Author Topic: Why did Doc go west  (Read 230 times)

Offline bluestringer

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Why did Doc go west
« on: July 30, 2020, 07:57:03 AM »
Most people believe John Henry Holliday (Doc) left Georgia and went west because of his health. But was that the reason? There were 3 things that happened that could have influenced his decision. One was his health, some say he was told to go west because it would be better on his consumption, but the Holliday and McVey family were very close knitted and some think they would take care of their own sickly, and there was the springs near Sarosota that a lot of people at the time used to help their consumption. Then there was the incident at the swimming hole where he was said to have killed a negro. His family said it was not true, that he only fired over their heads to scare them. Others said he had better get out of Georgia because a lot of people were still agitated over the war and reconstruction. And then there was his adoration with his first cousin Mattie. He was very taken with her and they were very close, although it is not known if anything romantic was going on. But later out west he confided in a close friend that he left Georgia because of being jilted by someone he was in love with. He wrote to her many times while out west and she keep all his letters until the day she died.

Offline Navy Six

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Re: Why did Doc go west
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2020, 02:51:37 PM »
I believe it was reported that she burned those letters?
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Offline Jeremiah Jones

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Re: Why did Doc go west
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 03:04:44 PM »
American's tend to think black or white, one or the other.  But, life has gray areas.  He could have headed west for a variety of reasons.  Girl not warming to him, consumption betting worse, damnyankee carpetbaggers moving in.....
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Offline LongWalker

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Re: Why did Doc go west
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 09:33:51 PM »
. . . got tired of eating grits. . .
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline treebeard

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Re: Why did Doc go west
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 11:02:31 AM »
. . . got tired of eating grits. . .

I did not know people got tired of grits!! The girl may not have rejected him but the family prevented it.
Family can get complicated.

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Re: Why did Doc go west
« Reply #5 on: Today at 03:15:06 PM »

Offline Johnson Barr

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Re: Why did Doc go west
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 01:30:04 PM »
John went west, Mattie, actually cousin Melanie, became a Nun at the convent of the Sisters of Charity, Atlanta Georgia. A cousin thing maybe. It has been speculated that Margret Mitchell patterned Miss Mellie after 'Mattie'. Good women in bad times. One real, the other fictitious. In a recent 'Letters to the Editor' in the Spring 2020 issue of NCOWS Shootist on pages 16 and 17, another fine lady; Mary Kay Ray, relates the story from Jonesboro, Georgia. In the previous Winter 2019 Shootist issue on page 21, Johns obituary was reprinted with permission from 'Chronicle of the Old West' and was dated November 12, 1887 in the Ute Chief at Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The final paragraph, in part reads; 'He only had one correspondent among his relatives --- a cousin, a Sister of Charity, in Atlanta, Georgia. She will be notified of his death, and will in turn advise any other relatives he my have living'.   
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