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Sale 42 Lot 522

WYATT S. EARP (1848 - 1929) American frontier lawman and gunfighter, with two of his brothers and Doc Holliday fought the legendary gun battle with the Clanton and McLaury brothers at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881. Historic original pencil drawing on a 4to. sheet, Los Angeles, Sept. 15, 1926, a pencil sketch of the infamous shooting at the O.K. Corral entirely described, supervised and "dot-annotated" by Wyatt Earp during the course of a six hour face-to face interview with his close friend and personal secretary John Flood. Flood's sketch depicts an aerial view of the O.K. Corral, Fremont Street, surrounding streets, structures and gunfight participants at the time of the famous shoot-out in Tombstone on Oct. 26, 1881. Earp himself placed pencil dots indicating the locations of all of the shooters, and added a thin, trailing line showing the movement of he and his brother Morgan during the gunfight. All of the principals are labeled, including the three Earp brothers, the McLaurys, Doc Holliday, Billy Clanton, "Billy the Kid" Claiborne, several witnesses, and the crowd which came to watch from the south end of town. Ike Clanton is not shown on the diagram, illustrating Earp's continued contempt for Billy's brother who tried to grab Wyatt's arm during the fight and wailed: "I am not armed!" before fleeing through Fly's boarding house. Flood also noted that Wesley Fuller retrieved Tom McLaury's pistol from his body after the fight (McLaury had never even gotten a shot off), and notes at bottom: "Diagram of Street Fight Dots, representing the fighters in the diagram made by Mr. Earp. Diagram by J.H.F., Jr. at 4000 1/2 West Seventeenth St. Los Angeles, California...September 15, 1926 11:30 AM - 5:30 PM". On the following day, Flood spent another six hours with Earp taking notes which appear on the verso of this sketch. He describes the construction of a pump-assisted water system partially located on land owned by Earp, the Lyle Family and its association with the Iron Springs fight, and notes on Albert Behan, son of Tombstone Sheriff John Behan. File holes in blank margin, otherwise this historic drawing, the quintessential Earp collectible, is in fine condition. In his later years, Earp (and to a lesser extent, wife Josie) formed a close relationship with the young John Flood. While he started out as Earp's personal secretary, Flood ultimately became the son Wyatt never had, and to whom the ageing gunfighter revealed his life story in full detail. Before his death in 1929, Earp also gave many of his personal possessions to Flood. Likewise, prior to his own death in 1958, Flood turned over most of his Earp material to his confidant, researcher and collector John Gilchriese from whose collection this item emanates. In a monograph which was printed when this sketch was sold years ago, Gilchriese related Flood's description of his interview with Earp when this drawing was accomplished. It reads, in part: "...Carefully Flood drew the lines on the paper while Earp instructed him to 'make that smaller, not too much distance there, that's too much space'. Occasionally, with his own pencil he added the historical touch...'Earp insisted on explaining every detail'...".
Estimate $ 75,000-100,000

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