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Stuart N. Lake Message Board


Larry Clum posts on 10/30/2005 8:17:38 PM Geoffery, Old John P and I are 4th cousins, 3 times removed, so pretty remote. We share a common ancestor, John 6 generations back while I link in at 9 generations back in the Hudson River Valley of NY State. I have been doing the Clum Genealogy for over 30 years now, and finally linked up John's line with mine a few years ago.
Geoffrey Bernstein posts on 10/29/2005 2:03:24 AM Hello Larry, Thanks for the additional site information. I am always looking to learn more about western history, and have found that accounts from participants or eyewitnesses, while naturaly bias to a degree, are informative in that they were there. People like Clum, Fred Dodge, and Bob Paul I tend to believe more than the Clanton or Behan factions, simply given what is known of each. While the 'Law and order' faction of Tombstone most likely had their own agendas, the basic character of these men was far more beyond reproach, at least in my opinion, in demystifying the Earps, Wyatt in particular. A note of curiosity-are you related to John P.? Thanks again for the sources, Geoffrey Bernstein
Larry Clum posts on 10/28/2005 7:48:41 AM There is a site on the net publishing letters from John P. Clum, Editor of the Tombstone Epitaph and friend of Wyatt Earp to both Stuart N. Lake and Fred Dodge. These letters cover a period from 1928 to 1931, shortly before Clum's death. The letters to Lake were in response to Lake's need for stories about the Earps for his book. Fred Dodge was an undercover agent for Wells Fargo and also a friend of Earp. Dodge retired in 1917 to his ranch in Kendall County, TX and apparently also traded letters with Lake on the book. These letters are at Earthlink.net Title is "Letters between John Clum, Fred Dodge & Stuart Lake", edited by Eric Hewitt. Interesting stuff.



Geoffrey posts on 10/1/2005 7:49:20 AM In response to Britt's posting from March; Wyatt Earp worked at a number of different occupations at various times of his life. I do not know what the job duties of city marshall or policeman were in Wichita in the 1800's, but I am certain that many others had to perform similiar duties whilst employed in that job. I have certainly had jobs that I did not care for all of the parameters, but I did them because they were required. Anyone who worked variously as a buffalo hunter, town marshall and policeman in more than one booming cattle town, firewood procurer for various mining camps, stagecoach 'shotgun' messenger for Wells Fargo and Company, Faro dealer, saloon owner and operator, gold prospecter in both the Klondike and the California desert....well I'd have to say that was a pretty well rounded and versitle individual. That was Wyatt Earp. Unfortunatly, some have tried to villify him, others have tried to make one believe he was a Saint. He was simply a man of his time, trying various businesses, exploring many options. He was made famous for one remarkably short incedent in Tombstone, but he never sought fame. There were many people at his funeral in 1929, people he had befriended, among them Tom Mix, and a handfull of rodeo and movie stars of the day. Not a bad way to go!
Britt Sageser posts on 3/5/2005 3:46:16 PM What i've read about the weapons Wyatt Earp used during the gunfight is a Smith & Wesson russian scholfield that he got from the Wells Fargo office right before they went down to the gunfight. that model was a 7 1/2 inch barrel and a chrome finish and i think he pulled it out of his coat before he got to the lot and Virgil did tell Doc Holliday to hold i don't want that meaning not to fire on the Clantons and McLaurys. i work as old west renactor in Wichita Kansas and Wyatt is somewhat of a joke here in Wichita all he ever did here was repair and sweep boardwalks inspect chimneys and picking up dead animals and was a part time policeman who was fired my the city marshal for whipping another marshal so i take anything written about Wyatt Earp with a grain of salt
Geoffrey posts supporting argument on 2/28/2005 1:18:21 AM It has been speculated as to the weapon that Wyatt Earp carried during his brief time in Tombstone, and the truth (to the best of my sources) is that he carried and used two different Colt's 1873 model P revolvers. One, which he had owned since his Ellsworth days (approx.) was a cavalry model, 7 1/2" bbl., chambered in the then standard .45 Colt cartridge. It was blued steel, with a case colored frame and walnut grips. The reason the information is so sketchy regarding the Buntline guns is that the factory, while attempting to keep good records, did not always do so....especially when it came to custom orders. I personaly own a Colt single action army revolver, artillery model (5 1/2" bbl) that by serial number should have been made around 1926, yet the factory, while acknowledging the authenticity of the gun, cannot verify when exactly it was made! Also the factory has suffered more than one fire, and many records were lost through the years. Buntline claims to have ordered five of these special guns, all in .45 Colt chambering, with barrels in a 12" length. Bat Masterson and Charlie Bassett also recieved these, and have verified their existense in other writings. Wyatt more than likely was not carrying his 'special' during the famous shootout, but probably his standard cavalry model. This is purely supposition on my part, but all the testimony of the various witnesses and Earp himself would seem to suggest this. To the best of my knowledge, Wyatt never owned, let alone used, a nickel plated gun, as these were popular with the Mexican 'dandys' and not much in favor with a working Marshall or real cowboy. As Holliday was a gambler by trade, he probably did not worry much about the bright glare when exposing his weapon.
Anonymous posts on 2/25/2005 6:51:03 PM This is a lonley board to be at. Good bye then.
Hank Smith posts on 2/25/2005 2:48:18 PM I last posted here a little over a year ago. Stuart Lake and some other sources claim Wyatt Earp was carrying his Butline Special. However, a lot has been written to discount Wyatt even had a Butline Special. Records from the Colt factory seem to indicate it is highly unlikely one would ever have gotten into Wyatt's hands. Also, all accounts have Wyatt's weapon in his coat pocket. It is unlikely if not impossible that a gun with a 14" barrel could have been carried in a coat pocket. I read recently that the gun Wyatt Earp most likely would have been carrying was nickel plated like Holliday's gun. This could explain Behan seeing a nickel plated gun fire first (Wyatt's) while Holliday was using a shotgun. What do you think? Hank Smith, Torrance, CA
Geoffrey R. Bernstein posts on 1/27/2005 1:09:19 AM A clarification to my earlier post....The reason I stated that Wyatt and Virgil were the only two combatants is because they were the only ones called to testify on the Earps side for the inquiries. Both Morgan and Virgil had been wounded in the fight, but Virgil had recieved a wound in the leg, while Morgan had been hit in the shoulder and he was left bedridden for a time. Holliday was not called for reasons unknown...possibly because unlike Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp, he was not generally involved in law enforcement, having only been sworn in late that morning by Virgil. As neither Ike Clanton or Billy Claibourne had fired a single shot during the fight, they were generally not considered 'participants', at least in that one event. Claibourne was a 'hanger-on' with the Clanton/McLowery gang, not involved in the more intricate workings of trouble and intrigue. Ike Clanton was certainly deeply involved, but as past and future events have shown, he was quite the coward, as his own death several years after the famous fight involved his getting caught 'red-handed' with a bunch of stolen cows. He turned to make a run for it, leaving his brother Phin to face the music alone, and was shot dead by the angry cattlemen. As an aside, it was Ike's double cross of three of his associates that in large part led up to the so called OK corral fight. Not exactly a model citizen!
Geoffrey R. Bernstein posts on 1/26/2005 3:30:52 AM In response to your query, the real truth over who drew or fired first will probably never really be known. But just to set the record straight on a few points; Virgil Earp's statement was "Hold on....we don't want that!" This is according to testimony from not only Virgil and Wyatt(the only two actual 'combatants', but also included Billy Claibourne and Ike Clanton, who both survived the fight by virtue of either luck or just getting out of the way when the shooting started. Claibourne flung a loaded Colt's into a corner of the lot and ran into C.S. Fly's gallery just after the first shots were exchanged, and Clanton fled after running up to Wyatt and begging him not to kill him. Since these two along with Sheriff Johnny Behan had carefully 'rehearsed' their stories, they wanted to come off as legit as possible, so facts were woven into slander and lies. The outlaws probably figured this actual truth would not hurt the 'case' they were trying to build against the Earps and Holliday. Little did they realize how wrong they were. By testifying that Holliday had fired the first shot of the fight from a nickel plated Colt's, they perjured themselves right into a corner, as all witnesses said that Holiday was carrying a double barrel shotgun in his right hand with his cape draped over that shoulder. As Holliday's Colt was in a hip holster on his right side, he would have either had to drop the shotgun to grasp the butt and hammer of the Colt, or switch the Wells Fargo weapon to his other hand, neither of which event took place! To cock a Greener's 10 gauge hammered shotgun, one must have the left hand on the forearm, and raise the thumb up and over of the right hand. Again, according to both combatants and witnesses, (Holliday, Virgil and Wyatt, Adie Bourland, and C.S. Fly) at least two shots were fired before Holliday was seen raising the shotgun AND cocking it. Hope this helps! (sources for this include both the accounts from Lake's book, the book "I married Wyatt Earp" by Sarah J. Marcus Earp, edited and compiled by Glenn Boyer, and the transcrpitions of the Coroners jury that was convened the afternoon of the fight October 25 1881, and the Grand Jury that followed that.) In all of these legal inquiries it was found that the Earps and Holliday, in their capacity as Peace officers, had done nothing illegal in the performance of said duties, and as the Clantons and McLowery's had been verbaly threatening both the Earps and Holliday for quite sometime prior and very publicly, the Earp faction was aquitted of the trumped up murder charges.


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