In a Pella Advertiser, November 7, 1896, article it quotes Wyatt Earp on the gunfight and the deal leading up to the gunfight. Wyatt makes mention of the stage robbery that killed the driver and a passenger but does not mention any troubles that Holliday had in relation to it.
Wyatt says he sought out a leader of this group,to strike a deal, Ike Clanton. Wyatt offered the full reward, six thousand dollars, for information leading to the capture.(I am confused why Wyatt was paying out of his own pocket to increase the reward?) When Clanton was assured that the money was guaranteed he enlisted Joe Hill. Wyatt fails to mention any part of the dead or alive telegram, but states that Marshal Williams got drunk and accused Ike of treachery. Wyatt than claims that Ike accused Hill of telling their secret. When Hill denied it he accused Wyatt of having told Doc.
Wyatt explains that Doc was the soul of honor and upon learning Ike's treachery, berated him severely. This drunken exchange was over heard by several people. Wyatt explains that fear and whiskey robbed Ike of his discretion and the entire deal was let out.
According to Wyatt, Ike was hunting them the next morning as he knew it was "kill or be killed by his own..
Wyatt's story doesn't really change what we know about the deal. I did not realize that Ike accused his fellow accomplice of a double cross? Joe Hill seems to be more important in this affair than a minor player? Why would Ike not assume that Marshal Williams didn't know of the situation, if Williams had to wire for the confirmation of dead or alive telegram. Was Ike afraid of a possible Williams connection back to the outlaw group? Did Wyatt assure Ike that he would discreetly inquire? Could Wyatt discreetly found out the details of the reward without Willims involvement? Paranoia seems to be running very high in Ike, is this a normal reaction for him or a panic reaction brought on by drink and or other substances? The jump from Williams to Hill, than Wyatt to Doc, does not follow any logical pattern. Doc isn't even present in Tombstone, why is Ike so fearful of Holliday's knowledge of it? Is it because Holliday was more connected to Leonard and the group and Ike feared disclosure? Is it that Doc finally became aware that Ike had made a deal to have his acquaintances killed? Why is it so important that Holliday get back to Tombstone to confirm these details? It seems like a last ditch effort to save the whole mess or to get Ike back in line and complete the deal.
The feud in the bar between Doc and Ike was on a personal level, afterwards, Ike brought the Earp's into the mix with threats against them. Why involved all the Earp's? It was kill or be killed for Ike or at least, it was in his mind. By making a huge production of threats against the Earp's life he was attempting to demonstrate he was their enemy not a co-conspirator. Ike may have tragically miscalculated the Earp's response to his threats.
Is it possible by Wyatt letting Marshal Williams in on the telegram that he was actually getting Ike through subterfuge? Wyatt has to be astute enough to know this information was not absolutely safe? If Williams had any connection back to the cowboys, even as minor as giving some information, Ike may have figured he was a dead man by the mishandling of the telegram. He desperately wanted to know who leaked it, his life depended on it.
A few thoughts on the matter prompted by this article, does anyone know the history of this interview? Wyatt goes into a lot of detail about the gunfight that was not included in his testimony.
Hi Bruce Wyatt told lots of stories, didn't he? This version does not explain why Williams or Doc would be so concerned about "treachery" regarding murderers. It does not explain how Doc found out.... more
Wyatt goes through the shootout in greater detail than he was allowed to do in his written statement. I can't for the life of me understand how he says he saw Tom shoot under the horse and hit Morgan ... more
The Pella article owes a lot to the SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER account of August 2, 1896. Some things are verbatim from the EXAMINER, but there are a few curious differences. Courtroom witnesses are... more
The ghost writer made up the quotes and comments based on preexisting accounts? Wyatt never participated or provided info for this account? I know papers take great liberties with the truth, was this ... more
I'm not suggesting that Wyatt was not interviewed or otherwise participated in the development of the articles. It is obvious that he did. What we don't know is how much editorial control he had over ... more
How we arrive at determining what statements can be attributed to Wyatt and how truthful they are. Would the writer put in that "Frank yelled out when first hit" or was that something Wyatt related.... more
Wyatt pretty consistently said that Tom fired from behind the horse (over its back or under its neck), so we can pretty well conclude that Wyatt said that. You can see similar patterns in other... more
Thanks for the insight. I believe I have been looking at the information with a very suspicious eye and maybe over thinking some aspects. Some of the information seems straight forward and it just... more
Very interesting Chris, as I am trying to become more neutral in my approach without supporting evidence. That being said there are a number of things in this Tombstone story that really don't make... more
The underlying factors are less amenable to positive verification. That is the level at which the inquiry becomes abstract and most people are left behind. For example, look at the vast majority of... more
I think he was a big bag of air that had no intention of caring out his threats. He brought the others into it and I don't know if they realize how deadly of a situation Ike had put them in? The... more
If Ms Haroney's account of Ike hunting Doc at Fly's boarding house earlier that day is true, one wonders if he mentioned this minor detail to his companions when they apparently took shelter from the ... more
It seems Frank was taken back when told about Wyatt's assault on Tom. Sounds like the plan may have been to get out and regroup? How much did they know of Ike's threats that entire morning and what... more