They left for Prescott in November. Doc started gambling in Prescott. He stayed on there, since his winnings were good and regularly. He met John Behan and John Clum, while gaming. He'd meet up with them again later in Tombstone. Kate was with him there in Prescott. They took a hotel room together. Some arguments arose between them. She wasn't fond of Wyatt Earp, who was trying to convince Doc to come to Tombstone.
Both Doc and Kate were intelligent, strong personalities which led to clashes. But they still had an attraction that kept them together. In September of , he finally decided to join Wyatt in Tombstone. Kate refused to go with him. Instead she moved to Globe, Arizona. Doc Holliday arrived in Tombstone Arizona in September of He took a room at Fly's Boarding House.
Big Nose Kate joined him, staying awhile from time to time. Probably she was with him at Fly's three times while he lived in Tombstone. Each time they eventually got into a bad argument. He'd throw her out or she'd leave. While in Tombstone, Doc consistently got into gambling games. He dealt the games and played. All along Doc was drinking. For him, a method of easing his illness's pain and coughing spasms. With consistent drinking, one gets a tolerance for alcohol. Thus over time he could imbibe a quantity, without showing all its ill effects.
His reputation began circulating in town. Locals frequenting the saloons and gambling dens knew him. He interacted with the cow-boys coming into town from the ranches. Local lawmen learned his name. The owner, Milton Joyce, wasn't especially fond of him, which helped lead to an incident. On March 15, , a Stagecoach was robbed north of Tombstone. Someone killed the shotgun rider and a passenger. The injured stage driver managed to shoot one of the culprits.
Lawmen determined one of the bandits - a friend of Doc Holliday's. She was grumbling about an argument she'd just had with Doc Holliday. He told her to get out! Behan and Joyce talked to her, bought her more drinks. In her drunken, angry state, they got her to sign an affidavit that Doc had been in on the stage robbery. A warrant for Doc's arrest was executed. Doc felt Joyce was spreading rumors of his guilt around town.
Holliday was drinking most of the day, and entered the Oriental. He got into an argument with Joyce, and got thrown out. Doc got a gun, returned and reentered the Oriental. He unsteadily fired at Joyce, who pulled out his own pistol. Doc relieved him of that gun by firing a shot at Joyce that went through his hand.
The Oriental bartender tried to grab Doc's gun, which fired into the barkeep's foot. Joyce retrieved his own gun and clunked Doc on the head, knocking him out. A lawman entered to end the situation. Big Nose Kate recovered from her alcohol binge. She remembered she'd signed something that might be bad for Doc Holliday. She heard they were going to arrest Doc.
She stood witness to the manipulation by John Behan and Milton Joyce. With that and Doc Holliday's alibi, he was exonerated of the stage robbery charge. Doc was angry at Kate, what she'd done, and gave her money to take a stagecoach out of town. Wyatt Earp still involved his good friend, Doc Holliday, in his law enforcement and posse efforts. Whenever he needed extra men to join in to help, he asked Doc. On August 13, , Doc was probably with some Earp brothers on a Posse. Clanton gang leader, Old Man Clanton, was killed during the posse's raid.
There's evidence that both Warren Earp and Doc were involved in that posse. Doc seemed out of commission for awhile after that. Doc appeared around town again in October, using a cane. Locals witnessed a clash between Holliday and Ike Clanton the evening of October 25th. They'd both been drinking a lot all day.
They ended up at the Alhambra Saloon and started insulting each other. Ike said he wasn't armed as was the city law! But Doc said he should go get a gun. Doc ended it by claiming he killed his father, Old Man Clanton, and it was Ike's fault. He threatened he'd do the same to Ike. They both left for the night. Ike went to the Grand Hotel. Doc went home to Fly's, to the comfort of Big Nose Kate. The next day, October 26, , Doc and Kate left Fly's. Ike knocked on their door that morning looking for Doc.
Fly sent him off, since they weren't there. Later she informed Kate Ike had looked for Doc. When Doc found out, he stated "If God will let me live long enough, he will see me! Doc heard rumors that Ike roamed town that morning threatening the Earps. Hope to kill you soon.
The Clanton brothers were with the McLaury brothers. They'd been to Spangenberg's gun shop and then went to a vacant lot off of Fremont Street, next to the O. Virgil said they needed to disarm these Cowboys. Wyatt turned to Doc and said "Doc, this isn't your fight. He replied "That's a hell of a thing to say to me. The four of them walked up toward Fremont, turned the corner, then walked West on Fremont Street.
John Behan tried to head them off, saying he'd already disarmed those Cow-boys. Holliday and the Earps just brushed him aside. When they got to the lot behind the O. Claibourne ran away right then. Virgil requested their guns. It's unclear exactly how he said it. A few seconds later gunshots began. It's also unclear who shot first. As the shooting started, Ike ran off. Both McLaury brothers were mortally wounded, dead within minutes. Billy Clanton was dead. Doc Holliday did a lot of damage. Doc Holliday himself was barely grazed.
For the Whole Gunfight at the O. Ike Clanton soon filed a complaint with the court. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. The other Earps had been seriously injured, and weren't then charged. Witnesses presented testimony for most of November of Judge Spicer gave his decision that "the defendants were fully justified in committing these homicides. Ike and his fellow Cow-boys didn't take the judgment well.
One response came the night of December 28th at Virgil Earp. Bullets struck his left arm, side and back. He survived, but was handicapped thereafter. He named Frank Stilwell among the shooters, but Frank got off with an alibi.
Ringo was pretty drunk, and Doc wasn't that sober! Ringo challenged Doc to a shoot-out. Doc's good friend Wyatt was near-by. He interceded, along with Marshal James Flynn. The two were separated. That ended it for the time being. Another retribution that shook Wyatt Earp to his soul happened on March 18, Doc found out, reacting with his heart and gut. He searched Tombstone, breaking down any door where he thought an offender may be. A coroner's jury determined the murderers. Frank Stilwell, among those listed, even boasted of delivering the fatal shot.
His friend Doc always supported him.
The couple caught the train to the Earp family home in Colton California for Morgan's burial. Wyatt and Doc got off the train in Tucson. It was now March 20, Suddenly Frank Stilwell appeared and a chase ensued. Wyatt blasted off shots at Stillwell, killing him.
It's from him we fortunately have a look at Doc's last days. Sep 22, Jeff rated it really liked it. Probably she was with him at Fly's three times while he lived in Tombstone. That being said, the other chapters definitely make it more clear exactly where the author is coming from. Charlie Smith continued his notes, so that we have information on the funeral arrangements:
Doc came up and fired twice more at the dead Stilwell. A warrant named Doc and Wyatt in his death, along with others in their party that day. Wyatt aimed to get all those behind the murder of his brother Morgan. His friends stood with him, including Doc Holliday. They formed a posse.
Cochise County Sheriff John Behan had his warrants. So Behan tried to arrest Wyatt and Doc as they were leaving town. But they refused to be detained. Their first stop was on March 22, They rode into the Dragoon Mountains to locate Pete Spence. As he ran from the posse, they shot him down. Next they went to Iron Springs in the Whetstone Mountains. Nine Cow-boys were there and presented an ambush.
The others escaped. Then he goes to the Alhambra Saloon to see about a game. While there, Morgan comes in to advise him of the growing tension between the Earps and the cow-boys. The men walk four abreast on Fourth Street. Since Doc has no experience as an officer, Morgan briefs him on tactic and procedure.
It would be best to let Virgil do the talking. Doc should post himself on the street to cover their right flank. As the Earps and Doc round the corner to head west on Fremont Street, Doc realizes the cow-boys are at his house, standing in his sideyard. His woman is inside!
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Some onlookers think Doc is whistling under his mustaches. Knowing his temper, he is probably seething as well.
In his inebriated rage, Doc no doubt feels the cow-boys are waiting to ambush him. Virgil is firm about enforcing the ordinance banning guns within the city limits. But the Earps and Doc never break stride.
When they walk into the lot, they see Behan was not quite telling the truth. History is made when some 30 shots are fired in less than 30 seconds. If you take Doc out of the confrontation, this likely would have been a simple misdemeanor arrest, with a little attitude at most. With Doc in the mix, you get promiscuous shooting and death. Of all the shots fired, the final confrontation between Frank McLaury and Doc Holliday is the one eyewitnesses comment the most about.
With a quick drop he shot [McLaury] in the head. The Nugget reports that Billy Clanton is still shooting. That boy will not stay dead. Finally, he feebly fires a last shot up into the air and the gunfight is over.
A throng of people rush up. Doc tries to make his way through the thickening mob. Consumption can go undetected for some good time, especially if the sufferer denies his condition. Periods of fever come and go. One wakes up in the dead of night drenched in sweat. In the morning, the sufferer chokes, coughing and spitting up, at first, watery fluid, later, blood and chunks of lung tissue.
The chest feels as if it is imploding, and the pain of it all leads many to seek temporary respite by drinking alcohol. He relocated to a number of different cities before settling down in Dodge City, Kansas, a hot spot for gunfighters and the city where he befriended Wyatt Earp. He later followed Earp to Tombstone, Arizona, a booming mining and frontier town near the Mexican border. It was in Tombstone that the Doc Holliday legend that would be passed down from one generation to the next was made. More than 30 shots were fired in a second battle that came to be known as the shootout at the O.
It's arguably the most legendary gunfight ever fought in the American West. The battle left three men dead and several others wounded, including Holliday. Both Holliday and Wyatt Earp were arrested for murder but quickly released of the charges. Holliday accompanied his friend on the ride, which went well into and saw an assortment of killings. His death reverberated around the country. Despite his lawless ways and his quick temper, Holliday's character was augmented by the same Southern etiquette his mother had taught as child.
He had the reputation of being a bunco man, desperado, and bad-man generally, yet he was a very mild-mannered man, was genial and companiable, and had many excellent qualities. We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Sign up for the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives.
Wild Bill Hickok was an American frontiersman, army scout and lawman who helped bring order to the frontier West.