Friday, May 17, 2024

Wyatt Earp Shot In His Saloon At Nome, Alaska -- 1900

According to Wyatt Earp, he was never shot and wounded in any gunfight of any sort. But that doesn't make sense if the syndicated news reports from Nome, Alaska, were real and accurate. In at least two different newspapers during July of 1900, there was a report of Wyatt Earp being shot. Both reports talk about the same incident taking place. One report says he was "winged." 

Please read the short news stories below for yourself. 

From the Los Angeles Herald, Volume XXVII, Number 257, 15 July 1900:

Wyatt Earp Shot

San Francisco, July 14 —  News has been received from Cape Nome that Wyatt Earp, who refereed the Sharkey-Fitzsimmons fight and gave the decision to Sharkey on a foul, was shot recently in the saloon which he is running at Nome. At last accounts, he was still alive.

-- end of article from Los Angeles Herald, Volume XXVII, Number 257, 15 July 1900:

From the Enterprise (Riverside), Volume XIX, Number 403, 17 July 1900:


A dispatch printed in the San Francisco papers of Sunday states that Wyatt Earp, another of the noted family of Earps, got into a shooting scrape at Nome, and that Earp was winged by his antagonist. 

Only a few days ago, Warren, another of the boys, was killed at Wilcox, Ariz., by a cowboy. 

The jury in the last case exonerated the shooter, and if the story told of Wyatt’s scrape is correct, the man who shot him will be cleared, for Earp was the aggressor. Wyatt is keeping a saloon at Nome, and the shooting occurred in his house.

-- end of story from Enterprise (Riverside), Volume XIX, Number 403, 17 July 1900

From the Press Democrat, Volume XLIII, Number 82, 18 July 1900:


San Francisco, July 14. —News was received from Cape Nome today that Wyatt Earp nearly had his life cut short on the 29th of June by being shot by a customer. Earp was in his saloon and gambling place at the time he was shot. 

He had pulled a gun on the man, and the latter, who knew Earp's reputation, spared no time, but sent a leaden missile at the man whose only possession seems to be a bad man’s reputation. 

While being nursed back to health Earp will receive the news that his brother Warren who was shot last week at Wilcox, A. T., has passed in his checks. The notorious Earps gained their reputation as gun fighters on account of trouble with cattle rustlers in Arizona. There was four boys in the family. Warren as stated was killed a week ago yesterday in a saloon at Wilcox. He often threatened a cowboy named Johnny Boyett, and some lime ago he said) that when they should have trouble again some shooting should be done. With a pistol on Boyett’s stomach, he made the latter promise that they would shoot to avoid further quarreling. The two men met in a restaurant and Earp began his abuse. Boyett went into an adjoining saloon, followed by Earp. 

The latter said: "Boyett, go get your gun and we’ll settle the matter right here. I’ve got my gun; go get yours." 

Boyett was willing, and agreed to return in a few moments and fight it out. Earp also left the saloon. Boyett returned very soon, and, finding Earp gone, warned all loungers in the saloon to clear out. Emphasizing his warning by shooting into the ceiling. Earp shortly appeared through a back door. He started toward Boyett, throwing open his coat and saying: "Boyett. I am unarmed; you have all the best of this," advancing as he spoke. 

Boyett warned him not to come nearer, but Earp did not heed the words, and when within eight feet Boyett fired, shooting Earp through the heart and killing him instantly. Boyett was exonerated.

-- end of story from Press Democrat, Volume XLIII, Number 82, 18 July 1900.

So was Wyatt Earp shot in Nome, Alaska, in 1900? This news story appeared in the newspapers above, including Santa Barbara Weekly Press on 19 July 1900, The San Jose Herald on 14 July 1900, and many more.

But, according to Wyatt Earp by way of his biographer Stuart Lake, he was never shot or wounded in a gunfight. If that's true, then both of the above news stories were made up for some reason. If so, then that has me asking a few questions. My first question is why would someone make up such a story if it's not true? 

Remember, according to Wyatt Earp, he was never shot and wounded in any gunfight. So what are we to believe? Are the news stories of Wyatt Earp being shot accurate? Did they happen? If not, where did the stories come from? And really, why bother making them up? Why go through the trouble of sending out a story by wire, and syndicating it to other newspapers, if it wasn't true?

There's something else. Could these news stories disprove Wyatt Earp's claim about never being wounded in a gunfight? They are just two small articles. But can they be true?

Let's remember that for years, so-called Wyatt Earp experts were emphatic when supporting Earp's claim that he was buffalo hunting in Kansas  -- when in reality Earp was being arrested for being a Pimp in Illinois. It seemed very hard for them to admit that records were found giving everyone evidence that what Wyatt Earp told his biographer Stuart Lake was a tall tale in an attempt to re-write his history and put a positive spin on his life. 

What we know for a fact is that Wyatt Earp was a Pimp, and he was seen as part of the criminal element that people wanted out of Peoria, Illinois. So no, it's no surprise that he wanted people to think that he was buffalo hunting.

Some of the same so-called Earp experts would attack you if you disagreed with them over Frank Stilwell deliberately going to Tucson to kill members of the Earp party on their way to California. Today, we know that the notion that Frank Stilwell went to Tucson for the purpose is not true. We know that Frank Stilwell was summoned to Tucson to testify before a Grand Jury in Tucson. We know that that's what Stilwell was doing there. We also know that no weapon was found on his body. 

We know that Frank Stilwell never made it to testify before a Grand Jury because he was killed over and over again at the Tucson train station. And please, make no mistake about it, Stilwell was shot to pieces. That was the result of Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp and each of the men in the Earp posse taking their turns to shoot the corpse of Frank Stilwell. 

So now, could these news stories prove that Wyatt Earp was wrong about him never being shot. Would these news stories prove that Wyatt Earp was not telling the truth about never being wounded? If not, where did these syndicated stories come from if they aren't true? 

How did they appear out of thin air in newspapers in July of 1900?

Tom Correa 

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