The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882

The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882 reports of the murder of Tombstone Resident Morgan Earp while playing pool in Tombstone, Arizona. This event followed the O K Corral shootout and the attempted murder of Virgil Earp. These two events caused Wyatt Earp to lead a vendetta ride across the desert hunting the assassins. The death of Moargan made the right side of page three.

The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882
The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882
Morgan Earp historical photo, 1881. Probably taken by C.S. Fly.
Morgan Earp historical photo, 1881. Probably taken by C.S. Fly.

March 20, 1882
The Assassin at Last Successful in His Devilish Mission

Morgan Earp Shot Down and Killed While Playing Billiards

At 10:00 Saturday night while engaged in playing a game of billiards in Campbell & Hatch’s Billiard parlor, on Allen between Fourth and Fifth, Morgan Earp was shot through the body by an unknown assassin.

At the time the shot was fired he was playing a game with Bob Hatch, one of the proprietors of the house and was standing with his back to the glass door in the rear of the room that opens out upon the alley that leads straight through the block along the west side of A.D. Otis & Co.’s store to Fremont Street.

This door is the ordinary glass door with four panes in the top in place of panels. The two lower panes are painted, the upper ones being clear. Anyone standing outside can look over the painted glass and see anything going on in the room just as well as though standing in the open door.

At the time the shot was fired the deceased must have been standing within ten feet of the door, and the assassin standing near enough to see his position, took aim for about the middle of his person, shooting through the upper portion of the whitened glass.

The bullet entered the right side of the abdomen, passing through the spinal column, completely shattering it, emerging on the left side, passing the length of the room and lodging in the thigh of Geo. A.B. Berry, who was standing by the stove, inflicting a painful flesh wound.

Instantly after the first shot a second was fired through the top of the upper glass which passed across the room and lodged in the wall near the ceiling over the head of Wyatt Earp, who was sitting as a spectator of the game.

Morgan fell instantly upon the first fire and lived only about one hour. His brother Wyatt, Tipton, and McMasters rushed to the side of the wounded man and tenderly picked him up and moved him some ten feet away near the door of the card room, where Drs. Matthews, Goodfellow and Millar, who were called, examined him and, after a brief consultation, pronounced the wound mortal.

He was then moved into the card room and placed on the lounge where in a few brief moments he breathed his last, surrounded by his brothers, Wyatt, Virgil, James and Warren with the wives of Virgil and James and a few of his most intimate friends.

Notwithstanding the intensity of his mortal agony, not a word of complaint escaped his lips, and all that were heard, except those whispered into the ear of his brother and known only to him were, “Don’t, I can’t stand it. This is the last game of pool I’ll ever play.” The first part of the sentence being wrung from him by an attempt to place him upon his feet.

The funeral cortege started away from the Cosmopolitan hotel about 12:30 yesterday with the fire bell tolling its solemn peals of “Earth to earth, dust to dust.”


Statement of E F Boyle

A Brief History

The gunfight at the O.K. Corral summary refers to an infamous shootout in the American West in the streets of Tombstone Arizona at at 3:00pm, October 26,1881. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, and Wyatts brothers Virgil and Morgan confronted Ike Clanton, Billy Clanton, Billy Claiborn and brothers Frank and Tom McLaury in a vacant lot next to the uninteresting O.K. Corral over death threats made in recent days.

The thirty second gunfight caused witnesses to see nine men fire dozens of times at distances of under twenty feet. The aftermath left three men dead and became the most notorious gunfight of the wild west.

Following the trial, murder charges were filed against the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday. I preliminary hearing in front of Justice of the Peach Wells Spencer. The thirty day trail held court in the Tombstone Mining exchange and heard testimony from both sides of the confrontation. The defendants were found not guilty and only promoted a deadly feud between the Earps and the Clantons.

Statement of E F Boyle

The transcribed testimony and statement of E. F. Boyle regarding the gunfight on Fremont Street in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. E. F Boyle is one of six people who testified that they heard Ike Clanton making threats to kill the Earps and Holiday. Boyle testified on November 17th and 23rd, 1881.

On this seventeenth day of November, 1881, on the hearing of the above entitled cause, on the examination of Wyatt Earp and J. H. Holliday; E. F. Boyle, a witness of lawful age being produced and sworn, deposes and says as follows:

E. F. Boyle, November 17, 1881. Barkeeper. To questions, relates that he knows Ike and that he met Ike in front of the telegraph office, about 8:30 or 9 A.M., October 26. They had a talk. Ike had a pistol with him.

(Q) State what if any threats were then made by him in respect to Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp or Doc Holliday, and if any threats were made, whether or not you communicated the same to W. Earp, V. Earp, M. Earp or Doc Holliday before the difficulty [later in the day]. Objected to. Objection sustained. Unanswered.

[Signed] E. F. Boyle

E. F. Boyle, a barkeeper, of Tombstone, November 23, 1881.

(Q) As to any threats he had heard from Ike. Objected to by prosecution. [Overruled.]
(A) After I went off watch at 8 o’clock in the morning, I met Ike Clanton in front of the telegraph office in this town. His pistol was in sight and I covered it with his coat and advised him to go to bed. He insisted that he wouldn’t go to bed: that as soon as the Earps and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street, the ball would open-that they would have to fight. He started to Kelly’s saloon and I went down to Wyatt Earp’s house and told him that Ike Clanton had threatened that when him and his brothers and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street that the ball would open. Then I left and went home to bed.

(Q) Did you see any weapons [on Ike] except the rifle?

(A) Yes the pistol.

(Q) Do you know Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton?

(A) I know them all.

(Q) Do you know their reputation for courage and how expert they were in the use of firearms?

(A) Only by hearsay.

(Q) To what extent is that hearsay?

(A) The hearsay is that they are the finest in the country.


(Q) [Not written].

(A) Ike Clanton was the only one present at the time of our conversation.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Learned of their reputation last year before the difficulty.

(Q) [Not written.]

(A) Knew Tom McLaury about 18 months, never knew him to be in a difficulty with anybody. Learned of Tom McLaury’s reputation from old James Sweeny of Pick-‘Em-Up. I learned that Tom was one of the best shots in the country. I never questioned his courage.

(Q) Now tell me, who else told you about his reputation as a courageous and fine shot?

(A) Well, there [were] several sitting together down at Pick-‘Em-Up, and Jim Sweeny and Ned Fielder were speaking of his courage and being a fine shot, all I know of his reputation is from these men.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Knew Billy Clanton about the same length of time. Never was on intimate terms with him. Never knew him to be in any difficulty.

(Q) How do you come to state he had a general reputation for courage and was an expert shot?

(A) From the association of men he traveled with.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) I can’t tell any of the men from whom I heard their reputation. I have known Ike Clanton about two years. Knew Frank McLaury about 18 months. Ed Shipman, he now lives in Los Angeles, and it is from his statement that I got his general reputation, and no other.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Will Hicks and Frank McLaury were in Kelly’s saloon and a man named Smith that keeps a store in Galeyville and Frank McLaury went out. This all happened one morning about two months ago. I came to open up the saloon for Kelly, and when I opened the saloon, I met this big [sic] Ed Byrnes, Frank McLaury, and John Ringo; and Byrnes started to tell me what-[all crossed out with lines, but no notation of the same.]

(Q) Did you ever of your [own] knowledge know of Frank McLaury to be in any difficulty?

(A) No sir.


Tombstone Daily Nugget, October 27, 1881

The Tombstone Daily Nugget, October 27, 1881 described the the infamous gun fight at the O K Corral between the Earps and the Clanton faction in Tombstone.

Tombstone Daily Nugget October 27, 1881

A Desperate Street Fight

Tombstone Daily Nugget, October 27, 1881

Marshal Virgil Earp, Morgan and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday Meet the Cowboys – Three Men Killed and Two Wounded, One Seriously – Origins of the Trouble and its Tragic Termination.

The 26th of October, 1881, will always be marked as one of the crimson days in the annals of Tombstone, a day when blood flowed as water, and human life was held as a shuttlecock, a day always to be remembered as witnessing the bloodiest and deadliest street fight that has ever occurred in this place, or probably in the Territory.The origin of the trouble dates back to the first arrest of Stilwell and Spencer for the robbery of the Bisbee stage. The co-operation of the Earps and the Sheriff and his deputies in the arrest caused a number of cowboys to, it is said, threaten the lives of all interested in the capture. Still, nothing occured to indicate that any such threats would be carried into execution. But Tuesday night Ike Clanton and Doc Holliday had some difficulty in the Alhambra saloon. Hard words passed between them, and when they parted it was generally understood that the feeling between the two men was that of intense hatred. Yesterday morning Clanton came on the street armed with a rifle and revolver, but was almost immediately arrested by Marshal Earp, dismissed and fined by Justice Wallace for carrying concealed weapons. While in the Court room Wyatt Earp told him that as he had made threats against his life he wanted him to make his fight, to say how, when and where he would fight, and to get his crowd, and he (Wyatt) would be on hand.

In reply, Clanton said: “Four feet of ground is enough for me to fight on, and I’ll be there.” A short time after this William Clanton and Frank McLowry [sic] came into town, and as Thomas McLowry was already here the feeling soon became general that a fight would ensue before the day was over, and crowds of expectant men stood on the corner of Allen and Fourth streets awaiting the coming conflict.

It was now about two o’clock, and at this time Sheriff Behan appeared upon the scene and told Marshal Earp that if he disarmed his posse, composed of Morgan and Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday, he would go down to the O.K. Corral where Ike and James [sic] Clanton and Frank and Tom McLowry were and disarm them. The Marshal did not desire to do this until assured that there was no danger of attack from the other party. The Sheriff went to the corral and told the cowboys that they must put their arms away and not have any trouble. Ike Clanton and Tom McLowry said they were not armed, and Frank McLowry said he would not lay his aside. In the meantime the Marshal had concluded to go and, if possible, end the matter by disarming them, and as he and his posse came down Fremont Street towards the corral, the Sheriff stepped out and said: “HOld up boys, don’t go down there or there will be trouble: I have been down there to disarm them.” But they passes on, and when within a few feet of the the Marshal said to the Clantons and McLowrys: “Throw up your hands boys, I intend to disarm you.”

As he spoke, Frank McLowry made a motion to draw his revolver, when Wyatt Earp pulled his and shot him, the ball striking on the right side of his abdomen. About the same time Doc Holliday shot Tom McLowry in the right side using a short shotgun, such as is carried by Wells-Fargo & Co.’s messengers. IN the meantime Billy Clanton had shot at Morgan Earp, the ball passing through the point of the left shoulder blade across the back, just grazing the backbone and coming out at the shoulder, the ball remaining inside his shirt. He fell to the ground but in an instant gathered himself, and raising in a sitting position fired at Frank McLowry as he crossed Freemont Street, and at the same instant Doc Holliday shot at him, both balls taking effect either of which would have proved fatal, as one struck him in the right temple and the other in the left breast. As he started across the street, however, he pulled his gun down on Holliday saying, “I’ve got you now.” “Blaze away! You’re a daisy if you have, ” replied Doc. This shot of McLowry’s passed through Holliday’s pistol pocket, just grazing the skin.

While this was going on Billy Clanton had shot Virgil Earp in the right leg, the ball passing through the calf, inflicting a severe flesh wound. In turn he had been shot by Morgan Earp in the right wrist and once in the left breast. Soon after the shooting commenced Ike Clanton ran through the O.K. Corral, across Allen Street into Kellogg’s saloon and thence into Toughnut street where he was arrested and taken to the county jail. The firing altogether didn’t occupy more than twenty-five seconds, during which time fully thirty shots wree fired. After the fight was over Billy Clanton, who, with wonderful vitality, survived his wounds for fully an hour, was carried by the editor and foreman of the Nugget into a house near where he lay, and everything possible was done to make his last moments easy. He was “game” to the last, never uttering a word of complaint, and just before breathing his last he said, “Goodbye boys; go away and let me die.” The wounded were taken to their houses, and at three o’clock next morning were resting comfortably. The dead bodies were taken in charge by the Coroner, and an inquest will be held upon them at 10 o’clock today. Upon the person of Thomas McLowry was found between $300 and $400 and checks and certificates of deposit to the amount of nearly $3,000.

During the shooting Sheriff Behan was standing nearby commanding the contestants to cease firing but was powerless to prevent it. Several parties who were in the vicinity of the shooting had “narrow escapes” from being shot. One man who had lately arrived from the east had a ball pass through his pants. He left for home this morning. A person called “the Kid” who shot Hicks at Charleston recently, was also grazed by a ball. When the Vizina [mine] whistle gave the signal that there was a conflict between the officers and cowboys, the mines on the hill shut down and the miners were brought to the surface. From the Contention mine a number of men, fully armed, were sent to town on a four-horse carriage. At the request of the Sheriff the “Vigilantes,” or Committee of Safety, wre called from the streets by a few sharp toots from the Vizina’s whistle. During the early part of the evening there was a rumor that a mob would attempt to take Ike Clanton frm the jail and lynch him, and to prevent any such unlawful proceedings a strong guard of deputtes [sic] was placed around that building and will be so continued until all danger is past.

At 8 o’clock last evening Finn Clanton, a brother of Billy and Ike, came to town, and placing himself under the guard of the Sheriff, visited the morgue to see the remains of his brother, and then passed the night in jail in company with the other.


Shortly after the shooting ceased the whistle at the Vizina mine sounded a few short toots, and almost simultaneously a large number of citizens appeared on the streets armed with rifles and a belt of cartridges around their waists. These men formed in line and offered their services to the peace officers to preserve orderin case any attempt at disturbance was made, or any interference offered to the authorities of the law. However, no hostile move was made by anyone, and the quiet and order was fully restored, and in a short time the excitement died away.


The bodies of the three slain cowboys lay side by side, covered with a sheet. Very little blood appeared on their clothing, and only on the face of young Billy Clanton was there any distortion of the features or evidence of pain in dying. The features of the two McLowry boys looked as calm and placid in death as if they had died peaceably, surrounded by loving friends and sorrowing relatives. No unkind remarks were made by anyone, but feeling of unusual sorrow seemed to prevail at the sad occurrence. Of the two McLowry brothers we could learn nothing of their previous history before coming to Arizona. The two brothers owned quite an extensive ranch on the lower San Pedro, some seventy or eighty miles from this city, to which they had removed their band of cattle since the recent Mexican and Indian troubles. They did not bear the reputation of being of a quarrelsome disposition, but were known as fighting men, and have generally conducted themselves in a quiet and orderly manner when in Tombstone.


Statement of Virgil Earp

The transcribed testimony and statement of Virgil Earp regarding the gunfight on Fremont Street in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. The gunfight on Fremont street, infamously known as the Gunfight at the O K Corral, is referred to initially by the Earp’s as “the difficulty.”

Virgil Earp 1843 -1905
Virgil Earp 1843 -1905

On this nineteenth day of November, 1881, on the hearing of the above entitled cause on the examination of Wyatt Earp and J. H. Holliday; Virgil W. Earp, a witness of lawful age, being produced and sworn, deposes and says as follows:

My name is Virgil W. Earp; I reside in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona Territory. My occupation: Chief of Police of Tombstone and Deputy U. S. Marshal.

(Q) State what official position, if any, you occupied on the 25th and 26th of October last.

(A) Chief of Police of Tombstone and Deputy United States Marshal, and was acting as such on those days?

(Q) State what official or other position, if any, with respect to the police department of Tombstone, was occupied on the 25th and 26th of October last by Morgan Earp.

(A) He was sworn in as Special Policeman and wore a badge with “Special Police” engraved on it, and he had been sworn and acted as a “Special” for about a month.

(Q) State what official or other position, if any, with respect to the police department of Tombstone, was occupied on the 25th and 26th of October last by Wyatt Earp.

(A) Wyatt Earp had been sworn in to act in my place while I was in Tucson, and on my return his saloon [Oriental) was opened and I ap­pointed him a “Special,” to keep the peace, with power to make arrest, and also called on him on the 26th, to assist me in disarming those parties: Ike Clanton and Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Tom McLaury.

(Q) State what position or deputization, if any, with respect to assisting you as Chief of Police, was occupied on the 26th of October last, or anytime during that day by John H. Holliday.

(A) I called on him that day for assistance to help disarm the Clantons and McLaurys.

(Q) State fully all the circumstances of and attendant upon the difficulty which resulted in the death of Frank McLaury, Thomas McLaury, and Billy Clanton, commencing on the day of the difficulty and confining your answers for the present entirely to what occurred within your sight and hearing on the day of the difficulty, on the 26th of October.

(A) On the morning of the 26th, somewhere about six or seven o’clock, I started to go home, and Ike Clanton stopped me and wanted to know if I would carry a message from him to Doc Holliday. I asked him what it was. He said, “The damned son of a bitch has got to fight.” I said, “Ike, I am an officer and I don’t want to hear you talking that way at all. I am going down home now, to go to bed; I don’t want you to raise any disturbance while I am in bed.”

I started to go home, and when I got ten feet from him he said, “You won’t carry the message?” I said, “No, of course I won’t.” I made four or five steps more. He said, “You may have to fight before you know it.” [Here, counsel for the prosecution reserves the right to strike out at the close, any portion of the answer]. I made no reply to him and went home and went to bed. I don’t know how long had been in bed. It must have been between 9 and 10 o’clock when one of the policemen came and told me to get up, as there was liable to be hell.

I did not get up right away, but in about half art hour I got up. I cannot tell exactly what time it was. Along about 11 or 12 o’clock I came up on the street and met a man by the name of Lynch. I found Ike Clanton on Fourth Street between Fremont and Allen with a Winchester rifle in his hand and a six-shooter stuck down in his breeches. I walked up and grabbed the rifle in my left hand. He let loose and started to draw his six-shooter. I hit him over the head with mine and knocked him to his knees and took his six-shooter from him. I ask him if he was hunting for me. He said he was, and if he had seen me a second sooner he would have killed me. I arrested Ike for carrying firearms, I believe was the charge, inside the city limits.

When I took him to the courtroom, Judge Wallace was not there. I left him in charge of Special Officer Morgan Earp while I went out to look for the Judge. After the examination I asked him where he wanted his arms left, and he said, “Anywhere I can get them, for you hit me over the head with your six-shooter.” I told him I would leave them at the Grand Hotel bar, and done so. I did not hear, at that time, any quarrel between Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton. The next I saw them, they were, all four; Ike Clanton, Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Tom McLaury in the gun shop on Fourth Street. I saw Wyatt Earp shooing a horse off the sidewalk and went down and saw them all in the gun shop, filling up their belts with cartridges and looking at the pistols and guns.

There was a committee waiting on me then and called me away to one side. I turned to Wyatt Earp and told him to keep peace and order until I came back and to move the crowd off the sidewalk and not let them obstruct it. When I saw them again, all four of them were going in Dunbar’s Corral. They did not remain long there. They came out and went into the O.K. Corral.

I called on Johnny Behan who refused to go with me, to go help disarm these parties. He said if he went along with me, there would be a fight sure; that they would not give up their arms to me. He said, “They won’t hurt me,” and, “I will go down alone and see if I can disarm them.” I told him that was all I wanted them to do; to layoff their arms while they were in town. Shortly after he left, I was notified that they were on Fremont Street, and I called on Wyatt and Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday to go and help me disarm the Clan tons and McLaurys. We started down Fourth Street to Fremont, turned down Fremont west, towards Fly’s lodging house. When we got about somewhere by Bauer’s butcher shop, I saw the parties before we got there, in a vacant lot between the photograph gallery and the house west of it. The parties were Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, Johnny Behan, and the Kid.

Johnny Behan seen myself and party coming down towards them. He left the Clanton and McLaury party and came on a fast walk towards us, and once in a while he would look behind at the party he left, as though expecting danger of some kind. He met us somewhere close to the butcher shop. He threw up both hands, like this [illustrating] and said, “For God’s sake, don’t go there or they will murder you!”

I said, “Johnny, I am going down to disarm them.” By this time I had passed him a step and heard him say, “I have disarmed them all.” When he said that, I had a walking stick in my left hand, and my right hand was on my six-shooter in my waist pants [verbatim], and when he said he had disarmed them, I shoved it clean around to my left hip and changed my walking stick to my right hand.

As soon as Behan left them, they moved in between the two buildings, out of sight of me. We could not see them. All we could [see] was about half a horse. They were all standing in a row. Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury had their hands on their six-shooters. I don’t hardly know how Ike Clanton was standing, but I think he had his hands in an attitude where I supposed he had a gun. Tom McLaury had his hand on a Winchester rifle on a horse.

As soon as I saw them, I said, “Boys, throw up your hands, I want your guns,” or “arms.” With that, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton drew their six-shooters and commenced to cock them, and I heard them go “click-click.” Ike Clanton threw his hand in his breast, this way [illustrates]. At that, I said, throwing both hands up, with the cane in my right hand, “Hold on, I don’t want that!” As I said that, Billy Clanton threw his six-shooter down, full cocked. I was standing to the left of my party, and he was standing on the right of Frank and Tom McLaury. He was not aiming at me, but his pistol was kind of past me. Two shots went off right together. Billy Clanton’s was one of them. At that time I changed my cane to my left hand, and went to shooting; it was general then, and everybody went to fighting.

At the crack of the first two pistols, the horse jumped to one side, and Tom McLaury failed to get the Winchester. He threw his hand back this way [shows the motion]. He followed the movement of the horse around, making him a kind of breastwork, and fired once, if not twice, over the horse’s back.


(Q) When you met Lynch on the morning, or noon, of October 26th, what did he tell you?

(A) He told me to look out for Ike Clanton that he was hunting me, and allowed to kill me on sight.

(Q) State what threats, if any, were made by Isaac Clanton, William Clanton, Thomas McLaury, or Frank McLaury, to you, or in your presence, and what threats if any, by either of the aforementioned persons were communicated to you as having been made in the presence of others, giving the name of the persons making the communications to you, in detail.

(A) The first man who spoke to me about any threats was Officer Bronk. I was down home in bed when he called. He came down after [a] commitment I had for a party that was in jail. It was about 9 o’clock I should think, on the 26th of October. While he was getting the commitment, he said, “You had better get up. There is liable to be hell!” He said, “Ike Clanton has threatened to kill Holliday as soon as he gets up.” And he said, “He’s counting you fellows in too,” meaning me and my brothers. I told him I would get up after a while, and he went off.

The next man was Lynch; I’ve stated what he said. The next I met, was Morgan and James Earp. One of them asked me if I had seen Ike Clanton. I told them I had not. One of them said, “He has got a Winchester rifle and six-shooter on, and threatens to kill us on sight.” I asked Morgan if he had any idea where we could find him. He said he did not. I told him then to come and go with me, and we could go and arrest him, and disarm him.

Several men came on Allen Street between Fourth and Fifth; miners whose names I do not know. This was after Ike Clanton’s arrest and before the fight. There was one man in particular who came and said, “Ain’t you liable to have trouble?” I told him I didn’t know, it looks kind of that way, but couldn’t tell. He said, “I seen two more of them just rode in,” and he said, “Ike walked up to them and was telling them about you hitting him over the head with a six-shooter.” He said that one of them rode in on a horse [and] said, “Now is our time to make a fight.” This was after the arms of Ike Clanton were returned to the Grand Hotel.

Just about the time the man was telling me this, Bob Hatch came and beckoned to me, as though he wanted to speak to me, and said, “For God’s sake, hurry down there to the gun shop, for they are all down there, and Wyatt is all alone!” He said, “They are liable to kill him before you get there!” The other man told me to be careful, and not turn my back on them or I would be killed, that they meant mischief. Lynch remarked­ [paragraph not completed.

There was a man named W. B. Murray and a man named J. L. Fonck came at separate times and said, “I know you are going to have trouble, and we have got plenty of men and arms to assist you.” Murray was the first man to approach me, on the afternoon of the 26th. I was talking to Behan at the time in Hafford’s Saloon, trying to get him to go down and help me disarm them. Murray took me to one side and said, “I have been looking into this matter and know you are going to have trouble. I can get 25 armed men at a minutes notice.” He said, “If you want them, say so.” I told him, as long as they stayed in the corral, the O.K. Corral, I would not go down to disarm them; if they came out on the street, I would take their arms off and arrest them. He said, “You can count on me if there is any danger.”

I walked from the comer of Fourth and Allen Streets, west, just across the street. J. L. Fonck met me there, and he said, “The cowboys are making threats against you.” And he said, “If you want any help, I can furnish ten men to assist.” I told him I would not bother them as long as they were in the corral; if they showed up on the street, I would disarm them. “Why,” he said, “they are all down on Fremont Street there now.” Then I called on Wyatt and Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday to go with me and help disarm them.

Frank McLaury made a threat to me one day on the street. It must have been about a month before the shooting and it might have been a week after the notice in the paper of the formation of a vigilance committee. Frank McLaury stepped up to me in the street between the Express Office and the Grand Hotel. He said, “I understand you are raising a vigilance committee to hang us boys.” I said, “You boys?” He said, “Yes, us and [the] Clantons, Hicks, Ringo, and all us cowboys.” I said to him, “Frank, do [you] remember the time Curly Bill killed White?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Who guarded him that night and run him to Tucson next morning to keep the vigilance committee from hanging him?” He said, “You boys.” I said, “Now do you believe we belong to it?” He said, “I can’t help but believe the man who told me you do.” I said, “Who told you?” He said, “Johnny Behan,” “Now,” he says, “I’ll tell you, it makes no difference what I do, I never will surrender my arms to you.” He said, “I’d rather die fighting than be strangled.” I made some remark to him, “Alright,” or something-and then left him.

[Counsel for the Prosecution moves to strike out all the proceeding conversation with Frank McLaury on the ground that it is irrelevant and contains no threats against this de fen dent. Objection taken under advisement.]

(Q) State any conversation had by you, if any, with Isaac Clanton or Frank McLaury in this town with respect to obtaining information from them, or either of them, that should lead to the capture or killing of the parties suspected to have been engaged in the killing of Bud Philpot and the attempt to rob the Benson Stage.

[Objected to by Prosecution on the ground that the question is too broad and enquires into conversations with Frank McLaury which are more hearsay and irrelevant and for which no foundation had been laid. Objection sustained as to Frank McLaury, but overruled as to Ike Clanton and admitted to contradict his statement.]

(A) About last June, in Tombstone, Ike Clanton asked me where we could go to have a long talk, where nobody could hear us excepting those who were along at the time. We turned around the corner of Allen and Fifth Streets, alongside of Danner and Owen’s Saloon. He said, “I’ve had a long talk with Wyatt in regard to Leonard, Head, and Crane,” and he said, “I believe I can trust you.” He said, “I am going to put up a job for you boys to catch them.”

I said, “How can I know you are in earnest and can trust you?” “Well,” he said, “now I’ll tell you all about it.” He said that Leonard had a fine ranch over in the Cloverdale County [New Mexico]. He said, “As soon as I heard of him robbing the stage, I rounded up my cattle on the San Pedro here, and run them over and jumped his ranch.” And he said, “Shortly after you boys gave up the chase who should come riding up but Leonard, Head, and Crane.” And he said, “By God, they have been stopping around there ever since, and it looks as though they are going to stay.” He said, “They have already told me that I would either have to buy the ranch or get off of it. I told them that I supposed after what they had done, they would not dare to stay in the country and I supposed you would rather your friends would get your ranch than anybody else.” He said, “But if they were going to stay in the country he would either get off or buy the ranch. Now you can see why I want these men either captured or killed, and I would rather have them killed.” I said, “There are three of you and there is only three of them. Why don’t you capture or kill them, and I would see that you get the reward?” He says, “Jesus Christ! I would not last longer than a snowball in hell if I should do that!” He says, “The rest of the gang would think we killed them for the reward and they would kill us.” “But,” he says, “We have agreed with Wyatt to bring them to a certain spot, where you boys can capture them.” And he said, “As soon as Wyatt gets a telegram he is going to send for, in regard to the reward dead or alive, and they will give it, dead or alive, we’ll start right after them, to bring them over.” I said, “Where will you bring them to?” He said, “Either to McLaury’s ranch or Willow Springs.”

“Now,” he said, “I want you never to give us away or say a word about it, except [to] the party you take along.” There were some few more remarks made-I don’t remember what they were-and we broke up for that time. This is about 3 o’clock in the morning after [the] conversa­tion Ike Clanton had with Wyatt Earp. I had another conversation with him when he said Wyatt showed him the dispatch saying that the Wells, Fargo would pay the reward dead or alive.

(Q) In reference to the statement made by Isaac Clanton in his testimony, I ask you: Did you ever, at any time, tell Isaac Clanton to tell Billy Leonard not to think that you were trying to catch him when you were running him, or to tell Billy Leonard that you had thrown Paul and the posse off Leonard’s track when he left Helm’s ranch at the foot of the Dragoon Mountains, or to tell Billy Leonard that you [had] taken the posse in pursuit of him on to a trail in New Mexico, or to tell Billy Leonard you had done all you could for him, or to tell Billy Leonard that you wanted him to get Crane and Head and get them out of the country, because you were afraid one of them might get captured and get all his friends into trouble?

(A) I never did.

(Q) State now, Mr. Earp, any threats communicated to you that you have omitted to state heretofore.

(A) There was a man met me on the corner of Fourth and Allen Streets about 2 o’clock in the afternoon of the day of the shooting. He said, “I just passed the O.K. Corral,” and he said, he saw four of five men all armed and heard one of them say, “Be sure to get Earp, the Marshal” Another replied and said, “We will kill them all!” When he met me on the corner he said, “Is your name Earp?” and I told him it was. He said, “Are you the Marshal?” and I told him I was. I did not know the man. I have ascertained who he was since. His name is Sills, I believe.


(Q) Where does Sills live, and what is his business?

(A) I never met him until that day. I do not know what his business is I don’t know where he resides.

(Q) At what house in Tombstone does he live?

(A) I don’t know, only by say-so.

(Q) Can you give us any information as to where he lives?

(A) I understand he is stopping at the hospital.

(Q) When did you last see him?

(A) Yesterday. I saw him here.

(Q) Who, if anybody, was present when he made that communication to you, on the corner of Fourth and Allen Streets?

(A) I don’t think anybody was close enough to hear the conversation.

(Q) How long did that conversation take place, before you started for Fremont Street?

(A) Somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter or half an hour not over half an hour; it might not have been that long.

(Q) Was it before or after Behan left Hafford’s Saloon?

(A) To the best of my recollection, it was just after.

(Q) At the time you took Isaac Clanton’s rifle and pistol from him, did you approach in front or behind him?

(A) Behind him.

(Q) Did you speak to him before you seized his rifle?

(A) I think not.

(Q) With which hand did you take his rifle?

(A) With my left hand.

(Q) Where was your pistol when you seized his rifle?

(A) In my right hand.

(Q) Was he facing you, or was his back towards you when you struck him?

(A) He was turned about halfway around. I don’t know whether his body was turned; his head was.

(Q) Which of the Clantons or McLaurys did you see putting cartridges in their belts at the gun shop on the occasion you have spoken of in your direct examination?

(A) William Clanton, Frank McLaury was standing right beside him. I don’t think I saw any of the others putting cartridges in their belt. It looked like Frank McLaury was helping Billy Clanton.

(Q) Where was Tom McLaury at the time and what was he doing?

(A) I can’t say. They were all in a bunch, and I could not see what each was doing.

(Q) Were Isaac Clanton and Frank McLaury in the gun shop at that time?

(A) I am positive that Billy Clanton, Ike Clanton and Frank McLaury were in there, and am under the impression that Tom was there.

(Q) Where was Wyatt Earp at the time?

(A) He was standing on the edge of the sidewalk when I first discovered him in front of the gun shop.

(Q) Was that during the time that Billy Clanton and the other persons you have named were in the guns hop?

(A) It was. I first saw Wyatt Earp as I turned the comer of Allen and Fourth Streets, in front of the gun shop, on the edge of the sidewalk. I noticed him step into the crowd and take hold of a horse and “shoo” him off the sidewalk.

(Q) What crowd do you allude [to]?

(A) There was a dozen or more on the sidewalk, gathered in a knot. I can’t call to mind who they were.

(Q) Where were Morgan Earp and Holliday at this time?

(A) I don’t remember seeing him at that time. I saw them on the comer of Allen and Fourth Streets about five or ten minutes before that. I can’t say whether Holliday was armed at that time. Morgan Earp was.

(Q) At the time spoken of, when you were in Hafford’s Saloon, did you have a shotgun or rifle?

(A) I had a shotgun and six-shooter.

(Q) When and where did you get that shotgun?

(A) [Verbatim as in original document] Got it in the Express Office of Wells Fargo, on Allen Street, at the time they were down at the gun shop. It had been at my service for six months. No one handed it to me at the time. I got it myself.

(Q) What did you do with it?

(A) When I called Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday to go and help me disarm the McLaurys and Clantons, Holliday had a large overcoat on, and I told him to let me have his cane, and he take the shotgun, that I did not want to create any excitement going down the street with a shotgun in .my hand. When we made the exchange, I said, “Come along,” and we all went along.

(Q) You speak of a committee that called on you when you were in front of the gun shop. Who composed that committee?

(A) I don’t know their names. They were miners, I should judge.

(Q) At the time when Behan met you on Fremont Street and said, “For God’s sake, don’t go down there or they will murder you!” where were Wyatt and Morgan Earp?

(A) They were right behind me.

(Q) Where was Holliday?

(A) We were all in a bunch. I think he was also right behind me.

(Q) You say at the commencement of the affray, two shots went off close together, and that Billy Clanton’s was one of them. Who fired the other shot?

(A) Well, I’m inclined to think it was Wyatt Earp that fired it.

(Q) How many shots did you fire, and at whom?

(A) I fired four shots. One at Frank McLaury, and I believe the other three were at Billy Clanton. I am pretty positive one was at Frank McLaury and three at Billy Clanton.

(Q) What is Lynch’s first name, and place of residence?

(A) I don’t know his first name. After the fight he was put on the police force.

Statement of Wyatt Earp

The transcribed testimony and statement of Wyatt S. Earp regarding the gunfight on Fremont Street in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. The gunfight on Fremont street, infamously known as the Gunfight at the O K Corral, is referred to initially by the Earp’s as “the difficulty.”

Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp - Aged 39
Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp – Aged 39

(Q) What is your name and age?

(A) My name is Wyatt Earp: 32 years old last March the 19th.

(Q) Where were you born?

(A) In Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois.

(Q) Where do you reside and how long have you resided there?

(A) I reside in Tombstone, Cochise County Arizona: since December 1, 1879.

(Q) What is your business and profession?

(A) Saloon keeper at present. Also have been Deputy Sheriff and also a detective.

(Q) Give any explanations you may think proper of the circumstances appearing in the testimony against you, and state any facts which you think will tend to your exculpation.

(A) The difficulty which resulted in the death of William Clanton and Frank McLaury originated last spring, and at a little over a year ago, I followed Tom and Frank McLaury and two other parties who had stolen six government mules from Camp Rucker. Myself, Virgil Earp, and Morgan Earp, and Marshall Williams, Captain Hurst and four soldiers; we traced those mules to McLaury’s ranch.

While at Charleston I met a man by the name of Dave Estes. He told me I would find the mules at McLaury’s ranch. He said he had seen them there the day before. He said they were branding the mules “D S,” making the “D. S.” out [of] “D. S.” We tracked the mules right up to the ranch. Also found the branding iron “D. S.” Afterwards, some of those mules were found with the same brand.

After we arrived at McLaury’s ranch, there was a man by the name of Frank Patterson. He made some kind of a compromise with Captain Hurst. Captain Hurst come to us boys and told us he had made this compromise, and by so doing, he would get his mules back. We insisted on following them up. Hurst prevailed on us to go back to Tombstone, and so we came back. Hurst told us two or three weeks afterwards, that they would not give up the mules to him after we left, saying that they only wanted to get us away, that they could stand the soldiers off. Captain Hurst cautioned me and my brothers, Virgil and Morgan, to look out for those men, as they had made some threats against our lives.

About one month after we had followed up those mules. I met Frank and Tom McLaury in Charleston. They tried to pick a fuss out of me down there, and told me if I ever followed them up again as close as I did before, they would kill me. Shortly after the time Bud Philpot was killed by the men who tried to rob the Benson stage, as a detective [working for Wells, Fargo & Co.] I helped trace the matter up, and I was satisfied that three men, named Billy Leonard, Harry Head, and James Crane were in that robbery. I knew that Leonard, Head and Crane were friends and associates of the Clan tons and McLaurys and often stopped at their ranches.

It was generally understood among officers and those who have information about criminals, that Ike Clanton was sort of chief among the cowboys that the Clantons and McLaurys were cattle thieves and generally in the secret of the stage robbery, and that the Clanton and McLaury ranches were meeting places and places of shelter for the gang.

I had an ambition to be Sheriff of this County at the next election, and I thought it would be a great help to me with the people and businessmen if I could capture the men who killed Philpot. There were rewards offered of about $1,200 each for the capture of the robbers. Altogether there was about $3,600 offered for their capture. I thought this sum might tempt Ike Clanton and Frank McLaury to give away Leonard, Head, and Crane, so I went to Ike Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Joe Hill when they came to town. I had an interview with them in the back yard of the Oriental Saloon. I told them what I wanted. I told them I wanted the glory of capturing Leonard, Head, and Crane and if I could do it, it would help me make the race for Sheriff at the next election. I told them if they would put me on the track of Leonard, Head, and Crane, and tell me where those men were hid; I would give them all the reward and would never let anyone know where I got the information.

Ike Clanton said he would like to see them captured. He said that Leonard claimed a ranch that he claimed, and that if he could get him out of the way, he would have no opposition in regard to the ranch. Clanton said that Leonard, Head, and Crane would make a fight, that they would never be taken alive, and that I must find out if the reward would be paid for the capture of the robbers dead or alive. I then went to Marshall Williams, the agent of Wells, Fargo & Co., in this town and at my request, he telegraphed to the agent, or superintendent, in San Francisco to find out if the reward would be paid for the robbers dead or alive. He received, in June, 1881, a telegram, which he showed me, promising the reward would be paid dead or alive.

The next day I met Ike Clanton and Joe Hill on Allen Street in front of a little cigar store next to the Alhambra. I told them that the dispatch had come. I went to Marshall Williams and told him I wanted to see the dispatch for a few minutes. He went to look for it and could not find it, but went over to the telegraph office and got a copy of it, and he came back and gave it to me. I went and showed it to Ike Clanton and Joe Hill and returned it to Marshall Williams, and afterwards told Frank McLaury of its contents.

It was then agreed between us that they were to have all the $3,600 reward, outside of necessary expenses for horse hire in going after them, and that Joe Hill should go to where Leonard, Head, and Crane were hid, over near Yreka, in New Mexico, and lure them in near Frank and Tom McLaury’s ranch near Soldier’s Holes, 30 miles from here, and I would be on hand with a posse and capture them.

I asked Joe Hill, Ike Clanton, and Frank McLaury what tale they would make them to get them over here. They said they had agreed upon a plan to tell them there would be a paymaster going from Tombstone to Bisbee, to payoff the miners, and they wanted them to come in and take him in. Ike Clanton then sent Joe Hill to bring them ‘in. Before starting, Joe Hill took off his watch and chain and between two and three hundred dollars in money, and gave it to Virgil Earp to keep for him until he got back. He was gone about ten days and returned with the word that he got there a day too late; that Leonard and Harry Head had been killed the day before he got there by horse thieves. I learned afterward that the thieves had been killed subsequently by members of the Clanton and McLaury gang.

After that, Ike Clanton and Frank McLaury claimed that I had given them away to Marshall Williams and Doc Holliday, and when they came in town, they shunned us, and Morgan, Virgil Earp, Doc Holliday and myself began to hear their threats against us.

I am a friend of Doc Holliday because when I was city marshal of Dodge City, Kansas, he came to my rescue and saved my life when I was surrounded by desperadoes.

About a month or more ago, Morgan Earp and myself assisted to arrest Stilwell and Spence on the charge of robbing the Bisbee stage. The McLaurys and Clan tons were always friendly with Spence and Stilwell, and they laid the whole blame of their arrest on us, though the fact is, we only went as a sheriff’s posse. After we got in town with Spence and Stilwell, Ike Clanton and Frank McLaury came in.

Frank McLaury took Morgan Earp into the street in front of the Alhambra, where John Ringo, Ike Clanton, and the two Hicks boys were also standing. Frank McLaury commenced to abuse Morgan Earp for going after Spence and Stilwell. Frank McLaury said he would never speak to Spence again for being arrested by us.

He said to Morgan, “If you ever come after me, you will never take me.” Morgan replied that if he ever had occasion to go after him, he would arrest him. Frank McLaury then said to Morgan Earp, “I have threatened you boys’ lives, and a few days later I had taken it back, but since this arrest, it now goes.” Morgan made no reply and walked off.

Before this and after this, Marshall Williams, Farmer Daly, Ed Barnes, Old Man Urrides, Charley Smith and three or four others had told us at different times of threats to kill us, by Ike Clanton, Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, Joe Hill, and John Ringo. I knew all these men were desperate and dangerous men, that they were connected with outlaws, cattle thieves, robbers and murderers. I knew of the McLaurys stealing six government mules, and also cattle, and when the owners went after them finding his stock on the McLaury’s ranch; that he was drove off and told that if he ever said anything about it, he would be killed, and he kept his mouth shut until several days ago, for fear of being killed.

I heard of John Ringo shooting a man down in cold blood near Camp Thomas.5 I was satisfied that Frank and Tom McLaury killed and robbed Mexicans in Skeleton Canyon, about three or four months ago, and I naturally kept my eyes open and did not intend that any of the gang should get the drop on me if I could help it.

Ike Clanton met me at the Alhambra five or six weeks ago and told me I had told Holliday about this transaction, concerning the capture of Head, Leonard, and Crane. I told him I had never told Holliday anything. I told him when Holliday came up from Tucson I would prove it. Ike said that Holliday had told him so. When Holliday came back I asked him if he said so.

On the night of the 25th of October, Holliday met Ike Clanton in the Alhambra Saloon and asked him about it. Clanton denied it. They quarreled for three or four minutes. Holliday told Clanton he was a damned liar, if he said so. I was sitting eating lunch at the lunch counter. Morgan Earp was standing at the Alhambra bar talking with the bartender. I called him over to where I was sitting, knowing that he was an officer and told him that Holliday and Clanton were quarreling in the lunch room and for him to go in and stop it. He climbed over the lunch room counter from the Alhambra bar and went into the room, took Holliday by the arm and led him into the street. Ike Clanton in a few seconds followed them out. I got through eating and walked out of the bar. As I stopped at the door of the bar, they were still quarreling.

Just then Virgil Earp came up, I think out of the Occidental, and told them, Holliday and Clanton, if they didn’t stop their quarreling he would have to arrest them. They all separated at that time, Morgan Earp going down the street to the Oriental Saloon, Ike going across the street to the Grand Hotel. I walked in the Eagle Brewery where I had a faro game which I had not closed. I stayed in there for a few minutes and walked out to the street and there met Ike Clanton. He asked me if I would take a walk with him, that he wanted to talk to me. I told him I would if he did not go too far, as I was waiting for my game in the Brewery to close, and I would have to take care of the money. We walked about halfway down the brewery building, going down Fifth Street and stopped.

He told me when Holliday approached him in the Alhambra that he wasn’t fixed just right. He said that in the morning he would have man-for-man, that this fighting talk had been going on for a long time, and he guessed it was about time to fetch it to a close. I told him I would not fight no one if I could get away from it, because there was no money in it. He walked off and left me saying, “I will be ready for you in the morning.”

I walked over to the Oriental. He followed me in and took a drink, having his six-shooter in plain sight. He says, “You must not think I won’t be after you all in the morning.” He said he would like to make a fight with Holliday now. I told him Holliday did not want to fight, but only to satisfy him that this talk had not been made. About that time the man that is dealing my game closed it and brought the money to me. I locked it in the safe and started home. I met Holliday on the street between the Oriental and Alhambra. Myself and Holliday walked down Allen Street, he going to his room, and I to my house, going to bed.

I got up the next day, October 26, about noon. Before I got up, Ned Boyle came to me and told me that he met Ike Clanton on Allen Street near the telegraph office, that Ike was armed, that he said, “as soon as those damned Earps make their appearance on the street today the ball will open, we are here to make a fight. We are looking for the sons-of-bitches!” I laid in bed some little time after that, and got up and went down to the Oriental Saloon.

Harry Jones came to me after I got up and said, “What does all this mean?” I asked him what he meant. He says, “Ike Clanton is hunting you boys with a Winchester rifle and six-shooter.” I said, “I will go down and find him and see what he wants.” I went out and on the comer of Fifth and Allen I met Virgil Earp, the marshal. He told me how he heard Ike Clanton was hunting us. I went down Allen Street and Virgil went down Fifth Street and then Fremont Street. Virgil found Ike Clanton on Fourth Street near Fremont Street, in the mouth of an alleyway.

I walked up to him and said, “I hear you are hunting for some of us.” I was coming down Fourth Street at the time. Ike Clanton then threw his Winchester rifle around toward Virgil. Virgil grabbed it and hit Ike Clanton with his six-shooter and knocked him down. Clanton had his rifle and his six-shooter was in his pants. By that time I came up. Virgil and Morgan Earp took his rifle and six-shooter and took them to the Grand Hotel after examination, and I took Ike Clanton before Justice Wallace.

Before the investigation, Morgan Earp had Ike Clanton in charge, as Virgil Earp was out at the time. After I went into Wallace’s Court and sat down on a bench, Ike Clanton looked over to me and said, “I will get even with all of you for this. If I had a six-shooter now I would make a fight with all of you.” Morgan Earp then said to him, “If you want to make a fight right bad, I will give you this one!” at the same time offering Ike Clanton his own six-shooter.

Ike Clanton started to get up and take it, when Campbell, the deputy sheriff, pushed him back in his seat, saying he would not allow any fuss. I never had Ike Clanton’s arms at any time, as he stated.

I would like to describe the positions we occupied in the courtroom. Ike Clanton sat on a bench with his face fronting to the north wall of the building. I myself sat down on a bench that ran against and along the north wall in front of where Ike sat. Morgan Earp stood up on his feet with his back against the wall and to the right of where I sat, and two or three feet from me.

Morgan Earp had Ike Clanton’s Winchester in his hand, like this, with one end on the floor, with Clanton’s six-shooter in his right hand. We had them all the time. Virgil Earp was not in the courtroom during any of this time and came there after I had walked out. He was out, he told me, hunting for Judge Wallace.

I was tired of being threatened by Ike Clanton and his gang and believe from what he said to me and others, and from their movements that they intended to assassinate me the first chance they had, and I thought that if I had to fight for my life with them I had better make them face me in an open fight. So I said to Ike Clanton, who was then sitting about eight feet away from me. “You damned dirty cow thief, you have been threatening our lives and I know it. I think I would be justified in shooting you down any place I should meet you, but if you are anxious to make a fight, I will go anywhere on earth to make a fight with you, even over to the San Simon among your crowd!” He replied, “I will see you after I get through here. I only want four feet of ground to fight on!”

I walked out and then just outside of the courtroom near the Justice’s Office, I met Tom McLaury. He came up to me and said to me, “If you want to make a fight I will make a fight with you anywhere.” I supposed at the time that he had heard what had just transpired between Ike Clanton and myself. I knew of his having threatened me, and I felt just as I did about Ike Clanton and if the fight had to come, I had better have it come when I had an even show to defend myself. So I said to him, “All right, make a fight right here!” And at the same time slapped him in the face with my left hand and drew my pistol with my right. He had a pistol in plain sight on his right hip in his pants, but made no move to draw it. I said to him, “Jerk your gun and use it!” He made no reply and I hit him on the head with my six-shooter and walked away, down to Hafford’s Corner. I went into Hafford’s and got a cigar and came out and stood by the door.

Pretty soon after I saw Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and William Clanton pass me and went down Fourth Street to the gunsmith shop. I followed them to see what they were going to do. When I got there, Frank McLaury’s horse was standing on the sidewalk with his head in the door of the gun shop. I took the horse by the bit, as I was deputy city marshal, and commenced to back him off the sidewalk. Tom and Frank and Billy Clanton came to the door. Billy Clanton laid his hand on his six-shooter. Frank McLaury took hold of the horse’s bridle and I said, “You will have to get this horse off the sidewalk.” He backed him off into the street. Ike Clanton came up about this time and they all walked into the gun shop. I saw them in the gun shop changing cartridges into their belts. They came out of the shop and walked along Fourth Street to the comer of Allen Street. I followed them as far as the comer of Fourth and Allen Streets. They went down Allen Street and over to Dunbar’s Corral.

Virgil Earp was then city marshal; Morgan Earp was a special policeman for six weeks or two months, wore a badge and drew pay. I had been sworn in Virgil’s place, to act for him while Virgil was gone to Tucson on Spence’s and Stilwell’s trial. Virgil had been back several days but I was still acting and I knew it was Virgil’s duty to disarm those men. I expected he would have trouble in doing so, and I followed up to give assistance if necessary, especially as they had been threatening us, as I have already stated.

About ten minutes afterwards, and while Virgil, Morgan, Doc Holliday and myself were standing on the comer of Fourth and Allen Streets, several people said, “There is going to be trouble with those fellows,” and one man named Coleman said to Virgil Earp, “They mean trouble. They have just gone from Dunbar’s Corral into the O.K. Corral, all armed, and I think you had better go and disarm them.” Virgil turned around to Doc Holliday, Morgan Earp and myself and told us to come and assist him in disarming them.

Morgan Earp said to me, “They have horses, had we not better get some horses ourselves, so that if they make a running fight we can catch them?” I said, “No, if they try to make a running fight we can kill their horses and then capture them.”

We four started through Fourth to Fremont Street. When we turned the comer of Fourth and Fremont we could see them standing near or about the vacant space between Fly’s photograph gallery and the next building west. I first saw Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, Billy Clanton and Sheriff Behan standing there. We went down the left-hand side of Fremont Street.

When we got within about 150 feet of them I saw Ike Clanton and Billy Clanton and another party. We had walked a few steps further and I saw Behan leave the party and come toward us. Every few steps he would look back as if he apprehended danger. I heard him say to Virgil Earp, “For God’s sake, don’t go down there, you will get murdered!” Virgil Earp replied, “I am going to disarm them.” he, Virgil, being in the lead. When I and Morgan came up to Behan he said, “I have disarmed them.” When he said this, I took my pistol, which I had in my hand, under my coat, and put it in my overcoat pocket. Behan then passed up the street, and we walked on down.

We came up on them close; Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, and Billy Clanton standing in a row against the east side of the building on the opposite side of the vacant space west of Fly’s photograph gallery. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne and a man I don’t knows were standing in the vacant space about halfway between the photograph gallery and the next building west.

I saw that Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury had their hands by their sides, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton’s six-shooters were in plain sight. Virgil said, “Throw up your hands; I have come to disarm you!” Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury laid their hands on their six-shooters. Virgil said, “Hold, I don’t mean that!” I have come to disarm you!” Then Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury commenced to draw their pistols. At the same time, Tom McLaury throwed his hand to his right hip, throwing his coat open like this, and jumped behind his horse. [Actually it was Billy Clanton’s horse.]

I had my pistol in my overcoat pocket, where I had put it when Behan told us he had disarmed the other parties. When I saw Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury draw their pistols, I drew my pistol. Billy Clanton leveled his pistol at me, but I did not aim at him. I knew that Frank McLaury had the reputation of being a good shot and a dangerous man, and I aimed at Frank McLaury. The first two shots were fired by Billy Clanton and myself, he shooting at me, and I shooting at Frank McLaury.  I don’t know which was fired first. We fired almost together. The fight then became general.  After about four shots were fired, Ike Clanton ran up and grabbed my left arm. I could see no weapon in his hand, and thought at the time he had none, and so I said to him, “The fight had commenced. Go to fighting or get away,” at the same time pushing him off with my left hand, like this. He started and ran down the side of the building and disappeared between the lodging house and photograph gallery.

My first shot struck Frank McLaury in the belly. He staggered off on the sidewalk but fired one shot at me. When we told them to throw up their hands Claiborne threw up his left hand and broke and ran. I never saw him afterwards until late in the afternoon, after the fight. I never drew my pistol or made a motion to shoot until after Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury drew their pistols. If Tom McLaury was unarmed, I did not know it, I believe he was armed and fired two shots at our party before Holliday, who had the shotgun, fired and killed him. If he was unarmed, there was nothing in the circumstances or in what had been communicated to me, or in his acts or threats, that would have led me even to suspect his being unarmed.

I never fired at Ike Clanton, even after the shooting commenced, because I thought he was unarmed. I believed then, and believe now, from the acts I have stated and the threats I have related and the other threats communicated to me by other persons as having been made by Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury, and Ike Clanton, that these men last named had formed a conspiracy to murder my brothers, Morgan and Virgil, Doc Holliday and myself. I believe I would have been legally and morally justified in shooting any of them on sight, but I did not do so, nor attempt to do so. I sought no advantage when I went as deputy marshal to help disarm them and arrest them. I went as a part of my duty and under the direction of my brother, the marshal; I did not intend to fight unless it became necessary in self-defense and in the performance of official duty. When Billy Clanton and Frank McLaury drew their pistols, I knew it was a fight for life, and I drew in defense of my own life and the lives of my brothers and Doc Holliday.

I have been in Tombstone since December 1, 1879. I came here directly from Dodge City, Kansas. Against the protest of businessmen and officials, I resigned the office of city marshal, which I held from 1876. I came to Dodge City from Wichita, Kansas. I was on the police force in Wichita from 1874 until I went to Dodge City.

The testimony of Isaac Clanton that I ever said to him that I had anything to do with any stage robbery or giving information to Morgan Earp going on the stage, or any improper communication whatever with any criminal enterprise is a tissue of lies from beginning to end.

Sheriff Behan made me an offer in his office on Allen Street in the back room of a cigar store, where he, Behan, had his office, that if I would withdraw and not try to get appointed sheriff of Cochise County, that he would hire a clerk and divide the profits. I done so, and he never said an­other word about it afterwards, but claimed in his statement and gave his reason for not complying with his contract, which is false in every particular.

Myself and Doc Holliday happened to go to Charleston the night that Behan went down there to subpoena Ike Clanton. We went there for the purpose to get a horse that I had had stolen from me a few days after I came to Tombstone. I had heard several times that the Clan tons had him. When I got there that night, I was told by a friend of mine that the man that carried the dispatch from Charleston to Ike Clanton’s ranch had rode my horse. At this time I did not know where Ike Clanton’s ranch was.

A short time afterwards I was in the Huachucas locating some water rights.  I had started home to Tombstone. I had got within 12 or 15 miles of Charleston when I met a man named McMasters. He told me if I would hurry up, I would find my horse in Charleston. I drove into Charleston and saw my horse going through the streets toward the corral. I put up for the night in another corral. I went to Burnett’s office to get papers for the recovery of the horse. He was not at home having gone down to Sonora to some coal fields that had been discovered. I telegraphed to Tombstone to James Earp and told him to have papers made out and sent to me. He went to Judge Wallace and Mr. Street. They made the papers out and sent them to Charleston by my youngest brother, Warren Earp, that night. While I was waiting for the papers, Billy Clanton found out that I was in town and went and tried to take the horse out of the corral. I told him that he could not take him out, that it was my horse. After the papers came, he gave the horse up without the papers being served, and asked me if I had any more horses to lose. I told him I would keep them in the stable after this, and give him no chance to steal them.

I give here, as part of the statement, a document sent me from Dodge City since my arrest on this charge, which I wish attached to this statement and marked “Exhibit A.”

In relation to the conversation that I had with Ike Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Joe Hill was four or five different times, and they were all held in the backyard of the Oriental Saloon.

I told Ike Clanton in one of those conversations that there were some parties here in town that were trying to give Doc Holliday the worst of it by their talk, that there was some suspicion that he knew something about the attempted robbery and killing of Bud Philpot, and if I could catch Leonard, Head, and Crane, I could prove to the citizens that he knew nothing of it.

In following the trail of Leonard, Head, and Crane, we struck it at the scene of the attempted robbery, and never lost the trail or hardly a footprint from the time we started from Drew’s ranch on the San Pedro, until we got to Helm’s ranch in the Dragoons. After following about 80 miles down the San Pedro River and capturing one of the men named King that was supposed to be with them, we then crossed the Catalina Mountains within 15 miles of Tucson following their trail around the foot of the mountain to Tres Alamos on the San Pedro River, thence to the Dragoons to Helm’s ranch.

We then started out from Helm’s ranch and got on their trail. They had stolen 15 or 20 head of stock, so as to cover their trail. Virgil Earp and Morgan Earp, Robert H. Paul, Breakenridge the deputy sheriff, Johnny Behan the sheriff and one or two others still followed their trail to New Mexico.

Their trail never led south from Helm’s ranch as Ike Clanton has stated. We used every effort we could to capture those men or robbers. I was out ten days. Virgil and Morgan Earp were out sixteen days, and all done all we could to catch those men, and I safely say if it had not been for myself and Morgan Earp they would not have got King as he started to run when we rose up to his hiding place and was making for a big patch of brush on the river and would have got in it, if had not been for us two.