Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween Tale: The Legend of the Sluice Box Gho...

THE AMERICAN COWBOY CHRONICLES: A Halloween Tale: The Legend of the Sluice Box Gho...: It was an extremely cold night in late October of 1875. The wind whipped through the small valley with a chill that went right to the bone....

Story by Tom Correa

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Does the New York Times work for Obama & Democrat Party?

Here's an article that says in essence it does!

New York Times' Sunday Review goes wall-to-wall for Obama's reelection

By Clay Waters

October 30, 2012

The New York Times has endorsed President Obama’s re-election and the paper is doing its best to help out any way it can. The latest move just reinforced the fact that the Times is so institutionally Democratic that it hasn’t endorsed a GOP presidential candidate during Obama’s lifetime.

That support plays out in the paper itself. New York Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal's Sunday Review was wall-to-wall for Obama this past week, with two left-wing op-eds on Obama on the front page, a full-page endorsement of Obama for re-election, and three liberal columnists simultaneously obsessed with abortion, including the paper's foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. (Right-of-center Ross Douthat also covered women's issues, but questioned Obama's "weirdly paternalistic form of social liberalism.")

Over the fold on page 1 was "The Price of a Black President" by Frederick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, who praised blacks for voting for Obama before going on to criticize Obama from the left.

“When African-Americans go to the polls next week, they are likely to support Barack Obama at a level approaching the 95 percent share of the black vote he received in 2008. As well they should, given the symbolic exceptionalism of his presidency and the modern Republican Party’s utter disregard for economic justice, civil rights and the social safety net,” he wrote.

Also on the front was Soros buddy Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning economist and moral scold, writing on inequality. He was just as subtle, Stiglitz busting “economic myths,” including: “America is a land of opportunity. ... Trickle-down economics works.”

“Mitt Romney has been explicit: inequality should be talked about only in quiet voices behind closed doors. But with the normally conservative magazine The Economist publishing a special series showing the extremes to which American inequality has grown -- joining a growing chorus (of which my book ‘The Price of Inequality’ is an example) arguing that the extremes of American inequality, its nature and origins, are adversely affecting our economy -- it is an issue that not even the Republicans can ignore. It is no longer just a moral issue, a question of social justice,” he wrote.

With about a week left in the election, who knows what else the Times could cook up to ensure President Obama’s victory on Election Day.

Columnist Maureen Dowd offered her usual measured take on women's issues and abortion in "Of Mad Men, Mad Women and Meat Loaf." “Our mom, a strict Catholic, taught us that it was immoral for a woman to be expected to carry a rapist’s baby for nine months. (Don’t even mention that rapists can assert parental rights in 31 states.)”

She then continued the liberal attack linking the GOP to rape. “But compassion is scant among the Puritan tribe of Republicans running now. As The Huffington Post reports, at least a dozen G.O.P. Senate candidates oppose abortion for rape victims. The party platform calls for a constitutional amendment with no exceptions for rape, incest or the mother’s life,” she continued.

Dowd predictably bashed two Republican election seekers, Rep. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, for controversial comments related to abortion and rape, then went into full condescension mode to explain why women may vote for the Republican ticket anyway: “Republicans are geniuses at getting people to vote against their own self-interest. Hispanics, however, do not seem inclined to vote against their self-interest on immigration laws, and Obama is counting on that to buoy him,” Dowd added.

Columnist Nicholas Kristof also raised the arcane rape statistic in his column on the same page, “Want a Real Reason to Be Outraged?”

Even foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman got into the act, under the sarcastic headline "Why I Am Pro-Life." Of course he's not actually against abortion, he's just making the tired government argument that "pro-life" also means things like more money for the EPA and Head Start. He also details the Akin and Mourdock controversies. (Are Obama supporters highlighting anything else at this point?)

Sunday also offered the official full-page endorsement of President Obama for reelection. (No surprise: The last Republican the paper endorsed was Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.) Principled liberals might like to know that the long editorial offered not one word on drone attacks or the other war on terror issues Obama has embraced.

The paper warned: "An ideological assault from the right has started to undermine the vital health reform law passed in 2010. Those forces are eroding women’s access to health care, and their right to control their lives. Nearly 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, all Americans’ rights are cheapened by the right wing’s determination to deny marriage benefits to a selected group of us. Astonishingly, even the very right to vote is being challenged.”

That was all in a day’s work at the Times. With about a week left in the election, who knows what else the paper could cook up to ensure Obama’s victory.



Editor's Note:

Clay Waters is the director of Times Watch, a Media Research Center project that tracks The New York Times.

As the Editor of The American Cowboy Chronicles, I am very happy to post Clay Waters' article here. He makes a real good point, at the minimum we simply can't trust the New York Times.

As for me, my opinion is that I can't understand why anyone would want to read the New York Times.

I believe it's a rag not fit to line a birdcage or cat box; It's a liberal newspaper that reeks with unbridled bias against Republicans; It's filled with hate speech for anyone who is in the least bit conservative; It's part of the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party - no less than the ultra-left folks at MSNBC and CNN.

In the case of what took place in Libya, for example, the New York Times will do everything in its power to divert the attention of the public to lesser issues - evading the subject all together until after the election.

I believe they will do this as a concerted effort to hide anything that my bring any sort of negative light on President Obama.

In essence, this means the New York Times is working for the Obama White House in the exact same way that Pravda, which was the official news agency of the Soviet Union's Communist Party, spread the "truth" as the old Soviet Communist Party saw it.

Pravda, which ironically meand "truth" in Russian, is a Russian political newspaper associated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The newspaper was started by the Russian Revolutionaries during pre-World War I days and emerged as a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution.

The newspaper also served as a central organ of the Central Committee of the RSDLP and the CPSU between 1912 and 1991.


After the dissolution of the USSR, Pravda was closed down by the then Russian President Boris Yeltsin. As

After restructuring, the Communist Party of Russian Federation acquired the newspaper in 1997 and established it as its principal mouthpiece.

Pravda is still functioning from the same headquarters on Pravda Street in Moscow where it was published in the Soviet days, but has only a small circulation.

During the Cold War, Pravda was well known in the West for its pronouncements as the official voice of Soviet Communism.

Stories behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War all had to be approved by the Soviet Union's Communist Party bosses before they could be published.   I can't help but wonder if there's someone at the Obama White House tasked with keeping the famed New York Times in tow. I can't help but wonder if the New York Times is Obama's Pravda!
My friends, today there is a great deal of work being done on the side of the liberal ilk in America to make sure that we Americans remember that our Founding Fathers were concerned about the government setting up a State Religion like there was in England.

The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

We all understand that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Yes, America, though the vast majority is Christian, doesn't want a State Religion. We treasure our freedom to worship according to our own desires.

But at the same time, the government or any branch of government should not be allowed to establish a State Run Propaganda Agency.

I truly wish that those same liberals, whose rally cry is always "Separation of Church and State" when it comes to Christianity in America, would show half the concern about a "Separation between News Agencies and the State."

It is essential to protect Americans from State Run Propaganda agencies - who like The New York Times are apparently working for the Obama administration and the Democrat Party.

We here at The American Cowboy Chronicles want everyone to vote to save America!

While we know that we cannot regulate the bias of the New York Times, their working directly with the Obama Campaign is just one more reason why we need to vote to stop this out of control White House.

Tom Correa
Editor




Monday, October 29, 2012

RANDOM SHOTS - Republicans Must Vote, Madonna and Kelly Clarkson Should Shut Up, and Much More!


FIRST SHOT!

Number One Reason To Vote: Liberals Are Voting In Huge Numbers

Democrats Have Early Voting Lead in More States Than Republicans.

If you need a reason to get out the vote for Mitt Romney, this is the best that I've heard in a while now. Liberal Obama supporters already have a lead in the race through early voting.

Don't let them steal the election for four more years of Obama, please tell your Conservative friends to vote!

Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said on CNN yesterday that Obama is ahead in early voting.

“What they’re not telling you is that they are a fraction of where they were in 2008,” he said. “We’re far ahead of where we were in 2008.”

Democrats say they have an early vote lead in many of the swing states and that shows the president’s supporters are motivated.

“Mitt Romney says he has momentum, but it’s simply not showing up where it counts, at the polls,” said Adam Fetcher, an Obama re-election spokesman. “We’re outperforming our early vote margins in key states compared to 2008.”
In two of the most competitive states in the U.S. presidential race - Iowa and Nevada - Democrats are building a significant advantage in early voting.

Who has the edge is more muddled in the bigger swing states of Ohio and Florida, while Republicans have a narrow lead in Colorado.

Early, in-person voting started in Florida over the weekend and dozens of Democrats in Tallahassee yesterday marched five blocks from a church to an early-voting site chanting, “Vote early.”

Almost 14 million people have already cast ballots nationwide, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Both

If current trends for ballots requested and ballots returned remain unchanged through this week, then Obama’s advantage could become almost insurmountable for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

In Colorado, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina, Obama banked so many early votes in 2008 that he won those states even though he lost the Election Day votes there, according to voting data compiled by the Associated Press.

As for Nevada balloting? So far in Nevada, where an even larger proportion of the vote has been cast than in Iowa when compared to the 2008 vote, Democrats have accounted for 45.4 percent, according to the Nevada secretary of state’s office.

Republicans have only accounted for 37.2 percent and independent voters for 17.4 percent.

Heavily Democratic Clark County, Nevada’s most populous and where Las Vegas is located, has seen people registered with the president’s party cast 121,298 early and absentee ballots, compared to 81,512 for Republicans, through Oct. 27.

As for the East Coast?

Well, although Hurricane Sandy’s path toward the East Coast already has altered the final days of candidate travel in the presidential race, it should have minimal impact on early voting.

Predictions are that other than Florida and North Carolina, which aren’t directly in the storm’s path, the swing states with the greatest tradition and activity for early voting aren’t along the East Coast.

Among swing states with early voting and party-affiliation voter registration, Democrats have their biggest advantage in North Carolina, where the party held its national convention and people can register and vote in one stop at various locations.

The popularity of early voting is growing nationally, so Republicans and Democrats alike are seeing increased activity from four years ago. Both parties are working to bank as many votes as possible so they can focus on late-deciders and others in the final week.

Republicans hope that low-propensity voters less likely to show up on Election Day, do show up and vote for Mitt Romney.
I hope so as well! We have to defeat Obama at the ballot box.
If not, we will only have more of the last four years of a rotten economy, increased racial tension, soaring food and gas prices, increase in home foreclosures, an increased terrorist threat, more out of control spending, more unqualified liberal judges put on the Supreme Court, lies and hate and division. 
  
Yes, we need to get Obama out of office. We need to get out the vote!

SECOND SHOT!

North Carolina residents for Romney say machine gave their vote to Obama

THIRD SHOT!

Chicago Homicides Twice The Number Of Those Killed In Afghanistan and Iraq This Year

So when someone says they live in a war-zone, don't think Afghanistan or Iraq - think Chicago!

At least four people were shot and killed, and three others wounded over the last 24 hours. Among the victims, a 68-year-old man shot to death in his home on South LaSalle Street.

This is Chicago’s 435th homicide of the year. That equals the city’s entire death toll from 2011.

It happened in the 9400 block of South LaSalle. Chicago police haven’t publicly identified the victim yet.

Chicago ties homicide total from last year with fatal home invasion STORY: Chicago ties homicide total from last year with fatal home invasion

The Chicago Tribune reports the man put up a fence around the home, to keep local drug dealers from using his property.

No word whether the fence had anything to do with the shooting, but either way Chicago is still more dangerous than Iraq and Afghanistan combined!

No kidding folks, Chicago has had almost twice the number of deaths versus the number of troops that have been killed in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq combined in 2012.


FOURTH SHOT!

Madonna booed after touting Obama in New Orleans concert


During Saturday night's performance, the old singer thought she was pretty hip with she asked, "Who's registered to vote?"

Then she added, "I don't care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama."

That drew boos and fans walking out of her concert! No kidding!

Her touting Obama over Republican Mitt Romney drew such a surprised reaction to Madonna that she quickly followed her endorsement with, "Seriously, I don't care who you vote for ... Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote."

Madonna is often outspoken. Some Colorado fans, mindful of a mass shooting there, complained she used a fake gun to shoot a masked gunman in a recent concert act in Denver. Madonna's concert in Paris in July drew ire when a video showed a swastika on a politician's forehead.

Don't you just love it when Hollywood types tell folks how to act and think, especially politically, and it kicks them in the ass in return. I do.

FIFTH SHOT!

Is Singer Kelly Clarkson another Dixie Chick?

Famed Singer Kelly Clarkson Switches Vote to Obama… Because He’s a ‘Great Guy’

Famed Singer Kelly Clarkson Switches Vote From Libertarian Ron Paul to Obama Because Hes a Great Guy
Singer Kelly Clarkson says she plans to vote for President Barack Obama in November partly because he is a “great guy,” making a seemingly drastic swing after originally supporting the very Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) for president.

For some strange reason she calls herself a "Republican at heart," but the singer and native Texan told the Daily Star that she has been "reading online about the debates" and what she has discovered has apparently made her an Obama supporter.

"I’m probably going to vote for Obama again…I can’t support Romney’s policies as I have a lot of gay friends and I don’t think it’s fair they can’t get married," Clarkson said.

In addition to her support for gay marriage, Clarkson also bought into the Obama campaign's narrative that Romney is waging a "war on women," saying  "I’m not a hardcore feminist but we can’t be going back to the ’50s."

As if anyone wants to!

She later added, "Obama is a great guy. I’ve met him and I’m a fan of Michelle, too."

In December 2011, Clarkson somehow ignited controversy by simply voicing her support for Paul.
“I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance. If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote. Too bad he probably won’t,” Clarkson said on Twitter.

Some of the pop singer’s followers accused Paul of being racist and homophobic, referencing newsletters that were sent out using his name in 1980s.

She later felt obligated to address the backlash and tweeted the following message:

“I am really sorry if I have offended anyone. Obviously that was not my intent. I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights. I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he’s my favorite.”

Yup, that's right, we have another wannabe celebrity out there supporting Obama because she's swallowed all the hype that the Obama campaign has been putting out about wanting to get rid of women's rights, bringing back segregation, enslaving the poor and poisoning your water.

If someone really believe any of that, then they should certainly vote for Obama. It'll only natural that the ignorant would vote for the Obama! It goes right to the heart of who supports Obama! 

LAST SHOT!

Memorial Honoring Confederate General, a member of Ku Klux Klan, prompts Lawsuit

A Virginia company has filed suit after its construction of a monument in Alabama honoring a noted Confederate general, who also was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, was halted.

According to the Selma Times-Journal, the federal suit, filed by KTK Mining of Richmond, says the company got the necessary permits to do the work on the monument in Old Live Oak Cemetery honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

But now the City of Selma, Alabama, has suspended the permits when the project drew protests.

The KTK Mining company's suit says the suspension was done without prior notice to KTK Mining.

The city has filed a response saying its actions were reasonable and it has legal immunity.

So since when is there "legal immunity" after you issued the proper permits to do the job? If the City of Selma pulled them afterwards because of political pressure then that's their problem!

KTK Mining has also filed claims with the city of Selma, seeking a total of $600,000.

And yes, the City of Selma ought to pay up!

They are not immune to a lawsuit just because they say they are. They have a legal responsibility to reimburse the KTK Mining company for their loses - especially since their work was halted because of politics.

Story by Tom Correa

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gunfight At The OK Corral - Coroner's Inquest - Wyatt Earp

Tombstone Epitaph, THE STATEMENT OF WYATT EARP, Nov. 17, 1881

DAY FIFTEEN OF CORONER'S INQUEST

Testimony from Wyatt Earp:

Question:  What is your name and age?
Answer:  Wyatt S. Earp; age 32 last March.

Question:  Where were you born?
Answer: Monmouth, Warren county, Illinois.

Question:  Where do you reside and how long have you resided there?
Answer:  Tombstone; since Dec. 1st, 1879

Question:  What is your business or profession?
Answer:  Saloon keeper; have also been employed as a deputy sheriff, and also as a detective.

Question: Give any explanation you may think proper of the circumstances appearing in the testimony against you, and state any facts which you think will tend to your exculpation.

Answer:  The difficulty between deceased and myself originated first when I followed Tom McLowry and Frank McLowry, with Virgil and Morgan Earp and Captain Hearst and four soldiers to look for six government mules which were stolen. A man named Estes told us at Charleston, that we would find the mules at McLowry's ranch, that the McLowrys were branding "D. S." over "U. S." We tracked the mules to McLowry's ranch, where we also found the brand. Afterwards some of those mules were found with the same brand. After we arrived at McLowry's ranch there was a man named Frank Patterson who made some kind of a compromise with Captain Hearst. Captain Hearst came to us boys and told us he had made this compromise and by so doing he would get the mules back. We insisted on following them up. Hearst prevailed upon us to go back to Tombstone, and so we came back. Hearst told us two or three weeks afterwards that they would not give up the mules to him after we left, saying they only wanted to get us away: that they could stand the soldiers off. Captain Hearst cautioned me and Virgil and Morgan to look out for those men; that they had made some hard threats against the lives. About one month after that, after those mules had been taken, I met Frank and Tom McLowrv in Charleston. They tried to pick a fuss out of me, and told me that if I ever followed them up again as close as I did before that they would kill me.

Shortly after the time Budd Philpot was killed by those men who tried to rob the Benson stage, as a detective I helped trace the matter up, and I was satisfied that three men, named Billy Leonard, Harry Head and Jim Crane were in that robbery. I know that Leonard, Head and Crane were friends and associates of the Clantons and McLowrys and often stopped at their ranches. It was generally understood among officers, and those who have information about criminals, that Ike Clanton was a sort of chief among the cowboys; that the Clantons and McLowrys were cattle thieves, and generally in the secrets of the stage robbers; and that the Clanton and McLowrvs ranches were the meeting place, and place of shelter for the gang.

I had an ambition to be sheriff of this county next election, and I thought it would be a great help to me with the people and the business men if I could capture the men who killed Philpot. There were rewards offered of about $1,200 each for the robbers. Altogether there was about $3,600 offered for their capture.

I thought that this amount might tempt Ike Clanton and Frank McLowry to give away Leonard, Head and Crane; so I went to Ike Clanton and Frank McLowry, when they came in town. I had an interview with them in the back yard of the Oriental saloon. I told them what I wanted. I told them I wanted the glory of capturing Leonard, Head and Crane; if I could do so, it would help me make the race for sheriff next election.

I told them if they would put on the track of Leonard, Head and Crane--- tell me where those men were hid---I would give them all the reward, and would never let anybody know where I got the information. Ike Clanton said that he would be glad to have Leonard captured, that Leonard claimed a ranch that he claimed, and if he could gel him out of the way he would have no opposition about the ranch.

Ike Clanton said that Leonard, Head and Crane would make a fight, that they would never be taken alive, and that I must first find out if the reward would be paid for the capture of the robbers dead or alive. I then went to Marshall Williams, the agent of Wells, Fargo & Co., in this town, and at my request he telegraphed to the agent of Wells, Fargo & Co., at San Francisco to find out if the reward would be paid for the robbers dead or alive. He received in June, 1881 a telegram which he gave me, promising that the reward should be paid dead or alive.

I showed this telegram soon after I got it to Ike Clanton in front of the Alhambra and afterwards told Frank McLowry of its contents.

It was then agreed between us that they should have all the $3.600 reward outside of necessary expenses for horses in going after them and Joe Hill should go to where Leonard, Head, and Crane were hid, over near Eureka, in New Mexico, and lure them in near Frank and Tom McLowry's ranch near Soldier Holes, 30 miles from here, and I would be on hand with a posse and capture them.

I asked Joe Hill, Ike Clanton and Frank McLowry what tale they would make to them to get them over here. They said they had agreed upon a plan to tell them that there would be a pay master going from Tombstone to Bisbee shortly to pay off the miners, and that they wanted them to come in and take them; Ike Clanton then sent Joe Hill to bring them in; before starting Joe Hill took on his watch and chain and between two and three hundred dollars in money, and gave it to Virgil Earp to keep for him until he got back.

He was gone about ten days and returned with the word that he had got there a day too late; that Leonard and Harry Head had been killed the day before he got there by horse thieves. I learned afterward that the thieves had been killed subsequently by members of the Clanton and McLowry gang.

After that Ike Clanton and Frank McLowry said I had given them away to Marshal Williams and Doc Holliday, and when they came in town they shunned us, and Morgan and Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday and myself began to hear of their threats against us. I am a friend of Doc Holliday, because when I was city marshal of Dodge City, Kansas, he came to my rescue and saved my life, when I was surrounded by desperadoes.

A month or so ago Morgan and I assisted to arrest Stillwell and Spence on the charge of robbing the Bisbee stage. The McLowrys and Clantons have always been friendly with Spence and Stillwell, and they laid the whole blame of their arrest on us, though the fact is, we only went as a sheriff's posse. After we got in town with Spence and Stillwell, Ike Clanton and Frank McLowry came in.

Frank McLowry .took Morgan into the middle of the stree,. where John Ringgold, Ike Clanton and the Hicks boys were standing, and commenced to abuse Morgan Earp for going after Spence and Stillwell. Frank McLowry said he would never speak to Spence again for being arrested by us.

He said to Morgan, "If ever you come after me you will never take me." Morgan replied that if he ever had occasion to go after him he would arrest him. Frank McLowry then said to him, "I have threatened you boys' lives, and a few days ago I had taken it back, but since this arrest it now goes." Morgan made no reply, and walked off.

Before this and after this, Marshal Williams and Farmer Daly, and Ed. Burns and three or four others, told us at different times of threats made to kill us, by Ike Clanton, Frank McLowry: Tom McLowry, Joe Hill and John Ringgold.

I knew that all these men were desperate and dangerous, cattle thieves, robbers and murderers. I knew of the Clantons and McLowrys stealing six government mules. I heard of Ringgold shooting a man down in cold blood near Camp Thomas. I was satisfied that Frank and Tom McLowry killed and robbed Mexican in the Skeleton canyon two or three months ago, and I naturally keep my eyes open, and I did not intend that any of the gang should get the drop on me if I could help it.

Three or four weeks ago Ike Clanton met me at the Alhambra, and told me that I had told Holliday about this transaction, concerning the capture of Head and Leonard. I told him I never told Holliday anything. I told him when Holliday came up from Tucson I would prove it. Ike Clanton said that Holliday had told him so; when Holliday came I asked him and he said no; I told him that Ike Clanton had said so.

On the 25"' of October, Holliday met Ike Clanton in the Alhambra saloon and asked him about it. Clanton denied it, and they quarreled for three or four minutes. Holliday told Ike Clanton he was a d-d liar, if he said so. I was sitting eating lunch at the time.

They got up and walked out on the street. I got through and walked out, and they were still talking about it. I then went to Holliday, who was pretty tight, and took him away. Then I came back alone and met Ike Clanton. He called me outside and said his gun was on the other side of the street at the hotel. I told him to leave it there. He said he would make a fight with Holliday any time he wanted to. I told him Holliday did not want to fight, but only to satisfy him this talk had not been made.

I then went away and went to the Oriental, and in a few minutes Ike Clanton came over with his six shooter on. He said he was not fixed right; that in the morning he would have man for man that this fighting talk had been going on for a long time, and it was about time to fetch it to a close. I told him that I wouldn't fight no one if I could get away from it.

He walked off and left me, saying, "I will be ready for all of you in the morning." He followed me into the Oriental, having his six shooter in plain sight. He said, "You musn't think 1 won't be after you all in the morning." Myself and Holliday walked away and went to our rooms.

I got up next day, October 26, about noon. Before I got up, Ned Bolye came to me and told me that he met Ike Clanton on Allen street, near the telegraph office that morning; that Ike was armed; that he said "As soon as those d-d Earps make their appearance on the street to day the battle will open," That Ike said, "We are here to make a fight, we are looking for the sons of b--s." Jones came to me after I got up and went to the saloon, and said, "What does all this mean?"

I asked what he meant. He says, "Ike Clanton is hunting you Earp boys with a Winchester rifle and a six shooter. "I said, I will go down and find him and see what he wants."

I went out, and on the corner of Fourth and Allen streets I met Virgil Earp, the marshal. He told me how he had heard that Ike Clanton was hunting us. I went up Allen street, and Virgil went down Fifth street and then Fremont street. Virgil found Ike Clanton on Fourth street in an alley.

He walked up to him and said, "I hear you are hunting for some of us." Ike Clanton then threw his Winchester rifle around towards Virgil. Virgil grabbed it and hit Clanton with his six shooter and knocked him down. Clanton had his rifle, and his six shooter was exposed in his pants.

By that time I came up, and Virgil and Morgan took his rifle and six shooter away and took them to the Grand Hotel after the examination, and took Ike Clanton before Justice Wallace. Before the investigation Morgan Earp had Ike Clanton in charge, as Virgil Earp was out. A short time after I went into Wallace's court and sat down on a bench.

Ike Clanton looked over to me and says, "I will get even with all of you for this. If I had a six shooter I would make a fight with all of you." Morgan then said to him, "If you want to make a fight right bad I will give you this one."

At the same time offering Ike Clanton his (Ike's) own six shooter. Ike Clanton started to get up to take it, when Campbell, the deputy sheriff, pushed him back on his seat, saying he wouldn't allow any fuse. I never had Ike Clanton's arms at any time as he has stated.

I would like to describe the position we occupied in the courtroom at that time. Ike Clanton sat down on a bench, with his face fronting to the north wall of the building. I myself sat down on a bench that was against the north wall right in front of Ike.

Morgan Earp stood up against the north wall with his back against the north wall, two or three feet to my right. Morgan Earp had Ike Clanton's Winchester in his left hand and his six shooter in his right hand, one end of the rifle was on the floor. Virgil Earp was not in the court room any of the time, and Virgil Earp came there after I walked out.

I was tired of being threatened by Ike Clanton and his gang. I believed from what they had said to others and to me, and from their movements, that they intended to assassinate me the first chance they had, and I thought if I had to fight for my life against them, I had better make them face me in an open fight.

So I said to Ike Clanton, who was then sitting about eight feet away from me, "you d--d dirty cur thief, you have been threatening our lives, and I know it. I think I should be justified shooting you down any place I should meet you, but if you are anxious to make a fight, I will go anywhere on earth to make a fight with you, even over to the San Simon among your own crowd."

He replied, "all right, I will see you after I get through here. I only want four feet of ground to fight on." I walked out and just then outside the court room, near the justice's office, I met Tom McLowry. He came up to me and said to me, "If you want to make a fight I will make a fight with you anywhere."

I supposed at the time he had heard what had first transpired between Ike Clanton and me. I knew of his having threatened me and I felt just as I did about Ike Clanton, that if the fight had to come, I had better have it come when I had an even show to defend myself, so I said to him all right "make a fight right here," and at the same time I slapped him in the face with my left hand, and drew my pistol with my right. He had a pistol in plain sight on his right hip, but made no move to draw it.

I said to him, "Jerk your gun use it." He made no reply and I hit him on the head with my six shooter and walked away down to Hafford's corner. I went into Hafford's and got a cigar, and came out and stood by the door. Pretty soon after I saw Tom McLowry, Frank McLowry and William Clanton.

They passed me and went down Fourth street to the gunsmith shop. I followed down to see what they were going to do. When I got there Frank McLowry's horse was standing on the sidewalk with his head in the door of the gun shop. I took the horse by the bit, as I was deputy city marshal, and commenced to back him off the sidewalk.

Frank and Tom McLowry and Billy Clanton came to the door, Billy Clanton had his hand on his six shooter. Frank McLowry took hold of the horse's bridle.

I said "you will have to get this horse off the sidewalk." He backed him off on the street Ike Clanton came up about that time and they all walked into the gunsmith's shop. I saw them in the shop changing cartridges into their belts.

They came out of the shop and walked along Fourth street to the corner of Allen street. I followed them as far as the corner of Fourth and Allen streets, and then they went down Allen street and over to Dunbar's corral. Virgil Earp was then city marshal; Morgan Earp was a special policeman for six weeks, wore a badge and drew pay.

I had been sworn in Virgil's place to act for him while Virgil was gone to Tucson on Stillwell and Spence, on the charge of robbing the Bisbee stage trial. Virgil had been back several days, but I was still acting. I know it was Virgil's duty to disarm those men. He suspected he would have trouble in doing so; and I followed up to give assistance if necessary, especially as they had been threatening us, as I have already stated.

About ten minutes afterwards, and while Virgil, Morgan, Doc Holliday and myself were standing in the center of Fourth and Allen streets several persons said, "there is going to be trouble with those fellows," and one man named Coleman said to Virgil Earp, "they mean trouble. They have just gone from Dunbar's corral into the 0. K. corral, all armed. I think you had better go and disarm them."

Virgil turned around to Doc Holliday, Morgan Earp and myself and told us to come and assist him in disarming them. Morgan Earp said to me, "they have horses; had we not better get some horses ourselves, so that if they make a running fight we can catch them?" I said, "No, if they try to make a running fight we can kill their horses, and then capture them."

We four then started through Fourth to Fremont street. When we turned the corner of Fourth and Fremont streets we could see them standing near or about the vacant space between Fly's photograph gallery and the next building west. I first saw Frank McLowry, Torn McLowry, Billy Clanton and Sheriff Behan standing there.

We went down the left hand side of Fremont street. When I got within about 150 feet of them I saw Ike Clanton, Billy Claiborne and another party. We had walked a few steps further when I saw Behan leave the party and come towards us, every few steps he would look back as if he apprehended danger.

I heard Behan say to Virgil Earp, "For God's sake don't go down there or you will get murdered." Virgil replied, "I am going to disarm them"-- he, Virgil Earp, being in the lead. When I and Morgan came up to Behan he said, "I have disarmed them."

When he said this I took my pistol, which I had in my hand, under my coat, and put it in my overcoat pocket. Behan then passed up the street, and we walked on down.

We came up on them close-Frank McLowry, Tom McLowry and Billy Clanton standing all in a row against the east side of the building on the opposite side of the vacant space west of Fly`s photography gallery.

Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne and a man I did not know were standing in the vacant space about halfway between the photograph gallery and the next building west. I saw that Billy Clanton and Frank McLowry and Tom McLowry had their hands by their sides and Frank McLowry's and Billy Clanton's six shooters were in plain sight.

Virgil said, "Throw up your hands. I have come to disarm you." Billy Clanton and Frank McLowry had their hands on their six shooters. Virgil said, "Hold I don't mean that; I have come to disarm you."

They-----Billy Clanton and Frank McLowry---commenced to draw their pistols, at the same time Tom McLowry threw his hand to his right hip and jumped behind a horse. I had my pistol in my overcoat pocket where I had put it when Behan told us he had disarmed the other party.

When I saw Billy and Frank draw their pistols I drew my pistol. Billy Clanton leveled his pistol at me but I did not aim at him. I knew that Frank McLowry had the reputation of being a good shot and a dangerous man, and I aimed at Frank McLowrv.

The two first shots which were fired were fired by Billy Clanton and myself; he shot at me, and I shot at Frank McLowry. I do not know which shot was first; we fired almost together.

The fight then became general. After about four shots were fired Ike Clanton ran up and grabbed my arm. I could see no weapon in his hand and thought at the time he had none, and so I said to him, "The fight has now commenced go to fighting or get away."

At the same time I pushed him off with my left hand. He started and ran down the side of the building and disappeared between the lodging house and the photograph gallery.

My first shot struck Frank McLowry in the belly. He staggered off on the sidewalk but first fired one shot at me. When we told them to throw up their hands Claiborne held up his left hand, and then broke and ran.

I never saw him afterwards until later in the afternoon, after the fight. I never drew my pistol or made a motion to shoot until after Billy Clanton and Frank McLowry drew their pistols.

If Tom McLowry was unarmed I did not know it. I believe he was armed and that he fired two shots at our party before Holliday who had the shotgun, fired at and killed him. If he was unarmed there was nothing to the circumstances or in what had been communicated to me, or in his acts or threats, that would have led me even to suspect his being unarmed.

I never fired at Ike Clanton, even after the shooting commenced, because I thought he was unarmed and I believed then, and believe now, from the acts I have stated, and the threats I have related, and other threats communicated to me by different persons, as having been made by Tom McLowry, Frank McLowry and Isaac Clanton, that these men, last named, had formed a conspiracy to murder my brothers Morgan and Virgil, and Doc Holliday and myself.

I believe I would have been legally and morally justified in shooting any of them on sight, but I did not do so or attempt to do so; I sought no advantage. When I went as deputy marshal to help disarm them and arrest them, I went as a part of my duty and under the direction of my brother the marshal. I did not intend to fight unless it became necessary in self defense, and in the performance of official duty.

When Billy Clanton and Frank McLowry drew their pistolsl I knew it was a fight for life, and I drew and fired in defense of my own life and the lives of my brothers and Doc Holliday.

I have been in Tombstone since December 1, 1879. I came here from Dodge City Kansas, where, against the protest of business men and officials, I resigned the office of City Marshal, which I held from 1876. I came to Dodge City from Wichita, Kansas. I was on the police force in Wichita, from 1874 until I went to Dodge City.

The testimony of Isaac Clanton that I had anything to do with any stage robbery, or any criminal enterprise, is a tissue of lies from beginning to end. Sheriff Behan made me an offer in his office on Allen street, and in the back room of the cigar store, that if I would withdraw and not try to get appointed sheriff of Cochise county, that we would hire a clerk and divide the profits. I done so; and he never said another word to me afterward in regard to it. The reasons given by him here for not complying with his contract, are false.

I give here as a part of this statement, a document sent me from Dodge City, since my arrest, and marked Exhibit "A", and another document sent me from Wichita, since this arrest, which I wish attached to this statement. and marked Exhibit "B".

Myself and Doc Holliday happened to go to Charleston the night that Behan happened to go down to subpoena Ike Clanton. We went there for the purpose of getting a horse that had been stolen from us a few days after I came to Tombstone.

I had heard several times that the Clantons had him. When I got there that night I was told by a friend of mine that the man that carried the dispatch from Charleston to Ike Clanton's ranch had my horse.

At this time I did not know where Ike Clanton's ranch was. A short time afterward I was in the Huachucas, locating some water rrights. I had started home to Tombstone, and had got within twelve or fifteen miles of Charleston, when I met a man named McMasters. He told me if I would hurry up I would find my horse in Chaleston.

I drove to Charleston, and saw my horse going through the streets toward the corral. I put up for the night at another corral. I went to Barnett's office, to get out papers to recover the horse. He was not at home, having gone to Sonora to see some coal fields that had been discovered. I telegraphed to Tombstone, to James Earp, and papers were made out and sent to Charleston, that night.

While I was in town, waiting for the papers, Billy Clanton found out I was there. He went and tried to take the horse out of the corral. I told him that he could not take him out, that it was my horse. After the papers came he gave the horse up without the papers being served, and asked me "if I had any more horses to lose." I told him I would keep them in the stable after this, and not give him a chance to steal them.

In one of the conversations I had with Ike Clanton about giving away Leonard, Head and Crane, I told him one reason why I wanted to catch them was to prove to the citizens of Tombstone that Doc Holliday had nothing to do with it, as there were some false statements circulated to that effect.

In following the trail of Leonard, Head and Crane, we struck it at the scene of the attempted robbery, and never lost the trail or hardly a footprint from the time that we started from Drew's ranch, on the San Pedro, until we got to Helm's ranch, in the Dragoons.

After following about eight miles down the San Pedro river and capturing one of the men, named King that was supposed to be in with them, we then crossed the Catalina mountains within fifteen miles of Tucson, following their trail around the front of the mountain after they had crossed over to Tres Alamos, on the San Pedro river.

We then started out from Helm's ranch and got on their trail. They had stolen fifteen or twenty head of stock so as to cover their trail. Wyatt Earp, Morgan arp, R.H. Paul, Breckenridge, Johnny Behan and one or two others still followed the trail up into New Mexico.

Their trail never led south from Helm's ranch, as Ike Clanton has stated. We used every effort we could to capture these men. I was out ten days.

Virgil Earp and Morgan Earp were out sixteen days, and we done all we could to capture these men, and I safely say if it had not been for myself and Morgan Earp, they would not have got King, as he started to run when we rode up to his hiding place, and was making for a big patch of brush on the river, and would have got in it if it had not been for us.

DEFENSE EXHLBIT "A"

To All Whom It May Concern, Greetings:

We, the undersigned citiizens of Dodge City, Ford County, Kansas, and vicinity do by these present certify that we are personally acquainted with Wyatt Earp, late of this city; that he came here in the year 1876; that during the years of 1877, 1878, and 1879 he was Marshal of our city; that he left our place in the fall of 1879; that during his whole stay here he occupied a place of high social position and was regarded and looked upon as a high-minded, honorable citizen; that as Marshal of our city he was ever vigilant in the discharge of his duties, and whild kind and courteous to all, he was brave, unflinching, and on all occasions proved himself the right man in the right place.

Hearing that he is now under arrest, charged with complicity in the killing of those men termed "Cow Boys."

From our knowledge of him we do not believe that he would wantonly take the life of his fellow man, and that if he was implicated, he only took life in the discharge of his sacred trust to the people; and earnestly appeal to the citizens of Tombstone, Arizona, to use all means to secure him a fair and impartial trial, fully confident that when tried he will be fully vindicated and exonerated of any crime.

R.M. Wright
Lloyd Shinn
M.W. Sutton
George F. Hinkle
J.W. Liellow
F.C. Zimmerman
G.W. Potter
Thomas S. Jones
A.B. Weber
C.M. Beeson
Geo. Emerson
A.H. Boyd
J.H. Philips
R.G. Cook
Wright, Beverly & Co.
Herman F. Fringey
O.W. Wright
March and Son
W.W. Robins
H.P. Weiss
Fred T. M. Wenir
R.C. Burns
H.M. Bell
T.L. McCarty
D.E. Frost
Beeson and Harris
Representative, Ford County
Probate Judge, Ford County, Kansas
County Attorney, Ford County
Sheriff, Ford County, Kansas
Ford County Commissioner
Ford County, Treasurer and Tax Collector
Clerk of Ford County
Police Judge and Attorney at Law
Mayor, Dodge City, Kansas
City Council, Dodge City, Kansas
City Council, Dodge City, Kansas
City Council, Dodge City, Kansas
Deputy County Treasurerr, Ford County
U.S. Commissioner
Dodge City Merchants
Postmaster, Dodge City, Kansas
Pastor, Presbyterian Church
Merchants
Groceries
Shoemaker
Notary Public and Insurance Agent
Attorney
Deputy United States Marshal
M.D.
Ex-Police Judge
Liquor Dealers
(and 35 other citizens signed the paper).

Wyatt Earp



Gunfight At The OK Corral - Coroner's Inquest - Ike Clanton & Others

Daily Nugget, CORONER'S INQUEST, Oct. 30, 1881

Further Testimony Regarding The Late Tragedy.

The coroner's jury. Summoned for the purpose of inquiring into the causes of the death of William Clanton and Thomas and Frank McLowry (sic), met at 10 o'clock yesterday and continued the examination by taking the testimony of the following witnesses;

Testimony from B.H. Fellehy:

I heard some stranger ask Ike Clanton what is the trouble; he said there would be no trouble; then Ike Clanton went over to Dolan's saloon; I then looked over and saw the Marshal standing at Hafford's doorway; Then saw the Sheriff going over to where the Marshal and Sheriff were talking; the Sheriff says, "What's the trouble," the Marshal says, "Those men have made their threats; I will not arrest them but will kill them on sight;" Virgil Earp said this; the Sheriff asked the Marshal in to take a drink; did not see them afterward as I crossed over the street to the other side; when I got over there I saw one of the Earp brothers, the youngest one, talking to Doc Holliday; looked across the street; saw the Marshal again; some one came up to him and called him aside; when this gentleman got through talking wit the Earps; saw three of the Earps and Holliday go down the street together; they kept on the left of the street on Fourth; I was on the right side; when I got to the corner of Fremont and Fourth I started to go across to the southwest corner of Fremont; when I got midway between in the street I saw the firing had commenced; I kept my eye on the Earps and Holliday until the shooting commenced; I saw Doc Holliday in the middle of the street; the youngest of the Earps brothers was about three feet from the sidewalk; he was firing at a man behind a horse; Doc Holliday also fired at the man behind the horse, and firing at a man who ran by him on the opposite side of the street; then I saw the man who had the horse let go, and was staggering all the time until he fell; he had his pistol still when he fell; I never saw the two elder Earps; I did not know where they were situated; I then went to the yound man (Editor's note---Frank McLaury) lying on the sidewalk and offered to pick him up; he never spoke except the movement of the lips; I picked up a revolver lying five feet from him; then I saw Doc Holliday running towards where the young man was lying, still having a revolver in his hand, making the remark, 'the s--- of a b--- has shot me and I mean to kill him;' could not say who fired the first shots; I didn't see a shotgun go off; I didn't see a shotgun after I walked down the street; I didn't see any one with their hands up, I was too far away to see that."

Testimony from Ike Clanton:

"Am a cattle dealer; was present on the 26th of the month, and am a brother of William Clanton who was killed on that day, saw the whole transaction, the killing; well, the night before the killing went into the Occidental lunch saloon for a lunch; while in there Doc Holliday came in and raised a row with me; was abusing me; he had his hand on his pistol; called me a s--- of a b---; he told me to get my gun out; I told him I had no gun; I looked around and saw Morgan Earp behind him, they began to abuse me, when I turned and got out doors; Virgil Earp, Wyatt and Morgan were all up there, Morg Earp told me if I wanted to fight to turn myself loose; they all had their hands; I told them again that I was not armed; Doc Holliday said, 'You s--- of a b---, go and arm yourself; I did then go and arm myself; I went back, saw V. Earp and T. McLowry; Virg Earp was playing poker with his pistol in his lap; we were playing poker, we quit at daylight; I followed him and said, 'I was abused the night before, and was still in town,' he said he was going to bed; the reason I followed him up was I saw him take his pistol out of his lap and stick it in his pants; I came back and passed in my chips; staid around until about 8 or 9 o'clock;

I STAID TO MEET DOC HOLLIDAY;

The next thing they, Virg and Morg Earp, slipped up and disarmed me; shortly after I met my brother; he asked me to go out of town; just then I met the man that had our team; I told him to harness up; then I went to get something left by my brother. We then went to where our team was; met the sheriff there; he told us that he would have to arrest us and take our arms off. I told him that we were just going to leave town; that I had no arms on me; he then told Billy, my brother, to take his arms up to his office, Billy told him he was just leaving the town; the sheriff then told Frank and Tom McLowry to take their arms off. Tom McLowry then opened his coat and said, 'Johnny, I have nothing.' Frank said that he was leaving town, and that he would disarm if the Earps would; that he had business that he would like to do before he left town. Just at that time Doc Holliday and the Earps appeared on the sidewalk; the sheriff stepped out to meet them; he told them that he had this party in charge; they walked right by him. I stepped out nd met Wyatt Earp; he stuck his - six shooter at me and said, 'Throw up your hands!' The marshal also told the other boys to throw up their hands; Frank McLowry and Billy Clanton threw up; Tom McLowry threw open his coat and said he had nothing; they said you's s--- of b---s came here to make a fight; at the same instant Doc Holliday and Morgan Earp shot; Morgan shot Billy Clanton, and I don't know which of the boys he shot; I saw Virg shooting at the same time; I grabbed Wyatt Earp and pushed him around the corner and then ran throught the photograph gallery; at the same time I saw Billy Clanton fall; when I got away.

ALL OF US THREW UP OUR HANDS.

Except Tom McLowry, who threw open his coat saying that he had nothing. There was some trouble between myself and the Earps prior to this; there was nothing between the other boys and the Earps; Doc Holliday said I had used his name; I said I hadn't; I never had trouble with the Earps; they don't like me; we once had a transaction, myself and the Earps; I know of no threats made by the Clantons and McLowrys that day; I made no threats, only as I formerly said; they, the Earps, met Billy Clanton 15 minutes before they killed him and shook hands with him and said they were glad to meet him; Billy Clanton and McLowry were only a half an hour in town; I might have made threats as said, as I felt that way; I made no worse threats at them than they did with me; I didn't expect Wyatt, I expected

MORGAN AND DOC HOLLIDAY TO ATTACK ME.

Our crowd did not expect an attack until some one told us; at the time they made the attack I had no arms; the Earp brothers had my arms [Editor's note: The arms had been left earlier that day at the Fountain Saloon, in the Grand Hotel, by Virgil Earp.]; Virg Earp had them; it was a six shooter; It was two days prior since I saw Billy or Frank McLowry until that morning; had never had a word of conversation with either of them in my life; I don't know whether the party had a shotgun; Virgil Earp was about six feet from me; they were three or four feet distant when, they fired; I did not see my brother or either of the McLowrys fire a shot. There were four or five shots fired before I left the ground; at the time the Sheriff was talking to us; Billy Clanton and Billy Claiborne were standing together; the McLowrys and myself were standing five or six feet to the left; the Clantons came up from Antelope Springs for a load of freight, that is, the McLowrys; I don't know how near Claiborne was to me at the time of the shooting; I don't know whether Morgan Earp or Doc Holliday fired first; It was a nickel-plated pistol by one of them; their weapons were down when they came up; the Sheriff, after he had orderred us to give up our srms I did not think we were under arrest; he said it was all right if we left town; Behan had a conversation with Frank McLowry; I know where the Sheriff's office is, we could not have gone up to the Sheriff's office after he left us before the Earps came up; the Sheriff told us to stay where we were until he came back; I would not have staid there had I not orders from the Sheriff; after I saw the Earps armed; the Sheriff was with us about four, five or six minutes.

Testimony from Mrs. M.J. King:

Reside at Tombstone; occupation house keeping; I was coming from my home to the meat market, Mr. Beuer's to get some meat for dinner; I saw quite a group of men standing on the sidewalk with two horses, near the market; I passed into the shop; the parties inside seemed quite excited; did not seem to wait on me; I inquired what was the matter, and they said there was going to be a fuss between the Earp boys and cowboys; then I stepped to the door; I heard some talking then; but did not understand at first what was said, then three parties seemed to separate, and the man with the horse seemed to be leading, as the man that was talking with them turned from them; one of them said, "If you wish to find us, you will find us down here;" then the man went up town toward the post office; he was, I think, a tall man; then I stepped into the market; the butcher was in the act of cutting the meat, when some one said, "There they come;" then I stepped to the door and looked up the sidewalk, when I saw four men coming down the street; I saw and know one of the party; it was Doc Holliday; there were three others of the party which were pointed out to me as the Earp brothers; Mr. Holliday was next to the building on the inside; he had a gun under his coat; I stood in the door till these men passed; till they got to the second door; what frightened me and made me run back? I heard the man on the outside kind of stop or looked at Holliday. And said, "Let them have it." Holliday said "all right." Then I thought there would be shooting; from what these parties said, and ran for the back of the shop, but before I reached the middle of the shop I heard shots, and don't know what happened afterwards.

Testimony from R.J. Coleman:

"I saw the arrest of Ike Clanton the morning before the shooting took place; Marshal Earp went up behind him and grabbed his gun, then there was a scuffle and Clanton fell; didn't see Earp hit him, but saw Earp have a six shooter, but don't know whether he had taken it from Clanton or not; Clanton was taken to the police station. And after the trial was over Marshal Earp offered him his rifle, but Clanton would not take it, they had some words, during which I heard Clanton say, "All I want if four feet of ground;" soon after I was standing in front of the O.K. Corral and saw the two Clantons and McLowrys standing and talking in a stall in Dunbar's corral; in a few minutes they came out and crossed the street into the O.K. Corral; Billy Clanton was riding his horse and Frank McLowry was leading his; as they passed, Billy Clanton said to me, 'Where is the West End corral.' I told him where it was and they passed on into the corral and I went on up Allen street; when opposite the Headquarters saloon I met Sheriff Behan; told him he should go and disarm the men, that I thought they meant mischief; I soon after met Marshal Earp and told him the same thing, I then walked down Allen street again and passed through the O.K. Corral; where I saw the Clantons and the McLowrys talking with Cheriff Behan, and heard one of them say, 'You need not be afraid of us Johnny, we will not make any trouble.' Billy Clanton had his horse with him; I then turned and went up Fremont street; when I got as far as Bauer's butcher shop, I net Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday walking down the center of the street; Sheriff Behan walked up to them and said, 'I don't want you to go any further.; I don't think they made any reply, but passed on down the street until they came opposite the Clanton party. The Earp party addressed them; I heard s--- of b---'s but don't know which party spoke. Some one in the Earp party then said;

'THROW UP YOUR HANDS'

or 'Give up your arms,' I thought I was too close, and as I turned around I heard two shots, then the firing became general. After a few shots, Ike Clanton ran up the street and through Fly's gallery; think there were two shots fired; fired at him; after the first two Tom McLowry ran down Fremont street and fell; Billy Clanton stood in the same position as when I first saw him; saw him fire two or three shots in a crouched position; one of them hit Morgan Earp, who stumbled or fell, he jumped up again and commenced shooting; about that time, Frank McLowry came out in the street toward Holliday, some words passed between them; Frank said, "I've got you now," firing a shot at the same time, which struck Holliday on the hip or his scabbard; I hollered to Holliday, saying, "You've got it now;" he answered, "Yes, I'm shot right through." Frank then passed across the street and fell; I think Billy Clanton must have been struck, but was down in a crouching position, and using the pistol across his knee and fired two shots, one of which hit Marshal Earp; Wyatt and Morgan were still firing at him, when he raised himself up and then fell, still holding his pistol in his hand; after the shooting saw Sheriff Behan and Wyatt Earp talking; Behan said, "I ought to arrest you." Wyatt said, "I won't be arrested; you deceived me Johnny when you said they were not armed," and repeated again, "I won't be arrested, but am here to answer for what I have done; I am not going to leave town." Couldn't tell where I was whether they threw up their hands or not, except Billy Clanton, he had his hand on his pistol, which was in the scabbard, his right hand on his left hip; this was after the first two shots; can't swear how many of the Clantons were armed; Don't think Ike was; can't say that I saw a shotgun; don't think Billy Clanton was shot until after the first two shots; don't think he was hit until after he shot; did not see Tom McLowry have a pistol; my impression is that he started to run to get away from the shooting; I didn't see Behan or hear him say anything.

At the conclusion of the evidence given by the witness, the jury decided that no further testimony was necessary, and a few minutes after retiring, returned with the following verdict:

Tombstone, Territory of Arizona, }

County of Cochise October 29, 1881. }

We the undersigned, a jury of inquest, summoned by the coroner of the court of Cochise to determine whose the body is submitted to our inspection; when, where, and under what circumstances the person came to his death.

After viewing the body and hearing such testimony as had been submitted to us, find that the person was Frank McLowry, 29 years of age (Editor's note: Records show his birth date as March 3m 1848, which made him 33 not 29.) and a native of Mississippi (Editor's note: Records show his place of birth as Kortright, New York.), and that he came to his death in the town of Tombstone in said county, and on the 26th day of October, 1881, from the effects of pistol and gunshot wounds inflicted by Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp and one Holliday, commonly called Doc Holliday.

Thomas Moses; R.F. Hafford, D. Calisher, T.F. Hudson, M. Garrett, S.B. Comstock (Editor's note: Not listed in Document 48, Coromer's Inquest, J.W. Cowell (Editor's note: Not listed in Document 48, Coroner's Inquest.), J.C. Davis, Harry Walker, C.D. Reppy, G.H. Haskell (Editor's note: Spelled Haskill in Document 48.) And W.S. Goodrich (Editor's note: Listed as B.S. Goodrich in Document 48.)

The verdict in the case of Wm. Clanton and Thomas McLowry was the same as the above, excepting as to their names and ages, which werre inserted in the body of the document. After the jury adjourned sine die.


Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Billy Clanton
After the Gunfight at the OK Corral

Gunfight At The OK Corral - Coroner's Inquest - John H. Behan

Tombstone Epitaph, CORONER'S INQUEST, Oct. 29, 1881

Investigation into the Cause of the Recent Killing

Following is a verbatim copy of the testimony given before the Coroner's Jury in relation to the killing of the McLowry brothers and Clanton, up to the time of adjournment, last evening. At the rate of progress made yesterday, the investigation is liable to last for a week.

The Coroner's Jury was composed of the following: T.P. Hudson, D. Calisher, M. Garrett, S.B. Comstock, J.C. Davis, Thomas Moses, C.D. Reppy, F. Hafford, George H. Haskell, M. S. Goodrich.

Testimony from John H. Behan

"John H. Behan, being sworn says; I am Sheriff, and reside in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona; I know the defendants Wyatt Earp, and John H. Holliday; I know Virg and Morg Earp; I knew Thomas McLaury, Frank McLaury, and William Clanton; I was in Tombstone October 26, when a difficulty, or shooting affray took place between the parties named.

The first I knew that there was likely to be any trouble, I was sitting in a chair getting shaved in a barber shop; it was about half past one or two, it may have been later, but not much; saw a crowd gathering on the corner of Fourth and Allen Streets; someone in the shop said there was liable to be trouble between Clantons and the Earps; there was considerable said about it in the shop and I asked the barber to hurry up and get through, as I intended to go out and disarm and arrest the parties; after I had finished in the barber shop I crossed over to Hafford's corner; saw Marshal Earp standing there and asked what was the excitement; Marshal Earp is Virgil Earp; he said there (were) a lot of s---s of b---s in town looking for a fight; he did not mention any names; I said to Earp you had better disarm the crowd; he said he would not, he would give them a chance to make the fight; I said to him: It is your duty as a Peace Officer to disarm them rather than encourage the fight; don't remember what reply he gave me, but I said I was going down

TO DISARM THE BOYS.

"I meant any parties connected with the cowboys who had arms; Marshal Earp at that time was standing in Hafford's door; several people were around him; I don't know who; Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday were then standing out near the middle of the street, at or near the intersection of Allen and Fourth Streets; I saw none other of the defendants there; Virgil Earp had a shotgun; with the muzzle touching the door-sill, down at his side; I did not see arms on the others at the time; I then went down Fourth Street to the corner of Fremont, and I met there Frank McLaury holding a horse and talking to somebody; I greeted him; I said to him: (defendants here objected to any conversation between witness and Frank McLaury, court overruled the objection at this time) I told McLaury that I would have to disarm him, as there was likely to be trouble in town and I propose to disarm everybody in town that had arms.

He said he would not give up his arms as he did not intend to have trouble; I told him that he would have to give up his pistol, all the same; I may have said gun, as gun and pistol are synonymous terms; about that time I saw Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury down the street below Fly's Photography Gallery; I said to Frank, 'Come with me;' we went down to where Ike Clanton and Tom were standing; I said to the boys, 'You must give up your arms!' Billy Clanton and Will Claiborne; I said to them, 'Boys you have got to give up your arms.' Frank McLaury demurred; I don't know exact language; he did not seem inclined, at first, to give up his arms. Ike told me he

DID NOT HAVE ANY ARMS.

"I put my arm around his waist to see if he was armed, and found he was not; Tom McLaury showed me by pulling his coat open, that he was not armed, I saw five standing there and asked them how many there were of them; they said four of us; this young man, Claiborne said he was not one of the party; he wanted them to leave town; I said boys you must go up to the Sheriff's office and take off your arms and stay there until I get back; I told them I was going to disarm the other party; at that time I saw Earps and Holliday coming down the sidewalk, on the south side of Fremont Street; they were a little below the post office; Virgil, Morgan and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were the ones; I said to the Clantons wait there for awhile, I see them coming down, I will go and stop them; I walked up the street twenty-two or twenty-three steps and met them at Bauer's Butcher Shop, under the awning, in front, and told them not to go any farther, that I was down there for the purpose of arresting and disarming the McLaury's and Clantons; they did not heed me and I threw up my hands and said go back, I'm the Sheriff of this county and am not going to allow any trouble if I can help it; they brushed past me and I turned and went with them, or followed them two steps or so in the rear as they went down the street, expostulating with them all the time; when they arrived within a very few feet of the Clantons and McLaurys I heard one of them say

I THINK IT WAS WYATT EARP

"You s---s of b---s you have been looking for a fight and now you can have it,' about that time I heard a voice say 'Throw up your hands;' during this time I saw a nickel-plated pistol pointed at one of the Clanton party - I think Billy - My impression at the time was that Doc Holliday had nickel-plated pistol; I will not say for certain that Holliday had it; these pistols I speak of were in the hands of the Earp party; when the order was given, 'Throw up your hands,' I heard Billy Clanton say, 'Don't shoot me, I don't want to fight,' Tom McLaury at the same time threw open his coat and said, 'I have nothing,' or 'I am not armed;' he made the same remark and the same gesture that he made to me when he first told me he was not armed; I can't tell the position of Billy Clanton's hands at the time he said, ' I don't want to fight,' my attention was directed just at that moment to the nickel-plated pistol; the nickel-plated pistol was the first to fire, and another followed instantly; these two shots were not from the same pistol, they were too nearly instantaneous to be fired from the same pistol; the nickel-plated pistol was fired by the second man from the right; the second shot came from the third man from the right. The fight became general.

"Two of the three fired shots were very rapid after the first shop; by whom I Do not Know; the first two shots fired by the Earp party; I could not say by whom; the next three shots I thought at the time came from the Earp party; this was my impression at the time from being on the ground and seeing them; after the party said, 'Throw up your hands;' the nickel-plated pistol went off immediately; I think V.W. Earp said, 'Throw up your hands;' there was a good deal of fighting and shouting going on. I saw Frank McLaury staggering on the street with one hand on his belly and his pistol in his right; I saw him shoot at Morgan Earp, and from the direction of his pistol should judge that the shot went in the ground; he shot twice there in towards Fly's Building at Morgan Earp, and he started across the street; heard a couple of shots from that direction; did not see him after he got about half way across the street; then heard a couple of shots from his direction; looked and saw McLaury running and a shot was fired and he fell on his head; heard Morg say, 'I got him;' there might have been a couple of shots afterwards; but that was about the end of the fight; I can't say I knew the effect of the first two shots; the only parties I saw fall were Morg Earp and Frank McLaury.

My impression was that the nickel-plated pistol was pointed at Billy Clanton; the first man that I was certain that was hit was Frank McLauryk, as I saw him staggering and bewildered and knew he was hit; this shortly after the first five shots; I never saw any arms in the hands of any of the McLaury party except Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton; saw Frank McLaury on the sidewalk, within a very few feet of the inside line of the street; did not see a pistol in the hands of any of the McLaury party until 8 or 10 shots had been fired; Frank was the first of the party in whose hands I saw a pistol; Ike Clanton broke and ran after the first few shots were fired; Ike, I think, went through Fly's Building; the last I saw of him he was running through the back of Fly's Building towards Allen Street."

At the conclusion of the above testimony the court adjourned until 9 o'clock this morning.


John H. Behan


Gunfight At The OK Corral - Coroner's Inquest - C.H. Light

Inquest on the body of William Clanton, Frank McLaury and Thomas McLaury, deceased.

Testimony from C.H. Light

After saying he was in town the day of the affray and that he witnessed a part of it, and knew or knows in one degree or another, the Earps, Ike Clanton, and Holliday; of being in a barber shop saying there was likely to be trouble between the Earps and the cowboys and that the Earps had just passed down the street with arms; that he passed from there to his house (Aztec Rooming House) at the corner of Fremont and Third Streets and was in there when the shooting commenced.

STATEMENT

I heard two shots as quick as I could count, "One, Two," I jumped to the window on Third Street, looked up Fremont Street, I saw several men in the act of shooting. At the instant I saw a man reel and fall on the corner of Fremont and Third Streets on the South side, right directly on the corner of the house (Tom McLaury). I do not know who that man was.

I looked up the street again (and) I saw three men standing at an angle about 10 or 15 feet apart (Wyatt and Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday), about the center of the street, facing Fly's gallery and the house below (Harwood house). I saw another man standing, leaning, against a building joining the vacant lot (Billy Clanton).

There appeared to be two men firing at the man standing beside the house (Wyatt and Virgil Earp). That man appeared to be struck from the motions he made. Then he fired one shot at the lower man, at the northwesterly man, which I afterwards understood was Holliday. The shot appeared to take effect, which was fired by the man with the horse, for the other man turned partly around. I then looked at the man against the house expecting every moment to see some on of them fall, and he was in the act of sliding down on the ground, apparently wounded.

At that instant the horse vanished. I do not know where he went to. This lower man was firing apparently up the street. He fired one or two shots. I then saw the man who slid down the side of the house lying with his head and shoulders against the house, place a pistol on his leg and fired two shots. He tried to fire a third shot but he apparently was too weak.

The shot went into the air. At the same time there was a tall man with gray clothes (Doc Holliday) and a broad hat standing about the middle of the street, (who) fired two (shots) apparently in the direction of the man who had been leaning against the house. Then there appeared to be one party in the middle of the street firing down the street.

This man who laid on the ground near the corner of the house never fired but three shots. He appeared to be disabled. Then there was a few more shots fired by parties on the north side of the street (who) had passed from my view and I was not able to see them.

The next thing I observed was two men standing beside the man that slid down on the south side of the street near the corner of the building. A tall man dressed in black appeared on the scene with a rifle in his hand and said, "Take that pistol away from that man (meaning the man who was wounded) or he will kill him!" At this time the shooting was all over, and I do not think the whole of it occupied over 10 or 15 seconds. The tall man dressed in black was not a participant in the affray.

There seemed to be six parties firing, four in the middle of the street and one on the south side of the street, and the one with the horse. Afterwards, I recognized the man with the gray clothes to be Doc Holliday. I think there were about 25 or 30 shots fired altogether.

I did not see any of the parties have a shotgun. The fight occurred about 130 or 140 feet away from where I was. I think, from the report, that the first two were pistol shots. I think that there was one report from a shotgun.

I saw the man who fell at the corner of the street lying there all the time of the fight, I did not see him shoot. He seemed to me to be the first man shot. There was not time enough for a man to draw a pistol to fire a shot, between the first two shots.

They must have been from two pistols. The man who fired the second shot must have been prepared to fire when the first shot was fired. These two shots I heard were fired before I went to the window, but it did not take me a second to get there.

End of statement.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Gunfight At The OK Corral

Black Powder and Close Quarters
A friend once told me that he thought the whole gunfight was simply an arrest gone bad, but I've always thought it was more like two gangs going to war and having at it. After all, they had a history of dealings and double-dealings, swindles, and so on.

After all of the built up animosity and double-crossing going on, what do we know about the gunfight? Well, we know that nine men were involved in the gunfight. They were Billy and Ike Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury, and Billy Claiborne on one side - and Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holiday on the other.

The Clantons and the McLaurys, along with Claiborne were all part of a local criminal faction known as the "Cowboys". They were called "The Cowboys" because they were local cattle rustlers who stole cattle from across the border in Mexico and truly did have a blatant disregard for the law.

John Harris Behan was the Cochise County Sheriff. He did little to nothing to curtail their activities. Some say it was because he was involved with their criminal enterprise by giving them cover.

After the murder of Marshal John White by Cowboy William "Curly Bill" Brocious in October of 1880, Virgil Earp who was the assistant City Marshal and part time U.S. Deputy Marshal became the City Marshal of Tombstone.

In April of 1881, to dry to stop the rise in violence in the streets, Virgil signed an ordinance which prohibited the carrying of weapons within the city limits of Tombstone. Actually, this wasn't new to the West as more and more towns were adopting such regulations.

All of the Earp brothers were in Tombstone by this time, and were working in different aspects of the town.

While James Earp was a Saloon Keeper and bartender, Virgil of course was City Marshal and U.S. Deputy Marshal, a position he held before he arrived in Tombstone. And we should also remember that Virgil, as a Deputy U.S. Marshal was actually ordered to Tombstone from Prescott. He was supposed to be there looking into the cattle rustling problems that were going on on the Mexican-U.S. border. While in Tombstone, he did try his hand at silver prospecting -- but only part time.

While the movies show Wyatt going to Tombstone and the other brothers following him, that isn't accurate. In fact, it was only after Virgil was ordered to Tombstone that Wyatt and the other brothers decided to go to Tombstone.

While there, Wyatt's was a saloon keeper, a bartender, faro dealer, gambler, a part time shotgun guard for Wells Fargo, a silver prospector, and twice helped his brother Virgil as a city "special deputy."

Morgan was a Faro Dealer and was a city policeman under Virgil. As for Warren, it has been disputed as to whether he was even in town when the shootout near the OK Corral took place. It is believed that he arrived at Virgil was wounded and before Morgan was killed by ambush.

Bad blood already existed between the two factions early on. In the 1870s and 1880s, there was considerable tension between the rural residents who were for the most part Democrats from the agrarian Confederate States and town residents and business owners who were largely Republicans from the industrial Union States. And yes, many of the Yankees were seen as Carpetbaggers.

"Carpetbagger" was a pejorative term referring to the carpet bags, a form of cheap luggage at the time, which many of the Yankee newcomers carried. Carpetbaggers were Northerners who moved to the South after the Civil War. Southerners saw them as lowlives there to loot and plunder the defeated South.

The term came to be associated with opportunism and exploitation by outsiders. Today, the term is still used when referring to a "parachute candidate." Those who are an outsider who runs for public office in an area where they do not have deep community ties, or have lived only for a short time.

While that was true on the overall, Frank and Tom McLaury were Yankees who relocated from Iowa. In fact, Frank McLaury was said to have been a decorated Union soldier by the end of the war.

The tension culminated into what has been called the Cochise County feud, or the Earp-Clanton feud.

Adding to things was the fact that as soon as Wyatt Earp arrived in Tombstone, he took an interest in running for the job of Cochise Country Sheriff. His reason was purely monetary. Fact is that the Country Sheriff in those days was assigned the job of collecting the County Taxes.

So yes, as soon as Wyatt Earp arrived, he was at odds with John Behan who sought the new position of Cochise County Sheriff. The Cochise County Sheriff's position was a lucrative job, far beyond its salary.

Fact is the County Sheriff was not only responsible for enforcing the law but was also county assessor, tax collector, and responsible for collecting prostitution, gambling, liquor, and theater fees. The county supervisors allowed the sheriff to keep 10% of all money collected and including fines paid. And yes, in 1879, this made the county sheriff's job worth more than $40,000 a year -- or let's say about $963,310 in today's money.

John Behan made a deal with Wyatt Earp promising Wyatt a position as his under-sheriff if he was appointed over Wyatt. Earp agreed to the deal and withdrew his name from the political contest. Behan used the influence he had gained while serving two terms in the territorial legislature.

After getting information that Wyatt Earp was spreading lies and attempting to pit Ike Clanton against Behan, Behan reneged on his deal with Earp and appointed prominent Democrat Harry Woods instead.

Later that year, Behan gave the explanation of his actions during the hearings after the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Behan said he broke his promise to appoint Earp because of an incident shortly before his appointment.

The incident took place when searching for a horse stolen in late 1879. Wyatt learned about a year later that the horse was in nearby Charleston. Wyatt spotted Billy Clanton attempting to remove the horse from a corral and retrieved it without trouble.

Behan was in the area to serve a subpoena on Ike Clanton. Ike was hopping mad when Behan finally found him, Wyatt Earp had told Clanton that Behan "had taken a posse of nine men down there to arrest him."

Behan took offense at Wyatt's tactics of playing one against the other and changed his mind about appointing Wyatt. Wyatt from then on out had it in for Behan.  And for John Behan, from that experience, he believed that Wyatt Earp couldn't be trusted to watch his back.

Later Doc Holliday attested to the bad blood in an interview in 1882, when he said "from that time, a coolness grew up between the two men."

Many of the ranchers and Cowboys who lived in the Cochise County countryside were resentful of the growing power of the business owners and townspeople who increasingly influenced local politics and law in the county.

A "cowboy" in that time, in that region of the country, was generally regarded as an outlaw. Legitimate cowmen and cowhands were referred to as cattle herders or ranchers.

The ranchers largely maintained control of the country around Tombstone, due in large part to the sympathetic support of Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan who favored the Cowboys and rural ranchers - and of course his growing intense dislike for the Earps helped as well.

Behan tended to ignore the Earp's complaints about the McLaury's and Clanton's horse thieving and cattle rustling. And of course, yes that made the matter worse.

The townspeople and business owners welcomed the Cowboys who had money to spend in the numerous bordellos, gambling halls, and drinking establishments. When lawlessness got out of hand, they enacted ordinances to control the disruptive revelry and shootings.

As officers of the law, the Earp brothers held authority at times on the federal and local level. They were resented by the Cowboys for their tactics as when Wyatt Earp buffaloed Curly Bill when he accidentally shot Marshal Fred White.

The Earps were also known to bend the law in their favor when it affected their gambling and saloon interests, which earned them further enmity with the Cowboy faction.

Under the surface were other tensions aggravating the simmering distrust. Most of the leading cattlemen and Cowboys teamed up to fight the pressure they were feeling from the mine and business owners, miners, townspeople and city lawmen including the Earps.

There was also the fundamental conflict over resources and land, of traditional, Southern-style, “small government” agrarianism of the rural Cowboys contrasted to Northern-style industrialism.

During the rapid growth of Cochise County in the 1880s at they peak of the silver mining boom, outlaws derisively called "Cow-boys", frequently robbed stagecoaches and brazenly stole cattle in broad daylight, though mainly from across the border in Mexico and scaring off the legitimate cowboys watching the herds in the process.

The lines between the outlaw element and law enforcement were not always distinct. Wyatt Earp had his troubles with the law to the extent of being fired and run out of town while he was a lawman.

It's said that the Earps ran a lot of the gambling and prostitution in Tombstone and they ran with Doc Holliday who had a reputation as a killer - though modern research has only identified three individuals he shot.

Before The Shootout

On October 25, 1881, whilst Ike Clanton was in Tombstone, drunk and very loud, Doc Holliday accused him of lying about the Benson stagecoach robbery. Tombstone City Marshal Virgil Earp intervened and threatened to arrest both Doc and Ike if they did not stop arguing.

With Wyatt's help, Doc Holliday went home.

Fact is that after the confrontation with Ike Clanton, Wyatt Earp took Holliday back to his boarding house at Camillus Sidney "Buck" Fly's Lodging House to sleep off his drinking, then went home and to bed.

Virgil played cards with Ike Clanton, Tom McLaury, Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan and a fifth man (unknown to Ike and to history), until morning.

At about dawn on October 26, the card game broke up and Behan and Virgil Earp went home to bed.

Ike Clanton later testified later that he saw Virgil take his six-shooter out of his lap and stick it in his pants when the game ended.

Shortly after 8:00 am, bartender E. F. Boyle spoke to Ike Clanton in front of the Telegraph Office. Ike had been drinking all night.

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, recalling 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."

Ike said in his testimony afterward that he remembered neither meeting Boyle nor making any such statements that day.

Later in the morning, Ike picked up his rifle and revolver from the West End Corral, where he had stabled his wagon and team and deposited his weapons after entering town.

By noon that day, Ike, drinking again and armed, told others he was looking for Holliday or an Earp.

At about 1:00 pm, Virgil and Morgan Earp surprised Ike on 4th Street where Virgil buffaloed (pistol-whipped) him from behind. Disarming him, the Earps took Ike to appear before Judge Wallace for violating the city's ordinance against carrying firearms in the city. Virgil went to find Judge Wallace so the court hearing could be held.."

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 was fined $25 plus court costs and after paying the fine left unarmed.

Virgil told Ike he would leave Ike's 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 late

So on the morning of October 26th, 1881, a loud-mouthed Ike Clanton was boasting about what he was going to do to the Earps "one of these days." He was fully armed, and shouting threats against the Earps.

Virgil testified later that "the first man who spoke to me about any threats was Officer Bronk. I was down home in bed when he called. He came down after [a] commitment I had for a party that was in jail. It was about 9 o'clock I should think, on the 26th of October.

While he was getting the commitment, he said, "You had better get up. There is liable to be hell!"

He said, "Ike Clanton has threatened to kill Holliday as soon as he gets up." And he said, "He's counting you fellows in too," meaning me and my brothers. I told him I would get up after a while, and he went off.

The next man was Lynch; I've stated what he said. The next I met, was Morgan and James Earp. One of them asked me if I had seen Ike Clanton. I told them I had not.

One of them said, "He has got a Winchester rifle and six-shooter on, and threatens to kill us on sight." I asked Morgan if he had any idea where we could find him. He said he did not. I told him then to come and go with me, and we could go and arrest him, and disarm him.

So at this point, we know that Ike Clanton and Doc Holliday had argued the day before, an arguement that ended with threats from both men.

Shortly before noon on the 26th, Wyatt Earp was awakened and told Ike Clanton, armed with a rifle and revolver, was visiting the Allen street bars, threatening Doc Holiday. Carrying weapons inside the town limits was a violation.

Virgil later testified that he "found Ike Clanton on Fourth Street between Fremont and Allen with a Winchester rifle in his hand and a six-shooter stuck down in his breeches. I walked up and grabbed the rifle in my left hand.

He let loose and started to draw his six-shooter. I hit him over the head with mine and knocked him to his knees and took his six-shooter from him.

I ask him if he was hunting for me. He said he was, and if he had seen me a second sooner he would have killed me. I arrested Ike for carrying firearms, I believe was the charge, inside the city limits.

When I took him to the courtroom, Judge Wallace was not there. I left him in charge of Special Officer Morgan Earp while I went out to look for the Judge. After the examination I asked him where he wanted his arms left, and he said, "Anywhere I can get them, for you hit me over the head with your six-shooter.

I told him I would leave them at the Grand Hotel bar, and done so. I did not hear, at that time, any quarrel between Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton. The next I saw them, they were, all four; Ike Clanton, Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Tom McLaury in the gun shop on Fourth Street.

Supposedly someone stated that Virgil's six-shooter made a dull thudding sound as it smacked up against Ike's head, before he was said to be whimpering and threatening the whole way as he was being dragged to Police Court.

Ike was fined $25, and his weapons confiscated.

Wyatt and Ike exchanged bitter words during the brief court hearing, each threatening the other.

An angry Wyatt Earp stalked out of the courtroom and came face-to-face with Tom McLaury.

Another argument started - and quickly ended when Wyatt "buffaloed" his enemy and walked away.

Another town ordinance violation was to bring the Earps and the Clanton crowd to one more face-to-face meeting before that fateful thirty seconds.

A few minutes after the anger vented inside and outside the courtroom, Virgil and Wyatt Earp saw four of the cowboys - the two McLaurys, Billy Clanton and a friend, Billy Claiborne, a gunslinging youngster who liked to be called Billy the Kid - walking into Spangenberg's Gun Shop, on Fourth street. Soon they were joined by Ike.

Virgil testified that "Several men came on Allen Street between Fourth and Fifth; miners whose names I do not know. This was after Ike Clanton's arrest and before the fight. There was one man in particular who came and said, "Ain't you liable to have trouble?"

I told him I didn't know, it looks kind of that way, but couldn't tell. He said, "I seen two more of them just rode in," and he said, "Ike walked up to them and was telling them about you hitting him over the head with a six-shooter."

He said that one of them rode in on a horse [and] said, "Now is our time to make a fight." This was after the arms of Ike Clanton were returned to the Grand Hotel.

Just about the time the man was telling me this, Bob Hatch came and beckoned to me, as though he wanted to speak to me, and said, "For God's sake, hurry down there to the gun shop, for they are all down there, and Wyatt is all alone!"

He said, "They are liable to kill him before you get there!" The other man told me to be careful, and not turn my back on them or I would be killed, that they meant mischief. Lynch remarked­ [paragraph not completed.

There was a man named W. B. Murray and a man named J. L. Fonck came at separate times and said, "I know you are going to have trouble, and we have got plenty of men and arms to assist you."

Murray was the first man to approach me, on the afternoon of the 26th. I was talking to Behan at the time in Hafford's Saloon, trying to get him to go down and help me disarm them.

Murray took me to one side and said, "I have been looking into this matter and know you are going to have trouble. I can get 25 armed men at a minutes notice."

He said, "If you want them, say so." I told him, as long as they stayed in the corral, the O.K. Corral, I would not go down to disarm them; if they came out on the street, I would take their arms off and arrest them. He said, "You can count on me if there is any danger."

I walked from the comer of Fourth and Allen Streets, west, just across the street. J. L. Fonck met me there, and he said, "The cowboys are making threats against you." And he said, "If you want any help, I can furnish ten men to assist."

I told him I would not bother them as long as they were in the corral; if they showed up on the street, I would disarm them.

"Why," he said, "they are all down on Fremont Street there now. Then I called on Wyatt and Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday to go with me and help disarm them.

I saw Wyatt Earp shooing a horse off the sidewalk and went down and saw them all in the gun shop, filling up their belts with cartridges and looking at the pistols and guns."

The visit of their enemies to a gun shop might have given the Earps pause to consider what lay ahead. Of more immediate concern, however, was Frank McLaury's horse, standing on the sidewalk, a legal violation.

Wyatt grabbed the bridle, started to back the horse into the street. Frank dashed out, grabbed the bridle, too.

There was a moment of silence; it soon might become the Battle of Spangenberg's Gun Shop. But, silently, Frank finished backing his horse off the wooden sidewalk.

Tom McLaury was in town at this time and he got into an argument with Wyatt Earp earlier which ended with Wyatt publicly striking him.

Tom and Ike gathered together the other Cowboys who were in town and they all holed up at vacant lot near the rear of the O.K. Corral.

Earp supporters like to say that the Frank and Tom McLaury were in town as part of the gang of Cowboys - just there to break the law and intimidate the public.

Fact is, Frank and Tom McLaury were not in Tombstone the day of the gunfight to have it out with the Earps - that story is nothing else but fiction built up by people who think the mundane is too mundane.

No, fact is, Frank and Tom McLaury were not there in Tombstone that fatal day because they belong to some gang called the "Cowboys".

Unknown to the Earps, the McLaury brothers were simply in town to get cash before leaving to travel across country back to their hometown in Iowa to attend their sister's wedding.

Virgil said later, "There was a committee waiting on me then and called me away to one side. I turned to Wyatt Earp and told him to keep peace and order until I came back and to move the crowd off the sidewalk and not let them obstruct it. When I saw them again, all four of them were going in Dunbar's Corral. They did not remain long there. They came out and went into the O.K. Corral. 

I called on Johnny Behan who refused to go with me, to go help disarm these parties. He said if he went along with me, there would be a fight sure; that they would not give up their arms to me.

He said, "They won't hurt me," and, "I will go down alone and see if I can disarm them." I told him that was all I wanted them to do; to layoff their arms while they were in town.

Shortly after he left, I was notified that they were on Fremont Street, and I called on Wyatt and Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday to go and help me disarm the Clan tons and McLaurys.

We started down Fourth Street to Fremont, turned down Fremont west, towards Fly's lodging house. When we got about somewhere by Bauer's butcher shop, I saw the parties before we got there, in a vacant lot between the photograph gallery and the house west of it.

The parties were Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, Johnny Behan, and the Kid. "

Sheriff John Behan, of course, did nothing and the Earps with Doc Holiday walked down Allen Street with the intention of disarming the Cowboys.

Although Virgil was still carrying his pistol, he had given his Wells Fargo shotgun to Holiday and told him to stick it under his coat so as to appear peaceful.

What exactly happened when the lawmen reached the corral is mostly taken from what the survivors had to say.
Gun-Control is a tricky business. Folks might not go along without a fight. Look how enforcing a Gun-Control City Ordinance went wrong at the OK Corral!


We know that the Earp brothers gathered in front of Hafford's Saloon, on the corner of Fourth and Allen streets, wondering what the day would bring. They were joined by Doc Holiday, carrying a cane as he usually did when his tuberculosis particularly was bothering him.

They hadn't long to wait. A man named Coleman, whether acting as a concerned public-spirited citizen or just hopeful of seeing a good fight, came up to them and said the Clantons and McLaurys had gathered at the rear entrance of the O.K. Corral, and were plotting trouble.

Down Fourth Street marched the Earps with Doc Holliday. They confronted five Cowboys on Fremont Street in an alley between the Harwood House and Fly's Boarding House and Photography Studio, the two parties were initially only about 6 to 8 feet apart.

When asked later, Virgil said he was in the lead and the other 3 were behind him and not along side as the movies depict. He said, regarding Wyatt and Morgan Earp and Doc, "They were right behind me. We were all in a bunch. I think he was also right behind me."

Doc had traded his cane for Virgil Earp's shotgun. He pulled his arm from one sleeve of his coat and held the shotgun between his coat and his body.

Virgil later said, "When I called Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday to go and help me disarm the McLaurys and Clantons, Holliday had a large overcoat on, and I told him to let me have his cane, and he take the shotgun, that I did not want to create any excitement going down the street with a shotgun in .my hand. When we made the exchange, I said, "Come along," and we all went along.
As they neared the corner of Third and Fremont, they saw the Clanton brothers, the McLaury brothers and Billy Claiborne, ranged along the wall of a small assay office that flanked the west side of the Corral entrance.

To the east of the narrow strip of open land was the boarding house and gallery of Camillas S. Fly, frontier photographer who ranged through Tombstone and around the wide countryside recording the sights and the events and the people of that fabulous time.

Talking with the men, while the horses of Frank and Tom McLaury stamped their feet impatiently in the cool air, was Cochise County Sheriff John Behan. When he saw the Earps approaching, with the maneuvering Doc Holliday swinging wide into the street, Sheriff Behan hurried back to them, told them to stop.

Virgil asked if the cowboys were under arrest, and, not getting a reply to his satisfaction, pushed on past, leading his brothers to the O.K. Corral.

Virgil later testified that "Johnny Behan seen myself and party coming down towards them. He left the Clanton and McLaury party and came on a fast walk towards us, and once in a while he would look behind at the party he left, as though expecting danger of some kind. He met us somewhere close to the butcher shop.

He threw up both hands, like this and said, "For God's sake, don't go there or they will murder you!"

I said, "Johnny, I am going down to disarm them." By this time I had passed him a step and heard him say, "I have disarmed them all."

When he said that, I had a walking stick in my left hand, and my right hand was on my six-shooter in my waist pants, and when he said he had disarmed them, I shoved it clean around to my left hip and changed my walking stick to my right hand.

As soon as Behan left them, they moved in between the two buildings, out of sight of me. We could not see them. All we could [see] was about half a horse. They were all standing in a row.

Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury had their hands on their six-shooters. I don't hardly know how Ike Clanton was standing, but I think he had his hands in an attitude where I supposed he had a gun. Tom McLaury had his hand on a Winchester rifle on a horse."

Raising Doc's cane, Virgil called to the men to drop their arms.

Supposedly Virgil Earp was not planning on a fight. He had given Doc a short, double-barreled shotgun and carried Holliday's cane in his right hand.

When finally confronting the Cowboys, he immediately commanded the Cowboys to "Throw up your hands, I want your guns!"

But, as in many situations of the sort that law enforcement faces every day, that didn't work and the Cowboys reached to draw their guns.

Virgil and Wyatt testified they saw Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton draw and cock their six-shooters. Virgil  testified later that he heard the "click click" of the pistol hammers and yelled: "Hold! I don't mean that!" or "Hold on, I don't want that!"

Virgil later testified, "As soon as I saw them, I said, "Boys, throw up your hands, I want your guns," or "arms." With that, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton drew their six-shooters and commenced to cock them, and I heard them go "click-click."

Ike Clanton threw his hand in his breast. At that, I said, throwing both hands up, with the cane in my right hand, "Hold on, I don't want that!"

As I said that, Billy Clanton threw his six-shooter down, full cocked. I was standing to the left of my party, and he was standing on the right of Frank and Tom McLaury. He was not aiming at me, but his pistol was kind of past me.

Two shots went off right together. Billy Clanton's was one of them. At that time I changed my cane to my left hand, and went to shooting; it was general then, and everybody went to fighting.

At the crack of the first two pistols, the horse jumped to one side, and Tom McLaury failed to get the Winchester. He threw his hand back this way [shows the motion]. He followed the movement of the horse around, making him a kind of breastwork, and fired once, if not twice, over the horse's back."

Some believe that the fight started after Doc Holiday cocked his concealed shotgun. Shotguns of the period, like single-action revolvers carried by both groups, had to be cocked before firing.

According to one witness, Holliday drew a "large bronze pistol" - this is interpreted by some as Virgil's coach gun - from under his long coat and shoved it into Frank McLaury's belly, then took a couple of steps back. Yes, they were that close.

It is not known who started shooting first; accounts by both participants and eyewitnesses are contradictory. Those loyal to one side or the other told conflicting stories, and independent eyewitnesses who did not know the participants by sight were unable to say for certain who shot first.

Virgil Earp reported afterward, "Two shots went off right together. Billy Clanton's was one of them."

Billy Clanton
All witnesses generally agreed that two shots were fired first, almost indistinguishable from each other. General firing immediately broke out.

Wyatt testified, "Billy Clanton leveled his pistol at me, but I did not aim at him. I knew that Frank McLaury had the reputation of being a good shot and a dangerous man, and I aimed at Frank McLaury."

Wyatt Earp testified that he shot Frank McLaury after both he and Billy Clanton went for their revolvers.

Virgil and Wyatt thought Tom was armed. When shooting started, the horse that Tom McLaury held jumped to one side.

Wyatt said he also saw Tom McLaury throw his hand to his right hip. Virgil said Tom followed the horse's movement, hiding behind it, and he believed that he fired once, if not twice, from over the horse's back.

At some point in the first few seconds, Holliday stepped around Tom McLaury's horse and shot him with the short, double-barreled shotgun in the chest at close range.

Witness C. H. "Ham" Light saw Tom running or stumbling westward on Fremont Street towards Third Street, away from the gunfight, while Frank and Billy were still standing and shooting.
Ike Clanton

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.

After shooting Tom, Holliday tossed the shotgun aside, pulled out his nickel-plated revolver, and continued to fire at Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton.

Despite having bragged that he would kill the Earps or Doc Holliday at his first opportunity, once the shooting broke out, Wyatt told the court afterward that Ike 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!"

Clanton ran through the front door of Fly's boarding house and escaped, unwounded. Billy Claiborne also ran from the fight.

According to the chief newspaper of the town, The Tombstone Epitaph, "Wyatt Earp stood up and fired in rapid succession, as cool as a cucumber, and was not hit."

Morgan Earp fired almost immediately as Billy drew his gun right-handed, hitting Billy Clanton in the right wrist.

This shot disabled Billy's gun hand and forced him to shift the revolver to his left hand. He continued firing until he emptied it.

Virgil and Wyatt were now firing. Morgan Earp tripped over a newly buried waterline and fired from the ground.

Frank McLaury was shot in the abdomen. And taking his horse by its reins, struggled into the street, it's said Frank tried to grab his rifle from its scabbard on his horse.

It's also claimed that while he was doing this that he fired his revolver over the horse's head, but the horse got away before he could withdraw the rifle from the scabbard.

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.

But it is believe that that couldn't have been the case, and that it was indeed Frank 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.

Frank McLaury
Wes Fuller also identified Frank as the man in the street leading the horse.

Though wounded, Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury kept shooting. 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.

Either Frank or Billy shot Virgil Earp in the calf - Virgil thought it was Billy. Virgil, though hit, fired his next shot at Billy Clanton.

Frank and Holliday exchanged shots as Frank moved into Fremont street with Holliday following, and Frank hit Holliday in his pistol pocket, grazing his skin.

Frank lost control of his horse and, firing his weapon, crossed Fremont Street to the sidewalk on the east side.

Holliday followed Frank across Fremont Street, exclaiming, "That son of a bitch has shot me, and I am going to kill him."

Morgan Earp picked himself up and also fired at Frank.

The smoke from the black powder used in the weapons added to the confusion of the gunfight in the narrow space.

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 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 alley between the house and Fly's Lodging House.

Claiborne said Billy 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. S. Fly took his pistol at about the time the general shooting ended.

A few moments later, Tom was carried from the corner of Fremont and Third into the Harwood house on that corner, where he died without speaking.
Morgan Earp

Passersby carried Billy to the Harwood house, where Tom had been taken.

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."

Billy gasped for air, and someone else heard him say, "Go away and let me die."

Ike Clanton, who had repeatedly threatened the Earps with death, was still running.

William Cuddy testified that Ike passed him on Allen Street and Johnny Behan saw him a few minutes later on Tough Nut Street.

In that split second when the firing started all of the pent-up scores were going to be settled as the first bullets tore through the air.

The boastful Ike Clanton, the man who was going to kill all the Earps single-handily and drop Doc Holliday for good measure, ran screaming toward Wyatt Earp, ducked behind him and streaked toward Fly's photograph gallery, where Sheriff Behan quickly had taken refuge.

Close behind Ike was Billy the Kid Claiborne, recently released from jail after killing a man who "bothered" Billy. But the events at the O.K. Corral were a different kind of bother to Billy, and he quickly decided this really wasn't his fight after all.

Frank McLaury was the first to drop, a gaping wound in his stomach from Wyatt Earp's pistol fired at almost pointblank range.

Morgan Earp took a bullet across his shoulder as young Billy Clanton, his right wrist shattered, shifted his gun to his left hand.

Billy kept firing as two more bullets tore through his body, and one shot hit Virgil Earp in the calf.

Billy weakly tried to keep firing as he lay on the hard packed sand, but he couldn't muster the strength to pull the trigger.

It's said that Tom McLaury made a lunge for the rifle in the saddle scabbard of brother Frank's horse, but the frightened horse reared - exposing Tom to Doc Holiday's shotgun blast.

Tom stumbled a few feet into Fremont Street, where now there were two dead McLaurys.

Billy Clanton died a few minutes later, his pistol taken from his hand by Camillas Fly as he was lifted and carried into Fly's boarding house.

It was over. There were a few awful moments of silence, then there was a new sound - the whistles of the Vizina and Tough Nut mines shrilled in the air, calling the members of the Citizens' Safety Committee to form against what many feared might now he a general insurrection on the part of the outlaw elements.

Sheriff Behan told Wyatt Earp he was under arrest; Wyatt replied: "I won't be arrested today. I am right here and am not going away. You deceived me. You told me these men were disarmed; I went to disarm them."

Wyatt wasn't arrested that day, and outlaw violence didn't break out yet.

But within a few days, the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday were charged with murder. And yes, because Morgan and Virgil still were recovering from their wounds, Judge Wells Spicer decided to proceed to trial without them.

Sheriff Behan testified the Clanton party made no effort to begin shooting when the Earp party stalked to the Corral and, according to him, told them to throw up their hands.

He said the Earps already had their guns at the ready.

He did admit however, that Frank McLaury had told him a short time before the shooting that he would not give up his weapons until the Earps were disarmed.

The movies usually show the shooters firing across expansive corrals and courtyards, as well as in and out of barns and other buildings.

In fact, all the participants were no more than a few feet from one another until Frank McLaury went for a horse on the street, trying to pull a rifle from its scabbard.

Tom McLaury was unarmed.

Tom McLaury
No weapon was ever found in Tom’s possession, or near his body. But that didn't matter because going for your rifle when a gunfight starts is one of the easiest ways to get yourself killed.

Wyatt Earp later testified that he thought that Tom had been carrying a concealed weapon, but no weapon was ever found.

Indeed, earlier in the day Wyatt had confronted Tom about that very issue.

One report says that Tom went for his rifle on his horse, but even Wyatt testified that Tom threw open his coat to show that he was unarmed before being shot.

It is possible that he did go for a rifle and his horse and got killed while doing so. It is very possible that he died as many have - for being in the wrong place at the wrong time when shooting starts. 

About 30 shots were fired in 30 seconds in Black Powder fog.

Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne ran from the fight, unharmed. Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton were killed;

Morgan was clipped by a shot across his back that nicked both shoulder blades and a vertebra, although he was able to continue to fire his weapon.

Virgil was shot through the calf and Holliday was grazed by a bullet that actually hit his belt. Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, and Doc Holliday were wounded and survived. Wyatt Earp went untouched.

It was roughly a 30-second gunfight that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory of the United States. Although only three men were killed during the gunfight, it is generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West.

Despite its name, the gunfight began in a 15–20 feet wide empty lot or alley designated Lot 2 on Block 17 on Fremont Street, between C. S. Fly's lodging house and photographic studio and the MacDonald assay house.

The lot was six doors East of an alleyway that served as the O.K. Corral's rear entrance. The two opposing parties were initially only about 6 feet apart.

12 days after the gunfight, as a result of charges of murder from Ike Clanton, Wyatt and Doc were arrested and jailed pending a preliminary hearing. Virgil Earp was suspended from his police duties at the same time.

Ike Clanton filed murder charges against Doc Holliday and the Earps and after a month-long preliminary hearing they were exonerated.

The Earps and Doc Holliday were charged by Billy Clanton's brother, Ike Clanton, with murder.

After a 30-day preliminary hearing and then again by a local grand jury, at the conclusion of an exhaustive inquest, Judge Spicer ruled that the Earps and Holliday did nothing illegal and the charges were dismissed.

Doc and Wyatt spent 16 days in jail during the hearing.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral lasted for less than one minute. It is estimated that as many as 30 shots were fired. Virgil and Morgan Earp were wounded, Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury were killed. Billy Claiborne and Ike Clanton escaped. Charges were later brought against the Earps and Doc Holiday.

Although Virgil and Morgan were excused because of their injuries, Wyatt and Doc were forced to pay out an inordinate sum of money.

But as most know, the animosity and bloodshed didn’t end with the gunfight at the OK Corral.

After the Earps were exonerated, the Cowboy faction extracted their revenge by ambushing and shooting Virgil Earp - who recovered but lost the use of one arm for the rest of his life.

Then in a separate incident, Morgan Earp died as a result of being shot with a shotgun at close range from ambush while near a window while playing pool.

These attacks on his brothers sent Wyatt on what has come to be known as the Earp vendetta ride. Accompanied by Doc Holliday, Warren Earp, and others, Wyatt tracked down and killed some of the men he felt were responsible for killing Morgan and maiming Virgil.

And yes, to this day there is still much controversy over the gunfight and ensuing events. During the vendetta ride, Wyatt was a federal Marshall carrying warrants for the arrest of several people.

Some of these people were riding in an opposing posse led by Cochise County Sheriff John Behan, who himself was carrying a warrant for Earp’s and Holliday’s arrests.

The surviving Clantons still insist that the Earps were guilty of murder for their role in the gunfight, and that the vendetta ride was just a murder spree fueled by vengeance.

Others adhere to the belief that the Earps were acting in the best interests of law and order by breaking up the Cowboy gang - who were indeed guilty of cattle rustling, stage robbery, and murder.

What is for certain is that when the Earps and Doc Holliday did finally left Arizona - the Cowboy element was less of a threat from that point forward.


It is interesting to note the picture at the top of this article is very correct in that since all of the shooters were using Black Powder, because Smokeless Powder wasn't invented for another 2 years, that the alley must have looked thick with gun smoke - as thick as the thickest fog of war.

And by the way, it is from the use of Black Powder and the amount of smoke put out by Black Powder rounds on any given battlefield - prior to the introduction of Smokeless Powder in 1883 - that we get the term "Fog Of War."

I've shot some Black Powder in my time, and yes I've experienced the Holy Black Fog. So to me, well I think it's surprising that they could see who they were shooting at all.

As for the "famous" gunfight being famous during its time? No it wasn't, in fact it was really not very "famous" at all because there were a lot bigger gunfights at the time.

It actually took 50 years for the gunfight at Lot 2 in Block 17 near the rear of the OK Corral to become famous.

Fact is that the shootout was relatively unknown to the majority of American public until 1931 when author Stuart Lake published what has since been determined to be a largely fictionalized Wyatt Earp biography entitled Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal which was published two years after Wyatt Earp's death.

Stuart Lake also retold Wyatt's fictional story in a 1946 book that director John Ford developed into the movie My Darling Clementine.

It was only after the movie Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was released in 1957, that the shootout came to be known by that name - Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. 

Since that movie starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas hit the big screen, the conflict has been portrayed with varying degrees of accuracy in numerous Western films and books.

Kirk Douglas (Doc Holliday), Burt Lancaster (Wyatt Earp),
John Ireland (Morgan Earp), DeForest Kelley (Virgil Earp) with 
Two shotguns and pistols drawn walking down the street
-- too bad it wasn't that way at all.

And by the way, in all of the movies made about the shootout is that none of the Earps wore holsters on their hips. It is possible that Doc Holliday had a shoulder holster, but the others concealed their weapons in their pockets and behind their backs under their coats.

In fact, no guns were showing. Even Doc Holliday, who was holding the sawed off shotgun handed to him by City Marshal Virgil Earp, hid the shotgun under his coat until the shooting started.

Hollywood can't get the simplest details correct, and really hasn't since they first started making movies about what took place at Lot 2 near the rear of the OK Corral Feed & Livery Stable on Fremont Street.

Val Kilmer (Doc Holliday), Sam Elliot (Virgil Earp),
Kurt Russell (Wyatt Earp), and Bill Paxton (Morgan Earp)

But then again, while the 1957 movie starring Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, didn’t exactly match the original story, it did help to popularize the shootout that was to become the most famous in Old West history.

Some say that the movie Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer is the closest to what took place at the OK Corral shootout.

Tombstone was really is a well done film with a lot of attention to detail, so for me it is the closest film made that gets a lot right. Unlike Kevin Costner's horrible film Wyatt Earp, which made the Cowboy faction look like filthy bums, the film Tombstone appears period correct.

And yes, if you're wondering why Hollywood has a hard time getting it right? I don't know why, but it does.

They get many things very close at times, but never completely accurate. And as far as I'm concerned, that's a shame because they have the financial resources to do things correctly.

And besides the things like, types of guns and dress and such, it's as if Hollywood can't let the story speak for itself. Hollywood seems to always want to dramatize an already great drama.

And really, that's too bad - because the story of what lead up to and including what took place at the OK Corral is an American tale of the Old West that pits rustler against lawman, double crossers and those paid off, police corruption, double dealers, and bad men -- all interchangeable except for one.

Whether or not the Gun-Control City Ordinance was used as an end to a means to rid the town of a rival gang or not, it was a drama with at least one Old West hero.

City Marshal Virgil Earp who was all in all the real hero at the gunfight at the OK Corral. He was the lawman that made the best out of a bad situation.

It is a shame that his brother Wyatt got all the recognition when in fact Virgil, the consummate Old West lawman, should have.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa