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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Cas City Historical Society (Moderators: St. George, Silver Creek Slim)  |  Topic: Wyatt Earp in Deadwood? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Wyatt Earp in Deadwood?  (Read 9507 times)
Alice
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« on: July 28, 2007, 07:03:59 am »


Is there any evidence that Wyatt Earp actually did visit Deadwood in 1876, as was stated in Stuart Lake's contentious book?
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Mick Archer
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2007, 08:02:51 am »

  Howdy Pards and Pardettes!

   IMHO, short answer is "no."

   While there is some referenceced comments in Fred Dodge's letter about Wyatt and his riding shotfgu on a Cheyenne gold shipment, there is no documentary or factual evidence.
    The Deadwood Historical Society has said that it has no accounts or publications that said he was.

    However, others like to point out that the Deadwood newspaper office burned down and records were destroyed... and hold that the absence of proof is not proof of absence.   Wink
 
    But, in brief and to over-generalize.. there is no evidence.

    What Daviid Milch from the HBO DEADWOOD series talks about is the Lake reference.

    Mick Archer
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Alice
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2007, 03:34:53 am »

I'm told that Lake's notes from his interviews with Wyatt include the brief phrase: "September 76. Went to Deadwood SD. Hauled wood." The notes are held in the Huntington Library. South Dakota didn't exist in 1876, however it did in 1928 when the notes were written.  Does anyone know if any of the actual notes Lake took at the time of his interviews have been proved to be totally fabricated?
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Mick Archer
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2007, 05:56:04 pm »

   Howdy Pards and Pardettes!

    Sorry, I do not know...

    The Lake and Earp materials are complex, and with their partisan champions and detractors.
     Meaning, was Earp an old man spinning Tall Tales, and Lake an easy Dupe?  Or was Earp factually remembering everything correctly and Lake only wrote what he heard?  Or was Earp a mix of fact and invention, and Lake "embellished" what he heard?

    The S.D. notation may be "innocent" and just the way that Lake jotted it down in its "modern form" instead of say "Dakota Territory."

   In reading letters and remembrances of "old folks' on their youth, it is not unusual for them to use "current" terms and words that were not in use when they were young "back then."

    American "history" is filled with such things.  One of the "biggies" is Lydia Boggs Shepherd Kruger's affadavit in the 1840's (long after everyone was dead) that local frontier hero Betty Zane did not make the "Gunpowder Run" during the Siege of Fort Henry in 1781 and that it was Molly Scott.
   Turns out Lydia was correct.   Scott made a run during the Siege of 1781 when Lydia was there.  Zane made a run during the Siege of 1782 when Lydia was not at the fort.
     Smiley

    Mick Archer
   
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Four-Eyed Buck
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2007, 07:46:38 am »

Alice, A good book on Earp and the legends, myths,  and facts surrounding him is " Wyatt Earp, A Biography of the Legend, Vol. I: The Cowtown Years. If you can find a copy over there. This book is part of a proposed four book set, I have Vol. I, it's about the size of Webster's Dictionary( a little over 1,000 pages including photographs). The author is Lee A. Silva. Vol. II is still being worked with as there's been some new discoveries and he's been revising it. It's also been delayed by the author's illness. Hope he gets these finished before something happens to him. I'll include a URL for the site for the book...........Buck Cool Roll Eyes
www.wyattearpbook.com/index.html
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Alice
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2007, 04:32:58 pm »

Thanks Mick and Buck for your replies. I realise some things will probably never be known for certain, but I can't help speculating. I don't have the Silva book but it is available over here, I know a couple of people that have it. I didn't know illness had delayed Part II though, I hope he can write fast!
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St. George
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2007, 11:03:12 pm »

Silva's book is an excellent source, so if you can borrow a copy...

Lake's book is one of those books you'll want if you merely 'like' Earp - but should be read as a tale, and not as historical fact - much like a movie.

Vaya,

Scouts Out!
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Montana Slim
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2007, 06:45:24 am »

I  tend to believe info found in Lake's notes, stating a visit to Deadwood. These statements were taken directly from Wyatt in interviews. Deadwood was a hotspot of activity and would naturally draw the sporting nature of Wyatt...to the gaming tables. Wyatt considered himself a professional gambler.....From this standpoint it is very plausible (IMO).

I do agree that the final book version of Wyatt's life (Lake's)  is a bit of a yarn, or how it should have been...heavily influenced by his wife. Of course by this time in his life there were a number of topics Wyatt didn't prefer to be part of his legacy and these were simply off limits of the interviews.

Slim
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Cas City Historical Society (Moderators: St. George, Silver Creek Slim)  |  Topic: Wyatt Earp in Deadwood? « previous next »
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