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Topics in Chronicling America - Wyatt Earp

“I think it was the distinguishing trait of Wyatt Earp, the leader of the Earp brothers, that more than any man I have ever known he was devoid of physical fear,” read the July 31, 1910 Bisbee Daily Review. A US marshal in the Wild West, Earp battled outlaw cowboys throughout Arizona Territory. “Grim, game, and deadly,” Wyatt Earp helped to fuel the fantasies of many that the Wild West was as wild as stories made it out to be. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

Picture of Wyatt Earp

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Important Dates:

  • June 8, 1878 Earp is appointed assistant city marshal in Dodge City, Kansas
  • October 26, 1881 Legendary gunfight known as The Gunfight at the OK Corral in between the Earps and outlaw cowboys in Tombstone Arizona. The Earps were pitted against Ike Clanton and his brother Billy and the McLaury brothers, Frank and Tom. Both McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton were killed while Morgan and Virgil Earp are wounded but survive.
  • December 28, 1881 Unknown assailants attack and shoot Wyatt’s brother, Virgil, on his way home from a saloon.
  • March 18, 1881 Wyatt and his brother Morgan are attacked in a saloon by local outlaw Frank Stillwell and Morgan is killed. Wyatt escapes unharmed.
  • March 20, 1882 Wyatt tracks down Stillwell and kills him, avenging his brother’s death. Over the next few weeks, he also kills Florentino Cruz, another suspect in Morgan’s murder.
  • December 2, 1896 Wyatt becomes a boxing referee in San Francisco. His reputation is soured after his handling of the boxing match between Tom Sharkey and Bob Fitzsimmons. Earp awarded the match to Sharkey much to the dismay of the crowd and media. Earp’s reputation takes a massive hit as newspapers lambast him for his handling of the match.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Earp, Wyatt
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  July 11, 2014
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