Jerry Prather
Arizona sources
Wed Sep 21, 12:26

This seems to be a rather unusual way for Burns to begin his account of the street fight, since the next paragraph is directly from Wyatt Earp's statement at Spicer's Hearing. Maybe he is attempting to appear unbiased by presenting both sides. However, from then on he seems to favor the Earp's version of events. In the sources section he says his account of the gunfight "is based on testimony from the witness stand...The Tombstone Epitaph published this testimony in full and that of many other eyewitnesses to the battle from stenographic notes...From these authentic records I have presented both sides of the case." So Burns is probably referring to what was said about who fired the first two shots primarily by those that testified for the prosecution at the hearing.

In his book AMERICAN MYTHMAKER, Mark Dworkin has a chapter "The Story And The Sources" about Burn's time spent in Southeastern Arizona doing research. Billy Breakenridge and Edith Kitt of the Arizona Historical Society are mentioned as providing anti-Earp information to Burns.

  • "...it was believed..."Bob Cash, Tue Sep 20 21:52
    "Whatever the truth, two guns blazed almost simultaneously with Virgil's comand. These first two shots, it was believed, were fired bt Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp." Thse words were written by an author... more
    • re: ...it was believed...Jones, Wed Sep 21 20:25
      Wyatt confessed in court to firing one of the first shots. A man confessing is quite convincing. Since it's highly unlikely that Wyatt fired one of the first shots, I can't help but wonder why he would... more
    • Arizona sources — Jerry Prather, Wed Sep 21 12:26
      • Re: Arizona sourcesBob Cash, Wed Sep 21 16:01
        But, Jerry, nobody from the prosecution side testified that Wyatt and Morgan fired the first shots. They all testified that it was Doc and Morgan.
      • Re: Arizona sourcesBob Atwood, Wed Sep 21 14:31
        We notice on Burns' 'Sources' page ix quite a few old-timers' names. Two of them stand out as contemporaries who were close to the action: Breakenridge and Edward Vail of Empire Ranch notoriety. The latter... more
        • Edith KittSharon Cunningham, Thu Sep 22 7:50
          Was this Edith Kitt, the 1934 interviewer of FRANCIS J. VAUGHAN, whose comments re many of the Cochise County citizens was spoken of here earlier in the year? If so, Bob, what exactly did her position... more
          • Re: Edith KittBob Cash, Sun Sep 25 18:04
            Sharon, in a quick search of newspapers.com for "F.J. Vaughn" and "Frank Vaughn" I came up with literally hundreds of articles fom Tucson, Tombstone, and Bisbee papers. There seems to have been two 'F.J.... more
            • Bob/ you have the right man...Joyce A. Aros, Sun Sep 25 18:11
              ...and so you can see why his statements might be more acceptable regarding the situation out at Drew's. Sadly, Mrs. Kitt did not seem to have a curious nature as she did not attempt to pursue any additional... more
          • Notes on KittJerry Prather, Thu Sep 22 14:40
            Hello Sharon, This is not going to add much to what has already been provided, but Edith Kitt is mentioned in two notes in Mark Dworkin's book: Edith Kitt to Burns, on Arizona Pioneer's Historical Society... more
          • Re: Edith KittBob Atwood, Thu Sep 22 12:58
            The online bio says that Edith Kitt assumed the position of secretary of the Arizona Historical Society and remained the secretary for the Society for 22 years and became a leading authority on Arizona... more
            • Re: Re: Edith KittSharon Cunningham, Mon Sep 26 7:06
              Bob - sorry for waiting so long in responding. I THINK, in my mess of books, I have Burns', but can't find it with a hay rake! Books stacked everywhere! Does Burns' sources state the names of the "pioneers... more
            • Re: Edith Kitt...Joyce A. Aros, Thu Sep 22 13:27
              ...It is interesting that Edith Kitt had an impressive Resume and was considered a leading authority on Arizona history; but when reading over Frank Vaughn's memoirs recorded by Mrs. Kitt, I am disappointed... more
              • Ms. Kitttom gsumer, Sun Sep 25 13:37
                Sharon Ahs told me Ms. Kitt's interviews are not together in one file but separated and placed in separate files of the people she spoke with.
              • Edith KittSharon Cunningham, Fri Sep 23 7:09
                Hi, Jerry, Joyce and Bob... Thanks for your input on Mrs. Kitt. After learning her given name, I finally found her online and saw her ages-long contribution to AZ history. Joyce, I agree with you about... more
      • "...it is believed..." is often...Joyce A. Aros, Wed Sep 21 12:48
        ...an introduction to speculation; in this case a favoured view toward Wyatt Earp's testimony. I suspicion that much of the town spent endless hours in the local saloons exchanging viewpoints on what was... more