Where the difference between the good guys and the less good guys was sort of blurry. Boot Hill, Tombstone AZ and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The times were a changin’ and America was pushing westward. Like in Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch, the days were getting shorter, the sun was setting on this classic form of American banditry and nomadism. In one sense it was just another American street battle, a turf war, but it was also a changing of wealth production, from livestock to industrial age mineral exploitation and more lucrative trade than simple cattle rustling: guns and alcohol over the border.
…My other favorite American cemetery is the one at Boot Hill, in Tombstone, Ariz., site of the Gunfight at OK Corral. Here, most of the markers are plain wooden crosses, or wood planks, rather than concrete or marble. And many of them are hilarious. For example: “Here Lies Lester Moore / Took six shots from a .44 / No Les, / No more.” …
And it’s hard not to feel badly for this poor soul who felt the sting of frontier justice: “He was right / We was wrong. / But we strung him up, / And now he’s gone.” …Or how about this one? “He was young, / He was fair, / But the Injuns / Raised his hair.” …Or this Tombstone original: “Here lies Butch. / We planted him raw, / He was quick on the trigger, / But slow on the draw.” Read More:http://stevewinston.com/blog/the-funkiest-graveyards-in-america/
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is one of the most debated events of the American frontier history, almost of Biblical proportions, where American in this new Canaan could reinvent themselves and assume new identities; the constant theme of reinvention remarked on by de Toqueville, how petty thieves, and pious serfs in England could become booze smugglers, sharpshooters, and ranchers really does invoke the America as Zion theme. The reclaiming of the land with the guns and horses fueling the need for freedom and speed. The Wyatt Earps and Doc Holliday’s would become the mining magnates and stock swindlers, the archetype that formed the basis for Sinclair Lewis in Oil! ( There Will be Blood as film adaptation)…
…The federal government was represented by U.S. Deputy Marshals Virgil Earp and Leslie Blackburn, with Earp in charge of most of the fieldwork, backed by his brother and deputy Wyatt Earp. Virgil also served as city marshal of Tombstone, which left Wyatt with most of the federal work.
Wyatt Earp coveted Behan’s well-paid job as sheriff, and the election would be coming up in the fall of 1882. According to Wyatt, he tried to make a deal with Frank McLaury and Ike Clanton, the most visible of the Clanton brothers and a known friend of the rustling crowd, to tell him the whereabouts of the three stage robbers. This would bolster Earp’s chances in the election, and Ike would receive the reward. Before the deal could be completed, two bartender brothers killed Leonard and Head in a remote New Mexico Territory mining village. An army of Cowboys rode down and killed the brothers in retribution….
…In August, another cattle raid in Mexico caused Commandant Felipe Neri to dispatch troops to the border, where they found a group of Americans bedded down on the U.S. side of the crossing at Guadalupe Canyon. The Mexicans crept the few feet across the border and opened fire, killing five, among them stage robber Jim Crane and Newman Clanton, scion of the Clanton clan, who left behind sons Ike, Fin and Billy.
With no deal left for him, Ike Clanton grew increasingly worried. Wyatt Earp knew Ike had made a deal to turn on his Cowboy buddies, information that could have ruined Ike’s standing in the rustling community. With the borders closed, outlawry against Americans grew more commonplace in the backcountry. The Earps emerged as the leading law officers, taking an aggressive stand against the region’s criminal elements. The Cowboys resented their actions. ‘ Read More:http://www.historynet.com/ok-corral-a-gunfight-shrouded-in-mystery.htm