I did not say that Hayhurst was the only person to say it. I said that Hayhurst appears to have been the first to say it--that I know of at least. You cite Turner, but you need to remember that his THE O. K. CORRAL INQUEST is a published version of the Hayhurst manuscript, so it is clear where Turner gets the identification from. Others pretty much took it from Turner. What we don't have is any understanding of how Hayhurst came to the conclusion the "tall man" was Smith. Maybe he was, but we need EVIDENCE OF A CONTEMPORARY NATURE to form a basis for the conclusion before we can say that Smith was the man Frank was talking to.
It is not enough to point to the fact that Smith was called as a witness and then excused. That suggests that he saw the fight (or part of it), but it doesn't prove (or even provide supporting evidence) that he was the man talking with Frank and Behan. The position given him by Hayhurst and Turner (and others) assigns him a specific and potentially important role. Potentially, if Smith was the "tall man," he likely would have provided information not only about the fight but, more importantly, about the conversation he had with McLaury.
Furthermore, your comparison with the "unidentified miner and son" is misplaced. There is a difference between an old-timer and his son recalling that they saw the fight and giving an account, on the one hand, and twentieth century researchers claiming that Smith was engaged with conversation with Frank McLaury. The first example is of old-timers' recollections (whether accurate or not). The second is a second-hand identification; we do not have Smith's account at all!
It is possible that Smith was the "tall man." Maybe Hayhurst saw an earlier source or drew his conclusion from the fact that Smith was on the witness list (although that would be a leap on his part), but until we have real evidence that Smith was the man, all we can really say with authority is that Mrs. King saw Frank McLaury talking to a "tall man."
Smith was a well-known, well-respected attorney, who came to Tombstone in 1880 and hooked up with the Goodriches. He partnered in several law firms. He was a Democrat. He would eventually be elected District Attorney, and he was an effective defense attorney (his defense of Frank Leslie being one example). We don't know, though, what his association with the Clantons and McLaurys was before the street fight and his taking a check from Ike Clanton to assist in the prosecution. My point is that he can't ASSUME that Frank was talking to Smith about the Earps. It is likely, perhaps even probable that Frank was venting about them, but he could have been talking about something else--selling property, for example, if the McLaurys were indeed planning to pull up stakes and leave Cochise County as some suggest.
I have no problem with the hypothesis that Smith may have been the man, but I do have a problem with stating it as a fact based on the unsubstantiated statements of Hayhurst, Turner, and Marks (especially when Turner and Marks cite Hayhurst as their source). The only thing we can say authoritatively is that Smith had information relevant to the fight or to the events leading up to the fight which caused him to be placed on the witness list. As a witness and as a prosecution attorney, there might be hints of what he saw in the questions asked of Sheriff Behan by Goodrich, although knowing that for sure is impossible.
For the record, as well, there is no evidence that Smith did not testify "because he was associated with the Clantons." Other witnesses who did testify were associated with the Clantons! All we know for sure is that he was called as a witness and then excused. No reason was given.
Smith appeared at the inquest on October 28. The warrants for the arrest of the Earps and Holliday were issued on October 29, as the result of Ike's complaint. Smith received a check from Ike Clanton on November 1. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that Smith asked to be excused because he intended to represent the Ike Clanton in the prosecution of the Earps. Yet even that is an assumption; we don't know "for a fact" why Matthews excused him. The legal connection is the only confirmed association between Smith and the Clantons, and his role created legal complications for him as a potential witness.
Facts need to be checked. Assumptions and hypotheses need to be explored. Why not come up with the assumption that Smith did not testify because he knew that if he testified truthfully, his testimony would hurt the case he was helping to prosecute? Far fetched? Yes--enough so that I wouldn't argue it. But is it more farfetched than concluding that because McLaury and Fitch had a conversation his testimony would have bolstered the prosecution's case? That could be more reasonable perhaps. But the point is we don't know! We don't have confirmed evidence that he even had a conversation with Frank McLaury. We can't, then, draw conclusions about what they talked about.
bfrey, Right now, we simply don't know who Frank McLaury was speaking to in the exchange overheard by Martha King. However, I think we have been missing what is really puzzling about the words Mrs.... more
another one opens, that's what makes this so interesting at least to a novice like myself. Do we know what Smith's position was a the time, if it was indeed Smith? Was he a lawyer or a prosecutor? If ... more
bfrey, 1.) Since we don't know who Frank McLaury was talking to, it is hard to see why you continue to be so focused on Smith. 2.) Again, if the cow-boys were headed for the West End Corral, why... more
Obviously there is no correct answer to why they picked there location to gather and decide their course of action. They were out of view of the Earp's and maybe looking to confront Holliday? At one... more
bfrey, 1.) What evidence do you have that Frank McLaury was talking to Marcus Smith? 2). You won't like this, but as a former teacher, can you please try to present proper spelling and grammar in... more
We have a witness seeing him talking to a tall man and listening to the exchange that was noted. I gave you the details of the evidence that it could be Smith. I will make a better attempt, but when... more
Tom Gaumer Adelia Earp Edwards on Mark Smith, Tue Jun 21, 2011 16:25 Jeff admittedly the Earl Chafin version of Adelias memoirs on page 12: "About Lake's book: The boys I know were bitter at Mark... more
Was the minor and son who allegedly witnessed the gunfight ever identified or are these just images for old timer accounts? The miner after seeing the fight wanted to go for his shotgun as he stated... more
bfrey He said he and his father witnessed the fight from their office window across from Fly's on Fremont. Their office was on Toughnut Street and Mr. Lewis was lying. If Lewis comments are taken... more