outside Tombstone. Apache warriors had engaged the U. Army near Tombstone just three weeks before the O. Corral gunfight, so the need for weapons outside of town was well established and accepted. They learned immediately after of their brothers' beatings by the Earps within the previous two hours. The incidents had generated a lot of talk in town. Angrily, Frank said he would not drink, and he and Billy left the saloon immediately to seek Tom. By law, both Frank and Billy should have left their firearms at the Grand Hotel.

Instead, they remained fully armed. Wyatt said that he saw Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury in Spangenberger's gun and hardware store on 4th Street filling their gun belts with cartridges. When Virgil Earp learned that Wyatt was talking to the Cowboys at Spangenberg's gun shop, he went there himself.

It was an unusually cold and windy day in Tombstone, and Virgil was wearing a long overcoat. To avoid alarming Tombstone's public, Virgil hid the shotgun under his overcoat when he returned to Hafford's Saloon. From Spangenberg's, the Cowboys moved to the O. Corral where witnesses overheard them threatening to kill the Earps. For unknown reasons the Cowboys then walked out the back of the O. Corral and then west, stopping in a narrow, empty lot next to C. Fly's boarding house. Virgil initially avoided a confrontation with the newly arrived Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton, who had not yet deposited their weapons at a hotel or stable as the law required.

The statute was not specific about how far a recently arrived visitor might "with good faith, and within reasonable time" travel into town while carrying a firearm. This permitted a traveler to keep his firearms if he was proceeding directly to a livery, hotel or saloon. The three main Tombstone corrals were all west of 4th street between Allen and Fremont, a block or two from where Wyatt saw the Cowboys buying cartridges.

Miner Ruben F. Coleman later told The Tombstone Epitaph : [88] [89] [90]. I was in the O. Corral at p. I went up the street and notified Sheriff Behan and told them it was my opinion that they meant trouble, and it was his duty, as sheriff, to go and disarm them. I told him they had gone to the West End Corral. I then went and saw Marshal Virgil Earp and notified him to the same effect. That's where he first learned that the Cowboys were armed. Behan stated he quickly finished his shave and went to locate the Cowboys.

Fly's photography studio, he walked there with Frank. He told the Cowboys that they must give up their arms. Ike Clanton said he was not armed, and Tom McLaury pulled his coat open to show he was not carrying a weapon. The Cowboys were located in a narrow 15—20 feet 4. Behan later said he attempted to persuade Frank McLaury to give up his weapons, but Frank insisted that he would give up his guns only after City Marshal Virgil Earp and his brothers were first disarmed. Virgil Earp later testified that he thought Ike and Tom were stabled at the O.

Corral on Allen between 3rd and 4th, from which he thought they would be departing if they were leaving town. While Ike Clanton later said he was planning to leave town, Frank McLaury reported that he had decided to remain behind to take care of some business.

Will McLaury, Tom and Frank's brother and a judge in Fort Worth, Texas , claimed in a letter he wrote during the preliminary hearing after the shootout that Tom and Frank were still armed because they were planning to conduct business before leaving town to visit him in Texas. Will McLaury came to Tombstone after the gun fight and joined the prosecution team in an attempt to convict the Earps and Holliday for his brothers' murder. Citizens reported to Virgil on the Cowboys' movements and their threats told him that Ike and Tom had left their livery stable and entered town while armed, in violation of the city ordinance.

Virgil decided he had to disarm the Cowboys. Several members of the citizen's vigilance committee offered to support him with arms, but Virgil refused. Virgil Earp picked up the shotgun he had retrieved from the Wells Fargo office earlier. He took Holliday's walking-stick in return. As usual, the Earps carried their revolvers in their coat pockets or in their waistbands.

Wyatt Earp was carrying a. The Earps and Holliday walked west, down the south side of Fremont Street past the rear entrance to the O. Corral, but out of visual range of the Cowboys' last reported location. He had left the Cowboys and came toward them, though he looked nervously backward several times. Virgil testified afterward that Behan told them, "For God's sake, don't go down there or they will murder you!

Fallehy, wrote in his testimony afterward that Virgil Earp told Behan, "those men have made their threats and I will not arrest them but I will kill them on sight. When Behan said he had disarmed them, Virgil attempted to avoid a fight. Wyatt testified he saw "Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, and Billy Clanton standing in a row against the east side of the building on the opposite side of the vacant space west of Fly's photograph gallery. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne and a man I don't know [Wes Fuller] were standing in the vacant space about halfway between the photograph gallery and the next building west.

Martha J. King was in Bauer's butcher shop located on Fremont Street. In testimony given by witnesses afterward, they disagreed about the precise location of the men before, during and after the gunfight. Opposite them and initially only about 6 to 10 feet 1. Behind him a few feet near the corner of C.

Fly 's boarding house was Wyatt. Wyatt Earp drew a sketch in and another with John Flood on September 15, that depicted Billy Clanton near the middle of the lot, close to the Harwood house. Tom and Frank McLaury stood deeper in the lot. Frank was in the center between the two buildings, holding the reins of his horse. Tom was closer to C. According to Wyatt's sketches, Morgan was on the right of the lawmen, close to the Harwood house, opposite Billy Clanton near the Harwood house and close to Fremont St. Virgil was deeper in the lot, opposite Frank and Ike Clanton.

Wyatt was to Virgil's left, opposite Tom. Doc Holliday hung back a step or two on Fremont Street. Virgil Earp was not expecting a fight. Once Behan said that he'd disarmed the Cowboys, Virgil traded the short, double-barreled shotgun he was carrying for Holliday's cane. Virgil carried the cane in his right hand and shifted the pistol in his waistband from the right side to his left.

Wyatt too was not expecting a fight and put his pistol in his overcoat pocket. Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury wore revolvers in holsters on their belts and stood alongside their saddled horses with rifles in their scabbards , possibly in violation of the city ordinance prohibiting carrying weapons in town. When Virgil saw the Cowboys, he testified, he immediately commanded the Cowboys to "Throw up your hands, I want your guns!

I don't mean that! Jeff Morey, who served as the historical consultant on the film Tombstone , compared testimony by partisan and neutral witnesses and came to the conclusion that the Earps described the situation accurately. Who started shooting first is not certain; accounts by both participants and eyewitnesses are contradictory.

The six or seven men with guns fired about 30 shots in around 30 seconds. Virgil Earp reported afterward, "Two shots went off right together. Billy Clanton's was one of them. Clanton missed, but Earp shot Frank McLaury in the stomach. All witnesses generally agreed that the first two shots were almost indistinguishable from each other. General firing immediately broke out. Virgil and Wyatt thought Tom was armed. When the shooting started, the horse that Tom McLaury held jumped to one side.

Wyatt said he also saw Tom throw his hand to his right hip. Virgil said Tom followed the horse's movement, hiding behind it, and fired once or twice over the horse's back. According to one witness, Holliday drew a "large bronze pistol" interpreted by some as Virgil's coach gun from under his long coat, stepped around Tom McLaury's horse, [] and shot him with the double-barreled shotgun in the chest at close range.

Witness C. Light testified that Tom fell at the foot of a telegraph pole on the corner of Fremont and 3rd Street and lay there, without moving, through the duration of the fight. Ike Clanton had been publicly threatening to kill the Earps for several months, including very loud threats on the day before. But when the gunfight broke out, Clanton ran forward and grabbed Wyatt, exclaiming that he was unarmed and did not want a fight.

To this protest Wyatt said he responded, "Go to fighting or get away! Other accounts say that Ike drew a hidden pistol and fired at the Earps before disappearing. He and Cowboy Wes Fuller, who had been at the rear of the lot, also ran from the fight as soon as the shooting began.

According to The Tombstone Epitaph , "Wyatt Earp stood up and fired in rapid succession, as cool as a cucumber, and was not hit. Morgan's shot hit Billy in the right wrist, disabling his hand. Forced to shift the revolver to his left hand, Clanton continued shooting until he emptied the gun. Morgan Earp tripped and fell over a newly buried waterline and fired from the ground. He tried and failed to grab his rifle from the scabbard but lost control of the horse. Frank crossed Fremont Street firing his revolver instead. Frank and Holliday exchanged shots as Frank moved across Fremont Street, and Frank hit Holliday in his pistol pocket, grazing him.

Holliday followed him, exclaiming, "That son of a bitch has shot me and I am going to kill him. A number of witnesses observed a man leading a horse into the street and firing near it and Wyatt in his testimony thought this was Tom McLaury. Claiborne said only one man had a horse in the fight, and that this man was Frank, holding his own horse by the reins, then losing it and its cover, in the middle of the street. One of them, perhaps Billy, shot Morgan Earp across the back in a wound that struck both shoulder blades and a vertebra.

Morgan went down for a minute before picking himself up. Virgil, though hit, fired his next shot at Billy Clanton. Frank, now entirely across Fremont street and still walking at a good pace according to Claiborne's testimony, fired twice more before he was shot in the head under his right ear.

Both Morgan and Holliday apparently thought they had fired the shot that killed Frank, but since neither of them testified at the hearing, this information is only from second-hand accounts. A passerby testified to having stopped to help Frank, and saw Frank try to speak, but he died where he fell, before he could be moved. Billy Clanton was shot in the wrist, chest and abdomen, and after a minute or two slumped to a sitting position near his original position at the corner of the MacDonald house in the lot between the house and Fly's Lodging House.

Claiborne said Clanton was supported by a window initially after he was shot, and fired some shots after sitting, with the pistol supported on his leg. After he ran out of ammunition, he called for more cartridges, but C. Fly took his pistol at about the time the general shooting ended.

A few moments later, Tom McLaury was carried from the corner of Fremont and Third into the Harwood house on that corner, where he died without speaking. Billy was in considerable pain and asked for a doctor and some morphine. He told those near him, "They have murdered me.

I have been murdered. Chase the crowd away and from the door and give me air. Both Wyatt and Virgil believed Tom McLaury was armed and testified that he had fired at least one shot over the back of a horse. During the gunfight, Doc Holliday was bruised by a bullet fired by Frank that struck his holster and grazed his hip. Virgil Earp was shot through the calf, he thought by Billy Clanton.

Morgan Earp was struck across both shoulder blades by a bullet that Morgan thought Frank McLaury had fired. Wyatt Earp was unhurt. As the wounded lawmen were carried to their homes, they passed in front of the Sheriff's Office, and Johnny Behan told Wyatt Earp, "I'll have to arrest you.

I am right here and am not going away. You have deceived me. You told me these men were disarmed; I went to disarm them. George Goodfellow treated the Earps' wounds.

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Henry M. Mathews examined the dead Cowboys late that night. He found Frank McLaury had two wounds: a gunshot beneath the right ear that horizontally penetrated his head, and a second entering his abdomen one inch to the left of his navel. Mathews stated that the wound beneath the ear was at the base of the brain and caused instant death. This makes it much more likely that Holliday shot the fatal round that killed Frank.

When he examined Tom McLaury's body, Mathews found twelve buckshot wounds from a single shotgun blast on the right side under his arm, between the third and fifth ribs. The wound was about four inches across. The nature and location of the wound indicated that it could not have been received if Tom's hands were on his coat lapels as the Cowboys later testified.

George Goodfellow testified about Billy Clanton's wounds at the Spicer hearing. He stated that the angle of the wrist wound indicated that Billy's hand could not have been raised over his head as claimed by Cowboy witnesses. This indicated to the judge that Billy could not have been holding his coat's lapels open, his arms raised, as the Cowboys testified. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Growing Up Around Tomb Other editions. Error rating book.

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Growing up Around Tombstone is a family history of the Escapules. They are one of the oldest families still living in Tombstone, having emigrated from France during the early s. There i Growing up Around Tombstone is a family history of the Escapules.

There is a detailed account of family life, ranch work and horses, working and developing the mines, and making a living.