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Wyatt Earp: Topics in Chronicling America

Wyatt Earp was famous as an Oldwest lawmen and marshal, who had gunfights with outlaw cowboys in the Arizona Territory. This guide provides access to material related to "Wyatt Earp" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Wyatt Earp. January 27, 1897. The Columbus Journal (Columbus, NE), Page 1, Image 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

"I think it was the distinguishing trait of Wyatt Earp (1848-1929), 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 U.S. marshal in the Wild West, Earp battles outlaw cowboys throughout Arizona Territory. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


June  8,  1878 Wyatt Earp is appointed assistant city marshal in Dodge City, Kansas.
October 26, 1881 The Gunfight at the OK Corral between the Earp brothers and outlaw cowboys occurs in Tombstone, Arizona.
December 28, 1881 Unknown assailants attack and shoot Earp’s brother Virgil.
March 18, 1881 Wyatt Earp and his brother Morgan are attacked in a saloon by local outlaw Frank Stillwell, and Morgan is killed in the altercation.
March 20, 1882 Earp tracks down Stillwell and kills him. He later kills Florentino Cruz, another suspect in his brother’s murder.
December 2, 1896 Wyatt becomes a boxing referee in San Francisco, but his reputation is soured after his handling of the boxing match between Tom Sharkey and Bob Fitzsimmons.