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.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
"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.