Thee's been a lot of research done since DeArment wrote Bat's bio, and a lot of it was done by people who learned how to resarch Western characters by emulating DeArment's methods. I don't have DeArment's book in front of me, so I don't know what date he used. However, in 2011 the late (and greatly missed) Roger Jay convinced the now absent (and grealy missed) Roger Myers that the date of Clay's visit was September 24th, 1878, not September 19th, as Roger had deduced from his groundbreaking discovery of the Chalky Beedson interview in which Beeson placed Wyatt and Allison in Dodge on the same day. This is discussed in the last sentence of this post of mine in answer to a question from another important researcher/author and really nice guy, Paul Cool. I have tried to find the 2011 thread refered to in the post, but I'm afraid it was on Texas Jack's now unreachable page.
Re: 1877 or 1878?
Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:53
Lee Silva did not make much of a case for an 1877 Earp/Allison confrontation. The only evidence he presents for it is that Wyatt and Lake said so in FRONTIER MARSHAL. This, of course, assumes that the quotes Lake attributes to Wyatt are authentic. To believe this, one has to think that Wyatt’s 1896 description of the Allison incident as occurring in 1878 was due to a faulty memory that somehow got better between then and 1928.
Although, I disagree strongly with my late friend on this point, I have to make my obligatory endorsement of his WYATT EARP, A BIOGRAPHY OF THE LEGEND, VOLUME I: THE COWTOWN YEARS. His section on Allison contains every scrap of information on both sides of the argument that was known at that time, many of which are available nowhere else.
The argument against an 1877 Allison/Earp incident is somewhat stronger. There are no reports that I am aware of that place Allison in Dodge that year. The Dodge papers refer to at least two visits by Clay in 1878, although there is no report on the controversial dust up between Clay and Wyatt or Bat, or Wyatt and Bat, or nobody. Also, there is scant evidence that Wyatt served in any official capacity in Dodge during 1877 cattle season. He certainly was not on the force when he was hauled in for slapping Frankie Bell. The Spicer hearing affidavit does refer to him as serving as "marshal" during the years "76 thru '79, but this appears to be an exaggeration of his years of service as well as his title. Kenny Vail has also raised the possibility that Wyatt served on the Ford County Sheriff's force that summer, but I don't recall what he based this on. Of course, since the Allison incident seemed to have been an “all hands on deck” situation, Wyatt certainly would have supported his friends on the police and sheriff if asked. There is just no evidence that anything like this happened in 1877.
Paul, you refer to “some discussions on this board in 2011, Roger Jay discusses a September 1878 event, and going with the version that has Wyatt in town but playing no role.” I don’t have time this morning to review that entire thread or my email correspondence with Roger, but I will say that it is with extreme sadness on my part that he is not with us to respond to Chris’s new Colborn article and the E.C. Little articles.
In the 2011 thread Roger Jay was primarily talking about Roger Myers ‘ WILD WEST article , of which the following is a quote :
I recently re-discovered an interview with Beeson, datelined Topeka, January 17,  (Special). It seems to confirm the Siringo account. The interview is found in a Beeson family scrapbook on file at the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas. The originating publication is not identified… Chalkley McArtor Beeson was co-owner of the Long Branch saloon in Dodge, city councilman, two-time sheriff of Ford County, and four-time state legislator representing Ford County in Topeka. He was described by one newspaper as "a quiet, almost noiseless man of medium size." His hometown newspaper once described Beeson as the "man of the hour." Indeed, the city of Dodge named a street after him many years ago. Here are the pertinent portions of that interview…"Topeka, Jan. 17. (Special.) ... Chalk Beeson is dean of the outfit. He migrated to the Western plains with the buffalo.... 'The noted Clay Allison with his gang of untamed cowboys came to Dodge one day to start some trouble,' continued Beeson. 'They soon found it. Erp [sic] was marshal [assistant marshal] at the time. He notified the boys to be on guard. I saw that a clash was coming.' …'Dick McNulty and myself held a brief conference. Something had to be done, and done quickly to prevent a wholesale killing. We took our lives in our hands and went to Allison and his gang and told them, as friends, that they had better not start anything. We argued with them while the lines were forming for a general battle. They finally yielded and handed us their guns, which we kept until they got ready to leave town. After giving up their guns they were in no danger. No one there would be so mean as to jump on to them when they were unarmed. That was against the rules of civilized warfare as construed in Dodge.'"
The only mention by Beeson of Wyatt Earp is that he "notified the boys to be on guard." Notice also, that Dick McNulty is responsible for disarming Allison - Siringo said the same thing.
Roger Myers’ discovery of this interview, and his article on it, was an extremely important addition to our knowledge of the incident and it is my belief that it does not necessarily conflict with the Colborn articles or the E.C. Little articles I have just posted. I believe that utilizing all the eyewitness accounts –Siringo’s, Beeson’s, Colborn’s, Wright’s (as inferred by Little), Bat’s (as reported by A. H. Lewis), Wyatt's in 1896, and Emerson Brown’s (found only in Lee Silva’s essential book) – a somewhat coherent timeline can be put together that explains the apparent conflicts between the various descriptions.
However, I always disagreed with Roger Myers that the Beeson article, by itself, implied Wyatt played no real role. Beeson says that when Allison and the cowboys backing him came to town they were looking for trouble and they found it in the person of Wyatt Earp. When McNulty and Beeson go to Allison to urge him to disarm, they went as friends, but their argument was not based on friendship. Their argument was that “…the lines were forming for a general battle,” and that “wholesale killing’ would take place if Allison carried out his plans. Who, according to Beeson, was organizing the armed response to the threat from Allison and his backers? Wyatt Earp.
I believe that, in actuality, the response to Allison’s plans were a joint effort of several officers and citizens, but the fact that Beeson points to Wyatt playing the leading role should not be dismissed. Neither should Colborn's and apparently Wright's recollections of a confrontation on Front Street between Allison and Earp, or the fact that since Wyatt knew Clay was being covered by Bat Masterson's shotgun, facing an armed and belligerent Allison was not quite as dangerous than it otherwise would have been.
In terms of the problem of Bat not being in town on the date that being in town at the same time, Roger Jay resolved that problem, in the 2011 threads by pointing out the source of Roger Myers’ dating error in his article. By utilizing Siringo’s description of events that occurred the day before, Roger Jay showed that the Allison incident happened around September 24 and not the 19th as stated in Myers’ article. Bat had returned to town by that time, verified by a newspaper blub.
DeArment has the date as Sep. 17 or 18, 1878. Did the "Rogers" factor the Cheyenne renegade activities into their timeline? DeArment sets his dates for the event and Siringo's arrival on this and... more
Erik, Roger Myers has not passed on. I said he "is now absent" as in absent from this board. It is my understanding that he recently had an article published in the WWHA Jornal. I wish he would begin to... more
I went throgh th archives to find Roger's and/or Roger's explanation of how they agreed on the date of Allison showing up in Dodge City as September 24, 1878 and not the 19th, as Roger Myers first thought.... more
I realize the duo Roger could not pick Sept. 19, 1878, for the imbroglio with Clay Allison, since Bat did not arrive home from attending the Kansas City Fair until Sept. 23. The K. C. Fair commenced on... more
To the best of my memory, they arrivd at the date of September 24th because, partially, of references to he Dull Knife raid in the newspapers and an initial misunderstanding of when Cape Willinghm, who... more
I really don't remember, but it is possible that the two Rogers researched the news that Cape Willigham told Siringo about the previous day's events in Meade City and the near the Crooked Creek store.... more