When I read this I wondered whether it was one of those old-time tongue in cheek type reports. But if so, it goes over my head, and I think the average Tucson reader would also see it as a pretty straight account. There is none of the usual elaborate witticism if it is a light-hearted attempt. I don't think I have read anything about this before.
So it is fair to presume that the Chief of Police of Tucson in 1884, said those exact words; it was reported verbatim, at the time, by the local paper. And you would think he would know the facts, and not be making any such statement if it was wildly controversial, let alone known to be false. At that time, Bob Paul was Sheriff - for all we know he was in the crowd! The Earps were still around, Wyatt and his fugitives elsewhere, and Virgil and James were running faro in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
So I think it is a fair assumption that what he said DID happen. It is interesting how the "Earp gang" were noted as standover merchants back prior to the streetfight (OK, I know he used this term after the fight).
So how could it fit with those points you raise? Could the "gang" (seems like Holliday and at least a couple of Earps were there) have tried to establish control of the fiesta at the outset, but were shown the door? For this reason, it might not have seemed so newsworthy. Later of course, it is the highlight of this guy's career
We know Wyatt and Morgan were involved in the pursuit of Stilwell and Spence from Tombstone in September, so there is still a window there.
I agree it would not have been the actual fiesta Doc was recalled from, IF he was (I don't know that Kate's memoirs are too reliable). But it would further establish the view that the Earps were standover men.
Anyway, I think it gets grown into the mix at least for now.
However, a few things don’t stack up against the law of chronology. Fiesta de San Agustin - called the “Feast” by the Anglos, was begun every 28th of August to celebrate St. Augustine who is the... more
And that's advice coming from one who spent 25 of his working years as a reporter and editor. To elaborate: The newspaper may - or may not - have quoted the sheriff accurately. Even so, just because... more
At the feast of 1881 the games of chance are nearly all conducted within the inner court of the main building. Many of the professional gamblers running the numerous gambling booths and venues came... more
Kenny Yes, I believe you. But then I wonder what would be a possible explanation for Johnson making such a public statement, only 2 years later? And in front of many local men who were probably... more
Peter, Kenny has laid out the situation well. Believe me, if the Earps had created any problems it would have made the papers. The CITIZEN warned on August 28, 1881, opening day of the festival that... more
Gary But....why? That is what bugs me. If we are certain the statement is wrong, what is the reason it was said, and who was the source? A blatant transparent lie, or a mistaken third-hand account?... more
by 1884. With the Earps gone, a pattern developed of blaming them for all kinds of things that were never even suggested while they were there. Editorial interests have a way of changing over time. I ... more
Hi Gary (and Butch) I don't reckon you can trust ANYTHING you can read in them now. Yes Gary, I think something can still be learned from this article. I think the historical newspaper coverage that... more
Peter: The Tucson city directory cited in your message can be found in the 1988 Copper State Bulletin, produced by the Arizona State Genealogical Society (ASGS). The ASGS has morphed into the Pima... more
the story is quite true. But I have qualified my thoughts in a post above. While I think it is folly to depend on this one article for the accuracy of the story, I also think it's just as silly to... more
Butch, I don't think this story has been dismissed out of hand. The detailed reporting that Kenny provided and the information I added demonstrates that the circumstances of the San Augustin Festival ... more
Hi Gary I wonder what was considered the "Top and Bottom" gang, could have been conflated with the "Earp gang", a later thing, in the public mind. I guess all these roving and colorful gamblers were... more
As Gary made clear, if it were true the Earp's newspaper enemies at the time would have made the most of it as opposed to what they actually did, which was say nothing at all Never trust the media... more
If you consider the Earp's had their hands in gambling operations, this would of been a lovely target. It seems all the Earp's are tied up with law enforcement efforts that side tracked them. Why... more
http://www.historynet.com/the-gamblers-war-in-tombstone.htm Here is a good article by Robert Jay giving some history of the gambling wars. It seems Doc and the Earp's may have been in Tucson at the... more
The 'top & bottom" gang were essentially in Colorado in 1880, getting run out of Leadville and moving on. Their leader had gone to Dodge City while the bulk of the gang went to Buena Vista and lasted ... more
The festival is 1880 opened on August 27th 1880. The paper sources describe this as basically a gamblers event that lasted 5 to 6 weeks. Tyler is in Tucson and registered at the Palace hotel in time... more
I'd like to see the source for "five or six weeks." However, we're not in consideration of 1880. The Johnson article of March 1884 makes no mistake in that regard. Let's look again: "Two years from... more
Kenny In re-reading this, it seems that it was not Johnson who made this statement, probably just the writer. It is still a curiosity though, I wonder was there any follow-up to this article Regards... more
I opened it up and pulled an except from the Edward Byrnes biography - just a tidbit un-edited: “In the absence of leader Byrnes, taking opportunistic advantage of the “Feast” meant the gang was... more
Kenny: Re "we have the Earps in tombstone", isn't this about the time when Virgil and James were involved in the fracas with McMaster and the suggested failed communication/direction from Tucson... more