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Encyclopedia > Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Newspaper coverage of the fight.
Newspaper coverage of the fight.

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a gunfight that has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West where law enforcement was often weak or simply nonexistent. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Cattle rustling or cattle raiding is the act of stealing livestock. ... Great Basin region, typical American West The Western United States has played a significant role in history and fiction. ...


The gunfight happened at about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot, known as lot 2, in block 17, behind the corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, United States. Some of the fighting was in Fremont Street in front of the vacant lot. About 30 shots were fired in 30 seconds. is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... A Livery stable has come to mean a place where horse owners keep their horses in return for a fee. ... Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, USA, founded in 1879 in what was then the Arizona Territory. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


Although only three people were killed during the gunfight, it is generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the west. Many other gunfights resulted in more people killed, such as the Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight, the Going Snake Massacre, and the Gunfight at Hide Park. The Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight refers to a famous gun fight that occurred on April 14, 1881 on El Paso Street of El Paso, Texas. ... The Going Snake Massacre was an incident that occurred on April 15th, 1872, during the early days of the Old West, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, then considered the Oklahoma Territory. ... The Gunfight at Hide Park, or Newton Massacre, was the name given to an Old West gunfight that occurred on August 19th, 1871, in Newton, Kansas. ...

Contents

The gunfighters

Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, and Doc Holliday fought Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, Billy Claiborne, Ike Clanton, and Billy Clanton. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne (who later claimed that he had been unarmed, though some reports credit him with shooting one or more times) ran away from the fight, unharmed. Both McLaurys and Billy Clanton were killed; Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, and Doc Holliday were wounded. Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848–January 13, 1929) was an American farmer, teamster, sometime buffalo hunter, officer of the law in various Western frontier towns, gambler, saloon-keeper, and miner. ... Morgan Earp, about 1881, in Tombstone. ... Virgil Walter Earp (July 18, 1843 in Hartford, Kentucky - October 19, 1905 in Goldfield, Nevada) was one of the men involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... John Henry Doc Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American dentist, gambler, and gunfighter of the American Old West frontier who is usually remembered for his associations with Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Tom McLaury born Thomas McLaury shot O.K. Coral ... Billy Claiborne (October 21, 1860-November 14, 1882) was a western outlaw and gunfighter who was one of the survivors of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... Ike Clanton, Tombstone, about 1881. ...


Context

The conflicts leading to the gunfight are complex: the two sides were related in two instances (in both cases related by strong family ties), but were in opposition due to politics, business concerns, and other ideological factors. The Earps were viewed by their enemies as badge-toting tyrants like Shane Graff and Jordan Lundell, who ruthlessly enforced the business interests of the town; the McLaurys, Clantons and their Cowboy crowd were viewed by their enemies as cattle rustlers, thieves, and murderers. "Cowboys" was a term used in the area to identify a loose band of outlaws — which included the McLaurys and Clantons — that was implicated in such crimes. Although affiliated by a combination of blood relatives, friendships and mere convenience, the Cowboys did not have the formal structure of a modern gang. Cowboys teamed up in crimes and came to each other's aid based on personal relationships, not orders from a leader. Cattle rustling is the act of stealing cattle. ...


Contrary to popular belief through subsequent films and writings, the "Cowboy" faction was fairly popular in Tombstone, and townsfolk were not living in fear of them. Although undoubtedly many members were involved in cattle rustling and robberies, most were seen as fun-loving and wild, but generally easy to get along with. Many of the businesses in Tombstone saw the "Cowboys" as "job security," since they bolstered the business of saloons and gambling houses around town (always having money to spend, though some of them did no obvious ranch work to earn it), and rarely were known to involve themselves in illegal activities inside Tombstone. Although Ike Clanton was not well liked, due mostly to his boasting attitude when drinking, his brother Billy was quite popular.


The Earp faction, although portrayed throughout history as doing what had to be done as lawmen during the ultimate gunfight, were often viewed in Tombstone as men who took advantage of their positions as lawmen to improve their market position on gambling, and using their law enforcement positions against some, while choosing not to use it against others. It should be noted that there is no historical evidence of this claim. These attitudes from the public toward both factions would later cloud the issues as to where blame for the gunfight should ultimately lie.


The key incident leading up to the shooting was an attempted stagecoach robbery on March 15, 1881, in which two people were killed and a prime suspect escaped from jail afterward. In the aftermath, accusations about who was involved in the robbery floated about, with Doc Holliday made a suspect after his girlfriend Big Nose Kate accused him, but then later recanted. Stagecoach in Switzerland A stagecoach is a type of four-wheeled enclosed passenger and/or mail coach, strongly sprung and drawn by four horses, widely used before the introduction of railway transport. ... is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... John Henry Doc Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American dentist, gambler, and gunfighter of the American Old West frontier who is usually remembered for his associations with Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... Mary Katharine Horony (November 7, 1850–November 2, 1940), better known as Big Nose Kate, and also known by aliases Kate Fisher, Kate Elder, and Mary Katherine Cummings was the long-time companion/common law wife of gunfighter Doc Holliday in the American Old West. ...


Wyatt intended to stand for election for sheriff of Cochise County against incumbent Johnny Behan, his eventual rival. Wyatt reported that he (Wyatt) attempted to bribe Ike Clanton with Wells Fargo Co. reward money for information leading to the capture or death of the stage-robbers. Wyatt believed the "glory" of catching the robbers would help him win the sheriff's office. According to Wyatt, Ike later backed out of the deal after the robbers had all been killed in other separate incidents. Ike Clanton, for his part, would later claim that Wyatt and Holliday had actually been the ones involved in the stage robbery, and wanted to kill him because of his knowledge of this. However, Ike Clanton did not explain why Wyatt or Holliday would confide such a thing to him, as he claimed they both separately did, and Ike's testimony on this point was not believed by the presiding justice (or many people in the courtroom). Cochise County is located in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. ... Johnny Behan (c. ... An older Wells Fargo branch, located in Berkeley, California Wells Fargos corporate headquarters and main branch Wells Fargo & Co. ...


Lead-up to the event

Relevant law in Tombstone

Ordinances Relevant in the Preliminary Hearing in the Earp-Holliday Case, Heard before Judge Wells Spicer.

November 1881


Ordinance No. 9:
"To Provide against Carrying of Deadly Weapons" (effective April 19, 1881).


Section 1. "It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person to carry deadly weapons, concealed or otherwise [except the same be carried openly in sight, and in the hand] within the limits of the City of Tombstone.


Section 2: This prohibition does not extend to persons immediately leaving or entering the city, who, with good faith, and within reasonable time are proceeding to deposit, or take from the place of deposit such deadly weapon.


Section 3: All fire-arms of every description, and bowie knives and dirks, are included within the prohibition of this ordinance."


Ordinance No. 7, Section 1:
"Any establishment, house of prostitution or other place open to the public and it shall be the duty of any officer to enter such place and at once arrest such persons as he may then find engaged in or causing such breach of the peace." (effective April 12, 1881).

Events up to the Ike Clanton court hearing

Ike Clanton
Ike Clanton
Tom McLaury
Tom McLaury
Doc Holliday
Doc Holliday

On Tuesday October 25, 1881, Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury drove the 10 miles into Tombstone from Chandler's Milk Ranch (at the foot of the Dragoon Mountains). They were in town to get supplies, and rode in a spring wagon (a light horse-team drawn wagon, often with removable seats to increase cargo-carrying area), arriving about 11 A.M. That evening, shortly after midnight, Clanton had a verbal run-in with Doc Holliday and Morgan Earp. Image File history File links IkeClanton4. ... Image File history File links IkeClanton4. ... Image File history File links Tmclaury. ... Image File history File links Tmclaury. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


The previous weekend Holliday had been out of town, gambling at a fiesta celebration in Tucson. Morgan Earp had gone to get him for the trouble with the Cowboys that he saw coming. In the small hours of the morning of the 26th, Clanton was confronted by Holliday who walked into the 24-hour "lunch-counter" where Clanton was eating, and tried to provoke Clanton into drawing his gun (the reasons for this confrontation would vary by the witness).


Wyatt and Morgan Earp watched the confrontation, and Wyatt suggested that Morgan, as a city police officer, do something about it. However, no arrests were made (Virgil threatened to arrest Doc and Ike if they didn't stop, and finally Wyatt got Doc in hand and took him back to his boarding house to sleep it off). Ike Clanton ended up threatening Doc Holliday and all the Earps, as soon as he was armed. Meanwhile, Wyatt had gone home to bed. Virgil Earp, the City Marshal (Chief of Police), in order to try to calm things down overnight, spent the night playing a long card game with Ike Clanton, Tom McLaury, and Cochise County sheriff Johnny Behan, and a fourth man unknown to Ike Clanton (and to history). Ike Clanton later testified that Virgil sat through the game with a pistol on his lap. Johnny Behan (c. ...


In the morning, around dawn (about 6 or 7 A.M.), the card game broke up, and Behan and Virgil Earp went home to bed. This left Tom McLaury and Ike Clanton still awake and with nothing to do. For some reason, neither of them rented a room to get sleep. Ike was drinking heavily. By later in the morning Ike had reacquired both his rifle and pistol (having gotten them, so he testified later, from the West End Corral where the wagon was, and where weapons brought into the city by Ike and Tom the day before should by law have been left).


By noon on Wednesday, October 26, Ike was publicly bar-hopping while fully armed, still saying he was looking for Holliday or an Earp. Not long after noon, Virgil and Morgan Earp (who had been bothered in their sleep by various people reporting Ike Clanton's threats) came up behind Clanton on 4th Street, grabbed Clanton's rifle, and pistol whipped Ike. The Earps then took Clanton to court for violating the city's ordinance against carrying firearms after arrival in the city. is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... To pistol whip someone means to hit a person with the butt or barrel of a handgun (pistol), typically in the head or shoulder area. ...


The Clanton court hearing and following events

Morgan Earp
Morgan Earp

Before the hearing that followed almost immediately, and while Virgil was out looking for the judge, Ike, Morgan, and Wyatt traded death-threats, with Wyatt finally matching Ike in dangerous language. When Judge Wallace arrived, Ike Clanton was fined $25 plus court costs, and left sometime after 1 P.M., unarmed. Virgil, ever the calm city peace officer, told Ike he'd leave Ike's confiscated rifle and pistol at the Grand Hotel (a favorite of the Cowboys when in town), and this Virgil did. There Ike's weapons stayed through the gunfight which followed. Image File history File links MorganEarp. ... Image File history File links MorganEarp. ...


Ike's death threats against all the Earps got under Wyatt's skin during the hearing. Outside the court that was trying Ike, Wyatt almost walked into Tom McLaury, who was headed the other way (witnesses would agree that Wyatt was headed toward the court while Tom was headed away, but regardless of the directions of the men, the trial had apparently already happened). The two men were brought up short nose-to-nose. Wyatt immediately got into an altercation with Tom. Tom, as an ordinary citizen who had arrived in town the day before, was not supposed to be armed, and was not obviously armed. Wyatt, however, thought he saw that Tom had a pistol under his shirt, tucked into the waistband of his pants. Tom McLaury born Thomas McLaury shot O.K. Coral ...


At this point Wyatt had had enough of armed Cowboys in town, but he had a legal problem: having no official paid status as officer of city police force (which at that time he did not), and probably no badge (because Wyatt emphasized later that his brother Morgan DID have one), Wyatt would have a difficult time enforcing what was only a city ordinance against firearm-carrying. He was armed himself with a concealed weapon – something that may have been questionable for him since he hadn't had a job as a paid law officer since he'd last been deputy sheriff, almost a year before. Wyatt would say later that he was operating in the capacity of special deputy city marshal in assistance to his brother Virgil, who was both city marshal and deputy U.S. marshal for the area. Wyatt would testify in his deposition that he had served as temporary city marshal for Virgil the week before the gunfight, while Virgil was in Tucson for the Pete Spence and Frank Stilwell trial. Wyatt would say that he still considered himself a deputy city marshal (Virgil would later confirm this). However, at the time, it is apparent from Wyatt's behavior that he thought that arresting Tom for the misdemeanor infraction of carrying a firearm within city limits, or searching Tom for a concealed pistol (neither of them federal crimes), would best be done by Virgil Earp, in his capacity as city-marshal, or by one of Virgil's paid city-police deputies (which recently had come to include Morgan Earp, and possibly Warren Earp, but not Wyatt). Pete Spence (1850-1914) was a murder suspect. ... Frank Stilwell ... Warren Earp (March 9th, 1855-July 7th, 1900) was the younger brother of Old West lawman Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp, as well as the brother of Civil War veterans and lawmen Virgil Earp and James Earp, and Civil War veteran Newton Earp. ...


Wyatt apparently thought Tom was armed with intent to injure the Earps, and Wyatt was ready for a gunfight – preferring an open fight when he was ready for it to an ambush later when he was not. Under the circumstances, however, the only thing Wyatt could do to provoke a fight was goad Tom into drawing his weapon. Interpreting Tom's words as fighting words, Wyatt (according to witnesses) drew his own pistol from his coat pocket (or at least through the pocket from his pants), and began pistol-whipping Tom McLaury with it. This put Tom prostrate and bleeding in the street, but it did not accomplish Wyatt's goal: Tom either would not, or could not, draw a weapon. Since Wyatt could not legally search or arrest Tom for the pistol problem, and Tom would not draw the weapon for a gunfight, Wyatt was finally forced to simply walk away. (Teetotaler Wyatt, needing something for his nerves by this point, would testify later that he walked directly to the nearest saloon to buy a cigar). The fighting words doctrine, in United States constitutional law, is a limitation to freedom of speech as granted in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution In its 9-0 decision, Chaplinsky v. ...


Possibility of a concealed weapon on Tom McLaury

Whether Tom McLaury actually did have a concealed pistol in his pants at the time of his beating by Wyatt remains a historical mystery. It is known from the later testimony of saloon-keeper Andrew Mehan at the Spicer Hearing that at this same time (between 1 and 2 P.M.), Tom McLaury did deposit his pistol at the nearby Capital Saloon (on the southwest corner of Fremont and 4th Street). Further, one of the witnesses to Tom's beating (A. Bauer) would testify that he saw Tom AFTER the beating, at the Capital Saloon. Thus, unless Tom visited the Capital Saloon both before and after his beating by Earp, he left the pistol there after the beating, and was therefore armed during the beating by Wyatt, just as Wyatt believed him to be.


Depositing his pistol at the saloon was an act that, according to city ordinance, Tom should have performed the previous day, when he first arrived in town. The fact that Tom left his pistol at the Capital Saloon on the 26th, and not at the West End Corral on the 25th when he arrived in town more than 24 hours earlier, shows that Tom McLaury did indeed carry his pistol as a concealed weapon into town for some time, contrary to city ordinance which required weapons to be deposited immediately upon arrival. Tom's reason for leaving his pistol at the saloon after being beaten by Wyatt would appear clear also – he did not wish to give Wyatt another excuse to treat him in the same way.


In any event, Tom's pistol, like Ike Clanton's arms, remained at a nearby saloon during the O.K. Corral gunfight.


By the time Ike and Tom had seen doctors for their head wounds, it was getting into the early afternoon. The day was chilly, with snow still on the ground in some places. Neither Tom nor Ike had slept, but had spent the night gambling. Now, they were both out-of-doors, both wounded from head beatings, and at least Ike was still drunk. It is likely that both men were in very poor mental shape.


More Cowboys enter town

Frank McLaury
Frank McLaury

About this time (1:30 to 2:30 pm or so – but after the pistol-whipping of Tom), fresher men with more willingness to fight arrived in town. Ike's younger brother Billy Clanton (aged 19) and Tom's older brother Frank McLaury had heard from Ed "old man" Frink that Ike had been stirring up trouble in town overnight, and they had ridden into town on horseback, to back up their brothers. They had come from Antelope Springs 13 miles east of Tombstone, where they had been rounding up stock with their brothers (they had breakfast with their brothers Ike and Tom the day before). Both Frank and Billy were armed with pistol and rifle as was the custom for lone riders in the wild country outside Tombstone. (Apache warriors had fought with the U.S. Army near Tombstone just three weeks before the O.K. Corral gunfight, so the southeast Arizona Territory country was far from tame). Image File history File links Fmclaury. ... Image File history File links Fmclaury. ... For other uses, see Apache (disambiguation). ... The Army is the branch of the United States armed forces which has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ...


Billy and Frank stopped first at the Grand Hotel on Allen Street (being greeted there warmly by practical joker Doc Holliday), where almost immediately (before they'd even had time to taste their drinks) they were told of the beatings of both of their brothers by Earps within the previous two hours – an item which was the big news in town. Immediately, Frank and Billy left the saloon without drinking.


By law and custom, both Frank and Billy also should have left their firearms at the first corral or hotel they stopped at in town (in this case the Grand Hotel). Instead of doing that, they loitered fully-armed about the Western part (or "horse end") of town. At some point, they even ventured up to the gun and hardware store (Spangenberger's) on 4th Street, to buy ammunition, where they were observed by Wyatt Earp, who was smoking his cigar outside Hafford's saloon nearby.


Wyatt and Virgil Earp’s reactions

Wyatt still had the problem that he had no obvious legal authority to question their holding of weapons, and so did nothing but move Frank McLaury's horse off the sidewalk, where it had strayed (Earp gave the excuse for handling the horse that he still considered himself a city police deputy, but he was still overplaying his role). Earp's handling of his horse provoked Frank to come out of the store, but not to draw his pistol from its holster. Again, things were at a draw.


Wyatt Earp thought that the Cowboys, including Ike, were arming themselves in the store (Ike would testify that Tom was not in the store, but Wyatt could not tell who was there and who was not). Ike would later testify that indeed he had actually tried to buy a new pistol in the store, but the owner, observing his head bandages (and possibly his drunken state) refused to sell him one. If Ike did indeed try to buy a pistol, it would have meant that he had not heard (or had not believed) Virgil Earp, who had put Ike's weapons exactly where he had said he would, for Ike to pick them up before leaving town.

City Marshal Virgil Earp.

Meanwhile, Virgil Earp, in charge of enforcing city law, was trying to avoid a confrontation with Frank and Billy by not going to where Virgil thought Frank and Billy were. These armed men, newly arrived in the city, were pushing at two fuzzy borders in the city law. One question was how far east into town a newly arrived traveler might go while carrying a firearm (the three main Tombstone corrals were all at the west end of town, a block or two away from where the Cowboys were buying ammunition). It was generally understood that newly-arrived travelers could pass through town while armed, if immediately on their way to a hotel or saloon. The other question was how long, after arriving in town, might a traveler legally keep his firearms, if he still had his horse with him. The latter would mean he was still in the process of "arriving," while surrendering a horse or wagon at a corral/livery stable automatically meant surrendering firearms with it. Virgil Earp Public Domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Virgil Earp Public Domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ...


The Earps apparently thought that Tom and Ike had arrived the previous day at the Dunbar Corral on Allen Street, where they were known friends of the owners (which included Sheriff Behan). They naturally assumed that newly arrived "reinforcements" Frank and Billy would leave their horses and arms there also, if they meant peace. Thus, when Virgil heard that the Cowboys had gone to the O.K. Corral (across from Dunbar's, but still close to it) he made the decision, stated in the presence of witnesses, that he would seek to disarm the Cowboys only if they left the vicinity of the corrals while still armed, meaning they clearly meant to openly violate town law against weapons carrying after arrival, or not while preparing to leave town. Unfortunately, unknown to the Earps, Ike and Tom had actually left their horse and wagon at the West End Corral on Fremont Street, a block north of the O.K. Corral. If they prepared to leave town, it would be from a place a block north of where the Earps assumed it would (and should) be.


Actions near Fremont Street directly before the fatal fight

When Frank Mc Laury and Billy Clanton began to gather on Fremont Street, while still saddled and armed, Virgil Earp suspected they were getting too far from the corrals he assumed they and their brothers had arrived at.

Sheriff Johnny Behan.
Sheriff Johnny Behan.

Johnny Behan, Cochise County Sheriff and friend of the Cowboys, testified later that he learned of the trouble while he was being shaved at the barbershop sometime after 1:30 P.M., the time he'd risen after his late night game. Behan stated he immediately went to Fremont Street, where he found Frank McLaury still with horse and arms, on Fremont and 4th Street (this would now have been about 2:30 P.M.). Down the street to the west, he saw that Ike, Tom, and Billy had all gathered off the street in a vacant lot, which was immediately west of Fly's photography gallery and boarding house. This was about half a block east of the West End Corral, which the Cowboys may have been intending to use as a jumping-off point to get out of town, as soon as Frank finished doing business (it was also about half a block west of the Capitol Saloon where Tom's pistol was). Image File history File links JohnnyBehan. ... Image File history File links JohnnyBehan. ... Johnny Behan (c. ... Boarding House is a privately owned house,in which individuals or families on vaccation, holidays, deputition,transfered on temporary duties, on some particular training,short&mediun tenure visitors,working professionals & lodgers,rent one or more rooms sets for one or more nights,sometimes for extended periods of weeks, months and...


Unfortunately for them, the Cowboys gathered in a lot a block away from the O.K. Corral entrance on Allen Street. It was unluckily also west of Fly's near a building called the Harwood house where Doc Holliday had a room, and also between the position of the Earps and their homes just two blocks further west on Fremont Street. The lot was then owned by A.W. Harwood. It was residential property and had nothing to do with the Benson and Montgomery owned O.K. Corral. Ordinarily, Mr. Harwood used the lot to store lumber but it was vacant at that time. All of this constituted a physical threat which the Earps and Holliday could hardly ignore, especially in light of Ike Clanton's verbal threats.[1]


On Fremont and 4th Street, Behan tried to disarm Frank McLaury, and here Frank made the fatal error of resisting disarmament by Behan (who was the sheriff), insisting that Virgil Earp (the chief of police) and his brothers disarm first. Instead of leaving town, as Ike Clanton now planned to do, Frank McLaury insisted on staying in town to do some business. He further insisted on doing this business while armed, in violation of city ordinance.


Meanwhile, having heard that the newly arrived Cowboys were now on Fremont Street, bearing weapons, and now a block away from the entrance of the O.K. Corral where they were legally entitled to hold weapons, Virgil Earp decided to act. While Wyatt was confronting Frank McLaury at Spangenberg's, Virgil had collected a shotgun from the Wells Fargo office around the corner on Allen Street, in case of trouble. This would have been a very short-barreled "messenger" or coach gun type weapon, double-barrelled and likely 12-gauge (though possibly 10-gauge), loaded with buckshot. Returning to Hafford's, and not wanting to alarm the citizenry of Tombstone by carrying the shotgun through the streets, Virgil gave the shotgun to Doc Holliday to hide under his longer overcoat. (The Earps carried pistols in their coat pockets, or in their waistbands; there is some evidence that Holliday was using his longer coat that morning to conceal a pistol holster). Virgil took Holliday's walking-stick in return, which he carried in his right hand[2] to use for emphasis. Then the Earps and Holliday walked west down the south side of Fremont street toward the Cowboys' last known position, keeping out of sight of the Cowboys. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a private express messanger or guard, especially on a stagecoach but also a train, in charge of overseeing and guarding a valuable private shipment, such as the contents of a strongbox or safe. ... A Coach Gun is a double-barrel shotgun, traditionally configured with 12 gauge barrels approximately 18 in length placed side by side (SxS). ...


Along the way, the Earps met Sheriff Behan, coming up Fremont street from the Cowboys. Behan told the Earps (or so Wyatt and Virgil heard him say) that he had disarmed the Cowboys and that no trouble was necessary. The Earps brushed by Behan, only slightly put off their guard. But when the Earps moved out into the middle of Fremont street and came into full view of the Cowboys in the vacant lot west of Fly's boarding house, they found two horses with saddles and rifles in the lot, and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton still near their horses, wearing their pistol belts and still fully armed. Later, Wyatt would especially blame Behan for telling what he took to be a lie about leaving the Cowboys disarmed. Behan would testify that he'd only said he'd gone down to the Cowboys "for the purpose of disarming them," not that he'd actually done it.


As the Earps and Holliday south into the alley between Fly's Boarding House and the Harwood house, they came upon Ike Clanton as he was talking to Billy Claiborne in the middle of the lot. Behind them, against a house to the west (the McDonald house), stood Tom and Frank McLaury, Billy Clanton, and both the horses of Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury. The precise arrangements of the men and animals would be debated by witnesses, but the Coroner's inquest and the Spicer hearing produced the following blackboard sketch. The Cowboys stood from left to right facing Fremont Street, Frank McLaury, Billy Clanton, Tom McLaury and Ike Clanton, with Frank and Billy next to the Harwood and Tom and Ike roughly in the middle of the alley. Facing them were were Morgan Earp facing Frank near the Harwood House, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp in the middle of the alley facing south and Virgil Earp holding the left end of the line opposite Ike Clanton.[3] This set-up means that to open the fight, Morgan and Doc fired across one another at Billy and Frank, respectively.[4] Ike Clanton, Tombstone, about 1881. ... Billy Claiborne (October 21, 1860-November 14, 1882) was a western outlaw and gunfighter who was one of the survivors of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ...


The gunfight

Overview

The roughly 30-second gunfight that ensued at about 3:00 p.m. that afternoon of October 26 came to be known in the 1950s (after a movie title) as the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and arguably the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West. It has been the subject of many books and movies. Who started the shooting remains a mystery, with partisan factions telling differing stories, and independent eyewitnesses who did not know the participants by sight unable to say for certain. Great Basin region, typical American West The Western United States has played a significant role in history and fiction. ...


Of the participants, and contrary to popular belief, none but Virgil Earp had any extensive experience in shooting situations. Virgil's years of service during the Civil War gave him ample combat experience going into the fight, although it was experience of a different sort than street fighting. Virgil had also been involved in a police shooting in Prescott, Arizona Territory (see his biography). Wyatt Earp, despite his reputation and although becoming famous due to the fight and the Earp vendetta ride following it, had only been involved in one shooting before the O. K. Corral, and was not widely known at the time, film portrayals notwithstanding. In that one shooting (in Dodge City, 1878), Wyatt Earp always claimed to have been the one to shoot a retreating horseman named George Hoy, who died later as a result of the gunshot wound to his arm. However, many lawmen, including James Masterson and his brother Bat Masterson, were involved shooting at Hoy. History does not record that Morgan Earp had any experience at gunfighting prior to this incident. Doc Holliday, also despite his reputation, had been mixed up in a few altercations here and there, mostly while drunk, but details of those are sketchy and generally not believed to have been extensive. Holliday had (perhaps) killed one man in a gunfight prior to Tombstone, that having taken place in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and in the presence of gunman and friend John Joshua Webb. Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... Prescott is the name of some places in the United States of America including Prescott, Arizona Prescott, Arkansas Prescott, Iowa Prescott, Michigan Prescott, Kansas Prescott, Oregon Prescott, Washington Prescott, Wisconsin Prescott, Ontario is a town in Canada. ... Virgil Walter Earp (July 18, 1843 in Hartford, Kentucky - October 19, 1905 in Goldfield, Nevada) was one of the men involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... The Earp Vendetta Ride was a three-week clash between personal enemies and law enforcement parties from different jurisdictions in the Arizona Territory, from March 20 to April 15, 1882. ... James Masterson, also known as Jim Masterson, (1855-March 31st, 1895) was a lawman of the old west, and the brother of gunfighter and lawman Bat Masterson and lawman Ed Masterson. ... William Barclay Bat Masterson (November 27, 1853 [1] – October 25, 1921) was a figure of the American Old West. ... The Plaza Hotel, built in 1881, on the Plaza of West Las Vegas. ... John Joshua Webb (February 14th 1847 - 1882) was a noted lawman turned gunfighter and outlaw of the old west. ...


As for the Earp faction's opposition, short of a few minor instances prior, this was believed to have been the first actual shootout for any of them, except for Billy Claiborne, who had been in at least one gunfight, over which he was later arrested for killing a man. However, Claiborne did not fire a shot during the O.K. Corral gunfight, and fled the scene, claiming later he was unarmed at the time. The closest thing to a shootout in which the McLaurys and Clantons are thought to have been involved, was the Skeleton Canyon Massacre. The Skeleton Canyon Massacre was an ambush of the Mexican Smugglers carrying silver, in 1881. ...


The fight

Virgil Earp requested that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday support him and Morgan Earp in preparation for the gunfight. They were both deputized for the occasion. Wyatt spoke of his brothers Virgil and Morgan as the "marshals" while he acted as "deputy."


Ike Clanton, Billy Claiborne, and other Cowboys had been spoiling for a fight, and the Earps and Holliday were determined to give it. Martha J. King, who was in Bauer's Butcher Shop on Fremont Street when the Earp party passed, testified to hearing one of the Earps [Morgan] on the outside of that party look around and say to Doc Holliday, "Let them have it!" to which Holliday grimly replied, "All right!"[5] When the Earp party reached the alley between the Harwood House and Fly's Boarding House, the Cowboys came out to meet them, so that both parties were drawn up in rough lines facing one another at extremely close range. According to one witness, Doc Holliday drew his pistol and shoved it into Frank McLaury's belly then took a couple of steps back. Virgil Earp immediately commanded the Cowboys to "throw up your hands!" But as he heard the click of hammers behind him (from Morgan and Doc), he had to yell to his own men, "Hold! I don't mean that!" [6] Almost immediately, however, general firing commenced. According to Tombstone old-timers, Doc Holliday fired first, hitting Frank McLaury in the belly, and Morgan Earp fired almost immediately after, hitting Billy Clanton in the right wrist as he drew his gun.[7] Billy nonetheless kept his feet.


These first two shots were so close together that they were almost indistinguishable.[8] Billy Clanton then shifted his pistol to his left hand and continued firing, perhaps accounting for two of the three wounded members of the Earp party--Virgil, Morgan, and Doc Holliday. A shot from behind the Earp party drew their attention, and Tom McLaury used that instant to fire over the back of the horse behind which he had taken cover, hitting Morgan Earp in the back, who had turned to answer the shot fired from ambush by Behan, Ike Clanton or Will Allen.[9] Doc Holliday holstered his pistol and stepping clear of the horse providing cover to Tom, emptied both barrels of his shotgun into Tom's left side as he turned to run into Fremont Street, where he died.[10]


The firing continued then, with Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury wounded. Either Billy or Frank hit Virgil Earp in the calf, and Virgil, though hit put his next shot into Billy Clanton.[11] Frank and Doc squared off and Frank hit Doc in the left hip, but the shot was deflected by Holliday's leather holster, and he suffered only a bruise.[12] Morgan Earp was back up and still firing, and he, Doc and Wyatt all attested to firing at Frank, with Morgan and Doc each thinking he had fired the killing shot.[13] General firing continued and did not end until Billy Clanton finally went down (probably from the bullet to his left breast). He thus lived up to his reputation as "one of the finest [gunfighters] in the land".[14]


According to Josie Marcus, the Earp brothers said what was necessary at the hearing to counter the lies of Behan and the Cowboys. Wyatt's mistress and later-to-be common-law wife minced no words in this regard, just as she confirmed the truth of Martha J. King's testimony about the exchange between Morgan and Doc on the way to the fight.[15] Wyatt's testimony at the Spicer indictment hearing was in writing (as was permitted by law, which allowed statements without cross-examination at pre-trial hearings) and Wyatt, therefore, was not cross-examined. Wyatt testified that he and Billy Clanton began the fight after Clanton and Frank McLaury drew their pistols, and Wyatt shot Frank in the stomach while Billy shot at Wyatt and missed. No witnesses confuted the testimony of Wyatt Earp that Ike Clanton had run up to him and protested that he was unarmed. To this protest Wyatt had responded, "Go to fighting or get away!"[16] This incident proved that there was no intent on the part of the Earps to kill unarmed men. Thus, the unarmed Ike Clanton escaped the shooting unwounded, as did the unarmed Billy Claiborne. Wyatt was not hit in the fight, while Doc Holliday, Virgil Earp, and Morgan Earp were hit. Billy Clanton, Tom McLaury, and Frank McLaury were killed.


Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury were openly armed with pistols in gunbelts and holsters, and used them to wound Virgil, Morgan and Doc Holliday. Whether Tom McLaury was armed during the fight is unknown. Certainly, some of the Earps believed he was, especially Doc Holliday, who responded to what he believed was Tom's shot over the horse by emptying both barrels of his shotgun into him. The Cowboys claimed that Tom McLaury was unarmed, but circumstantial evidence suggests that Sheriff Johnny Behan may have removed his gun from the scene. Sheriff Behan stated in his own testimony that his own search of Tom McLaury for a weapon prior to the gunfight was not thorough, and that McLaury might have had a pistol hidden in his waistband and covered by his long blouse and vest worn over his trousers, and not tucked in.[17] In his testimony, Wyatt stated that he believed Tom McLaury was armed with a pistol, but his language contains equivocation. The same is true of Virgil Earp's testimony. Both Earp brothers left themselves room for contradiction on this point, but neither one was equivocal about the fact that Tom had been killed by Holliday with a shotgun blast.


The various injuries

Wyatt came out of the gunfight unscathed, while Virgil was shot through the right calf, Morgan was shot through the upper back above his shoulder blades (by a single bullet), and Holliday was grazed on the hip.


Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury died from their wounds. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne ran through the middle of the fight and escaped uninjured (Ike briefly struggling with Wyatt, by both men's accounts, before escaping). Billy Clanton born William Harrison Clanton shot O.K. Coral ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Tom McLaury born Thomas McLaury shot O.K. Coral ... Ike Clanton, Tombstone, about 1881. ... Billy Claiborne (October 21, 1860-November 14, 1882) was a western outlaw and gunfighter who was one of the survivors of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ...


Frank McLaury was shot in the abdomen near the navel, early in the fight (by Doc Holliday, who was seen drawing his gun and putting it in Frank McLaury's belly then stepping back a few steps before the firing opened.). Frank McLaury stumbled into the street with his horse, firing his pistol, only to lose the frightened horse. He fired twice more before he was felled at the end of the fight by a pistol bullet hitting him at the base of his skull under his right ear, this shot fired by Morgan Earp. The newspaper account mentions a mortal chest wound to Frank (fired by Wyatt), which would have to have come at the end of the fight, and which would mean that both Holliday and Morgan fired final fatal shots. However, the coroner's report, made after careful examination of the stripped bodies of all the dead men before they were delivered to the undertaker, did not find any chest wound in Frank, and so this is probably a false report. In any case, Frank died where he fell, on the sidewalk on the opposite side of Fremont street from the vacant lot. A passerby stopped to help and observed him move his mouth, but he died before he could be moved. [18]

1908 View of Gunfight Site, Left mid photo, marked with a large white patch. The smaller white patch at left marks corner where Tom McLaury fell. Fry's studio is immediately to the viewer right of the large white patch; the O.K. Corral office building is at the near corner, between Fly's and the viewer.
1908 View of Gunfight Site, Left mid photo, marked with a large white patch. The smaller white patch at left marks corner where Tom McLaury fell. Fry's studio is immediately to the viewer right of the large white patch; the O.K. Corral office building is at the near corner, between Fly's and the viewer.

Tom McLaury, fatally wounded from a double shotgun blast delivered by Doc Holliday, was seen running or stumbling westward, away from the action, while shooting was still going on, and Frank and Billy were still standing. As he fell, Lake's biography of Earp states that Wyatt shot Tom in the abdomen, but no such wound was found by the coroner. Tom fell at the telegraph pole at the corner of Fremont and 3rd Street (see left-most mark on photo at right). The coroner's report showed that Tom had been hit only with a dozen buckshot, high in the side of his chest near the right armpit (the pattern being so tight that the coroner could cover it with a hand). He died without speaking, a few minutes after being carried into the nearest house on the corner (the Harwood House). Image File history File links Tombstone1908OKm. ... Image File history File links Tombstone1908OKm. ...


Billy Clanton was shot through the wrist (by Morgan Earp; Keefe testified the bullet passed through the arm from "inside to outside," entering the arm close to the base of the thumb, and exiting "on the back of the wrist diagonally" with the latter wound larger), in the right chest (through the right lung; possibly by Morgan), through the right arm (by Virgil), and in the abdomen (under the twelfth rib; possibly by Virgil). He fell near his original position, near the corner of the McDonald house, in the empty lot. He died last, having put up the greatest fight from the Clanton side, dying after being carried to the same house at the corner (the Harwood residence) where Tom had been taken (it probably didn't make sense to the onlookers to take both men to different adjacent houses, and the corner house was chosen for both. Also the McDonald house was possibly also being used as a mineral assay office). Billy lived long enough to be seen by a doctor and be injected with morphine. He spoke a few words, saying he'd been murdered, and indicating he couldn't breathe. (Shortness of breath following a penetrating chest wound is a classic finding of a pneumothorax) “Collapsed lung” redirects here. ...


How the fighters may have been armed

No pistol was found on Tom after the fight, by any witness. As noted, Tom's usual pistol remained unclaimed during the fight at the bar at the Capitol Saloon, on 4th Street and Fremont less than a block East of the gunfight. This pistol was exhibited and identified by the barkeep and by Ike Clanton as being Tom's pistol, at the Spicer Hearing. Wyatt Earp, to the end of his life, would believe that the pistol Tom had used in the gunfight had been removed from the scene by a Cowboy confederate. At least two witnesses thought Tom had obtained a pistol in a butcher shop on Allen street just before the fight, for he was seen leaving the shop with a newly-bulging pants pocket. However, he would have had to walk past the very saloon where his own pistol had just been deposited and was stored, to have carried this second pistol to the fight. The bulge in Tom's pants pocket noted by witnesses before the fight may have been the nearly $3000 in cash and receipts found on his body (he had probably actually picked up these at the butcher's shop immediately before the fight, as it makes little sense that he'd spent all night carrying around this much cash).


Even if Tom wasn't armed with a pistol the question remains about whether or not he tried to get a rifle. Virgil Earp testified Tom attempted to grab a rifle from a horse (this would have been Frank or Billy's horse) before he was killed. Wyatt thought Tom fired a pistol over "his" horse (actually it would have had to be Billy's horse, because Frank had his own and Tom had none). It's very possible Virgil was mistaken about which McLaury brother used his horse in the fight, as Wes Fuller saw Frank in the middle of the street shooting with a pistol, and attempting to get a Winchester from his own horse, and failing (the very action attributed to Tom). However, Wes Fuller was a member of the Cowboy Gang, and could have said that to make the Earps appear as murderers. Virgil Walter Earp (July 18, 1843 in Hartford, Kentucky - October 19, 1905 in Goldfield, Nevada) was one of the men involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ...


Billy's pistol was taken from him empty, by C.S. Fly, who emerged from his boarding house at the end of the fight to disarm Billy.


Frank's pistol, with two unfired rounds remaining in it, was recovered on the street a few feet away from Frank by a bystander, and placed next to Frank's body as it lay on the sidewalk. Frank's pistol was then taken by the coroner, Dr. Mathews, and laid on the floor of the Harwood house while he examined Billy and Tom (this would cause some confusion later, but both Billy and Frank's weapons would later be positively identified as their own, by witnesses). Both Frank and Billy were armed with Colt Frontier Six-Shooter model revolver pistols (identified by their serial numbers at the hearing later) and presumably their Winchester rifles were Model 1873 weapons to match this .44-40 cartridge. What weapons the other participants of the fight were carrying cannot be acertained from primary documentation, and remains an open question. A Colts Single Action Army type pistol, made in . ... Winchester Model 1894 The Winchester rifle has become synonymous with the word repeating rifle (multishot rifle) which was manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and was commonly used in the United States during the latter half of the 19th century. ...


The horses

The two saddled horses of Billy and Frank escaped from the fight and were later caught a few hundred feet up the street, both with Winchester rifles still in place in their scabbards.


Aftermath

Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton (left to right) lie dead after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This is the only known photo of 19 year-old Billy.
Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton (left to right) lie dead after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This is the only known photo of 19 year-old Billy.
Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury are buried in Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona.
Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury are buried in Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona.

The Earps and Holliday were considered heroes for about forty-eight hours. The funerals for Clanton and the McLaurys (who were relatively wealthy men) were the largest ever seen in Tombstone. The huge turnout caused many Tombstone residents and businesses to reconsider their calls for the mass killing of Cowboys. Billy Clanton was fairly popular around town, and although rowdy, the "Cowboys" brought substantial business into Tombstone. Image File history File links Mclauriesclanton. ... Image File history File links Mclauriesclanton. ... Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1379 KB)The graves Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury in Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, AZ, Taken 8/12/03 by Pretzelpaws with a Casio QV-3000EX camera. ... Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1379 KB)The graves Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury in Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, AZ, Taken 8/12/03 by Pretzelpaws with a Casio QV-3000EX camera. ... For other uses, see Boot Hill (disambiguation). ... Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, USA, founded in 1879 in what was then the Arizona Territory. ...


Also, the fear of Cowboy retribution and the potential loss of investors because of the negative publicity in large cities like San Francisco started to turn the opinion against the Earps and Holliday. Stories that Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury were unarmed, and that Billy Clanton and Tom McLaury even threw up their hands before the shooting, now began to make the rounds. Soon, another Clanton brother (Phineas "Fin" Clanton) had arrived in town, and some began to claim that the Earps and Holliday had committed murder, instead of enforcing the law. San Francisco redirects here. ...


The Spicer hearing

Justice Wells Spicer
Justice Wells Spicer

After the gunfight, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday (the two men not formally employed as law officers, and also the two least wounded) were charged with murder. After extensive testimony at the preliminary hearing to decide if there was enough evidence to bind the men over for trial, the presiding Justice of the Peace Wells Spicer ruled that there was not enough evidence to indict the men. Two weeks later, a grand jury followed Spicer's finding, and also refused to indict. (This was a common way of investigating "officer involved shootings" during that time). Spicer, in his ruling, criticized City Marshal Virgil Earp for using Wyatt and Doc as backup temporary deputies, but not for using Morgan, who had already been wearing a City Marshal badge for 9 days. Image File history File links WellsSpicer. ... Image File history File links WellsSpicer. ... Within some criminal justice systems, a preliminary hearing (evidentiary hearing) is a meeting, after a criminal complaint has been filed by the prosecutor, to determine whether, and to what extent, criminal charges and civil cause of actions will be heard (by a court), what evidence will be admitted, and what... A justice of the peace (JP) is a puisne judicial officer appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. ...


The participants in later history

A few weeks following the grand jury refusal to indict, Virgil Earp was shot by hidden assailants from an unused building at night – a wound causing him complete loss of the use of his left arm. Three months later Morgan Earp was murdered by a shot in the back in Tombstone by men shooting from a dark alley. Virgil Walter Earp (July 18, 1843 in Hartford, Kentucky - October 19, 1905 in Goldfield, Nevada) was one of the men involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... Morgan Earp, about 1881, in Tombstone. ...


After these incidents, Wyatt, accompanied by Doc Holliday and several other friends, undertook what has later been called the Earp vendetta ride in which they tracked down and killed the men whom they believed had been responsible for these acts. After the vendetta ride, Wyatt and Doc left the Arizona Territory in April 1882 and parted company, although they remained in contact. The Earp Vendetta Ride was a three-week clash between personal enemies and law enforcement parties from different jurisdictions in the Arizona Territory, from March 20 to April 15, 1882. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


Billy Claiborne was killed in a gunfight in Tombstone in late 1882 by gunman Franklin Leslie. In less than six years, Doc Holliday died of tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Virgil lived without the use of his arm, although continued as a lawman in California, and died of pneumonia at age 62 in 1905, still on the job as a peace officer. Virgil Earp was hired as the "Town Marshall" by the Southern Pacific RR in Colton California. Billy Claiborne (October 21, 1860-November 14, 1882) was a western outlaw and gunfighter who was one of the survivors of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... Year 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Buckskin Frank Leslie (1842-1925?) was a western gunman, most known as the killer of Billy Claiborne, as well as an Indian scout and customs official and prospector. ... John Henry Doc Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American dentist, gambler, and gunfighter of the American Old West frontier who is usually remembered for his associations with Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for tubercle bacillus or Tuberculosis) is a common and deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, mainly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ... Glenwood Springs is a city located in Garfield County, Colorado. ... Official language(s) English Demonym Coloradan Capital Denver Largest city Denver Largest metro area Denver-Aurora Metro Area Area  Ranked 8th in the US  - Total 104,185 sq mi (269,837 km²)  - Width 280 miles (451 km)  - Length 380 miles (612 km)  - % water 0. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... For other uses, see 1905 (disambiguation). ...


Wyatt Earp traveled across the Western Frontier for decades in the company of Josephine Marcus, working mostly as a gambler, and eventually died in Los Angeles of infection, in 1929, at the age of 80. Johnny Behan failed even to be re-nominated by his own party for the sheriff race in 1882, and never again worked as a lawman, spending the rest of his life at various government jobs, dying in Tucson of natural causes at age 67 in 1912. Ike Clanton was caught cattle rustling in 1887 and shot dead by lawmen while resisting arrest. Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848–January 13, 1929) was an American farmer, teamster, sometime buffalo hunter, officer of the law in various Western frontier towns, gambler, saloon-keeper, and miner. ... A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary, or of a different nature. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Johnny Behan (c. ... Nickname: The Old Pueblo Location in Pima County and the state of Arizona Coordinates: Country United States State Arizona Counties Pima Mayor Bob Walkup (R) Area    - City 505. ... Ike Clanton, Tombstone, about 1881. ...


A legacy of questions

The issue of fault at the O.K. Corral shooting has been hotly debated over the years. To this day, Pro-Earp followers view the gunfight as a struggle between "Law-and-order" against out-of-control Cowboys; Pro-Clanton/McLaury followers view it as a political vendetta and abuse of authority.


A recent attempt to reinvestigate part of the matter aired on an episode of Discovery Channel's Unsolved History[citation needed] using modern technology to re-enact the shotgun shooting which was part of the incident. However, the re-enactment did not use 19th century period technology (a late 19th century shotgun messenger type short shotgun, brass cases, black powder). The episode concluded that Doc Holliday may have triggered the fight by cocking both barrels of his shotgun, but was likely not the first shooter. Discovery Channel is a cable and satellite TV channel founded by John Hendricks which is distributed by Discovery Communications. ... Unsolved Histories is a 2002-2005 documentary television series produced by MorningStar Entertainment, Termite Art Productions, and others for The Discovery Channel. ... In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a private express messanger or guard, especially on a stagecoach but also a train, in charge of overseeing and guarding a valuable private shipment, such as the contents of a strongbox or safe. ...


Representation in film, TV and literature

It is a testament to the gunfight's impact on the American psyche that numerous dramatic, fictional, and documentary works have been produced about or referencing this event over the decades. Here is but a small sample. For more on these works, see the more complete filmography given by Allen Barra in Inventing Wyatt Earp: His Life and Many Legends, referenced in the Further reading section, below.

Frontier Marshal is a 1939 western film starring Randolph Scott as legendary lawman Wyatt Earp. ... Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die is a Western film released in 1942, starring Richard Dix and Kent Taylor, and directed by William McGann. ... My Darling Clementine is a 1946 western film, directed by John Ford, based on the story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral between the Earp brothers and the Clanton gang. ... This article is about the lawman; Wyatt Earp is also the name of a card game. ... Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 movie starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday about the famous October 26, 1881 gunfight in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. ... This article is about the television series. ... The Gunfighters is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from April 30 to May 21, 1966. ... Hour of the Gun (1967), a western movie about Wyatt Earp (James Garner) and Doc Holliday (Jason Robards), attempts more historical accuracy than most accounts of the events, and explores what happened after the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. ... The starship Enterprise as it appeared on Star Trek Star Trek is a culturally significant science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960s. ... Spectre of the Gun is an episode from the third season of Star Trek: The Original Series, and was first broadcast on October 25, 1968. ... This article is about the television series. ... For other uses, see Wuthering Heights (disambiguation). ... Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation (known from 1935 to 1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation) is one of the six major American film studios. ... 1922 Chart of the Morse Code Letters and Numerals Morse code is a method for transmitting telegraphic information, using standardized sequences of short and long elements to represent the letters, numerals, punctuation and special characters of a message. ... Tombstone is a 1993 Western movie written by Kevin Jarre and directed by its star Kurt Russell, with credited director George P. Cosmatos ghost-directing. ... Wyatt Earp DVD cover Wyatt Earp is a 1994 Western film, written by Dan Gordon and Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Kasdan. ... History Bites was a television series on the History Television network that ran from 1998-2003. ... Robert B. Parkers novel Cold Service Robert B. Parker (born September 17, 1932) is an acclaimed American writer of detective fiction. ... Deadwood is an American television drama series that premiered in March 2004 on HBO. The series is a Western set in the 1870s in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. ... Bruce Boxleitner (born May 12, 1950 in Elgin, Illinois) is an American actor. ... Oakley Hall (born 1920) is an American novelist. ... The Wild West is the ninth studio album and tenth album overall by rapper, Celly Cel. ... Emma Bull (born 3rd January 1954) is a science fiction and fantasy author whose best-known novel is War for the Oaks, one of the pioneering works of urban fantasy. ...

References

  1. ^ The O.K. Corral Inquest, edited by Alford E. Turner (1981), p. 27.
  2. ^ Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp, I married Wyatt Earp; edited and collected by Glenn G. Boyer; Tucson: University of Arizona Press (1976), p. 89; hereafter referenced as "Josie Marcus".
  3. ^ Turner (1981), p. 145, Diagram A.
  4. ^ Below, Turner (1981), pp. 172-173, & n. 9; Josie Marcus, p. 90
  5. ^ Alford E., Editor (1981) The OK Corral Inquest, pp. 66-68, and note 4; supported by Josie Marcus, p. 89.
  6. ^ Turner (1981), pp. 172-173, & n. 9.
  7. ^ Josie Marcus' claim that Morgan's shot hit Billy in the left breast, p. 90, is almost certainly wrong on this point.
  8. ^ Turner (1981), p. 154, note 3.
  9. ^ Josie Marcus, p. 90
  10. ^ Josie Marcus, p.90. Marcus is probably combining the testimonies of Addie Bourland, whose testimony proved decisive for Judge Spicer, and of the Earp party.
  11. ^ Josie Marcus, p. 92.
  12. ^ Josie Marcus, p. 92.
  13. ^ Josie Marcus, p. 92.
  14. ^ testimony of E.F. Boyle, bartender, in Turner (1981), p. 174
  15. ^ Josie Marcus, p. 89.
  16. ^ Turner (1981), p. 164, and note 10.
  17. ^ Turner (1981), p. 164, note 7.
  18. ^ Tombstone history site
  19. ^ The Main Event's webpage

Further reading

  • Steve Gatto (2000). The Real Wyatt Earp: A Documentary Biography. Silver City: High-Lonesome Books. ISBN 0-944383-50-5. 
  • Allen Barra (1998). Inventing Wyatt Earp: His Life and Many Legends. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 0-7867-0685-6.  Contains a thorough analysis of the O.K. Corral fight.
  • Casey Tefertiller (1997). Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-18967-7.  Contains extensive discussion of the police issues and moral issues relating to the O.K. Corral shootings.
  • Paula Mitchell Marks (1989). And Die in the West: the story of the O.K. Corral gunfight. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0-671-70614-4.  Extensive examination not only of the gunfight and vendettas, but also of the myth-making that took place surrounding the OK Corral incident. Marks writes from a socioeconomic perspective.
  • Grace McCool (1990). GUNSMOKE: The True Story of Old Tombstone. Tucson: Treasure Chest Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-918080-52-5. 
  • Grace McCool (1990). GUNSMOKE: The True Story of Old Tombstone. Tucson: Treasure Chest Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-918080-52-5. 
  • Grace McCool (1990). GUNSMOKE: The True Story of Old Tombstone. Tucson: Treasure Chest Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-918080-52-5. 
  • Alford E. Turner (1981). THE O.K. CORRAL INQUEST. Creative Publishing Co.,. ISBN 0-932702-14-7. 

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ...

External links

Primary sources

Secondary sources

  • A more detailed account of the Gunfight

Coordinates: 31°42′50″N, 110°04′03″W Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


 
 

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