5 out of 5 stars

I listened to the audible (audio) version of TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA, with the intention of learning an overview about the impact of the silver strikes in southern Arizona, the legends surrounding the famous men who fought and died there, the dynamics of the lawmen vs. the lawless. I also borrowed the kindle edition with my kindleunlimited subscription. Overall, I was fully satisfied.

Charles River Editors‘ retelling of the many stories surrounding Tombstone, Arizona, explains why this one town embodies the lore of the American Old West–primarily because well-known individuals spent time–and some died–in Tombstone. In 9 chapters, Charles River Editors covered:

CHAPTER 1: The Birth of Tombstone

CHAPTER 2: People and Businesses Come to Tombstone

CHAPTER 3: Tombstone Becomes a Town

CHAPTER 4: Entertainment

CHAPTER 5: Tombstone’s Chinese Heritage

CHAPTER 6: The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

CHAPTER 7: Revenge

CHAPTER 8: The End of Tombstone’s Glory Years

CHAPTER 9: The Legends and Legacy

(and BIBLIOGRAPHY)

NEW SWOOSH

The chapters included lots of important background as well as the famous gunfight that stands as one of the best-known Old West showdowns in history:

  1. The original silver strike that brought people to mine…and the first mine named: Tombstone
  2. Three towns that developed into tent cities, then finally adobe structures, to meet the needs of the miners.
  3. The mines and the amount of silver bars obtained
  4. Water supplies
  5. Railroads and all it took to bring the line through Tombstone
  6. Stage Coach and freight lines
  7. Tombstone becomes a town, incorporated as a village
  8. Population in the new counties and towns
  9. Bearing Arms, gun rules enforced
  10. Cowboys and rustling of cattle–forth and back across the Mexican/American border
  11. Outlaws (McLaury brothers, Billy Clanton, Curly Bill Brocious)
  12. Lawmen and law-and-order (Marshal Fred White [town’s 1st marshal], Marshal Ben Sippy, 3 Earp brothers: Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan, and John Henry “Doc” Holliday, then Johnny Behan)
  13. The Clanton brothers
  14. Restaurants and fine dining
  15. Churches
  16. Illnesses and disease
  17. Cats and dogs–their value and the problems
  18. Bordellos
  19. Saloons and drinking
  20. Theaters (Danner and Owens Hall, Sixth Street Opera House a.k.a. Free and Easy, Ritchie’s Hall, Turn-Verein hall, Schieffelin Hall, and the infamous Bird Cage Theater)
  21. Fires and the first fire alarm
  22. Gambling (gaming tables, cock fighting, horse racing)
  23. Sports (fishing, baseball, boxing)
  24. Chinese residents and Chinatown and prominent resident China Mary
  25. Boothill Cemetery (and how it got its name)
  26. Contributing events leading to the Gunfight at O.K. Corral
  27. Stagecoach robberies and Wells Fargo Strongboxes
  28. Vigilantes
  29. Circumstances and dates of the brewing animosity and threats between the McLaurys and Clantons against the Earps and Holliday
  30. Ranchers around Tombstone
  31. Details that brought the fated parties nearer physically to the O.K. Corral
  32. Other business establishments (Fly’s Boarding House, Harwood’s Boarding House, Fly’s Photography Gallery, butcher shop, dance hall, and many more)
  33. Historic images of the layout of the town including streets and location of businesses, apparently drawn to scale
  34. Location of the famed gunfight in relation to the O.K. Corral (and fact that they’re near one another but not synonymous, despite the historic name)
  35. Details of the controversy about how the fight actually went down–differing stories have survived, including some of the dialogue (some of the details survived because the Tombstone Epitaph had a great deal of coverage about the gunfight, including the events preceding it)
  36. Who was killed, who was wounded, who died soon, who died later–and who was uninjured in the fight
  37. Plenty of corrals in historic Tombstone: Dunbar’s Corral, West End Corral, and the famous O.K. Corral
  38. The bodies of the “murdered” were put on display in the local undertakers’  window: bill Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury with a sign that read “Murdered in the Streets of Tombstone”
  39. Though the newspapers originally sided with the Earps, an inquest was called by H.M. Matthews. Ike Clanton filed murder charges against Holliday and the Earps.
  40. Defense attorney, Judge Wells Spicer, bail, threats of hanging, conflicting testimonies
  41. Town newspapers: The Tombstone Nugget and The Tombstone Epitaph
  42. and more!

tombstone darker bronze

The kindle (and print, I assume) book/s contains pictures of various Tombstone historical subjects–both reenactment (modern) images of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and vintage photographs such as those below.

Image. Tombstone 1881 and 1882 2 pics from book

The kindle edition (and print, I assume) contained plenty of pictures throughout of the key historical figures who lived in Tombstone.

Doc Holliday and Morgan Earp Image

“The Tombstone Epitaph’s described the shootout, ‘Wyatt Earp stood up and fired in rapid succession, as cool as a cucumber, and was not hit.’ The San Francisco Examiner suggested that Tombstone’s residents should be grateful to have the Earps on their side of the law.”

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~ Legends of the West: Tombstone, Arizona, by Charles River Editors

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“In March 1881, a stagecoach robbery took place outside Tombstone. Sheriff Johnny Behan led one posse, and Virgil Earp led the other. Virgil Earp’s posse was a veritable “who’s who” of Western lore. In addition to his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, his posse included Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, as well as Bob Paul and Marshall Williams.”

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~ Legends of the West: Tombstone, Arizona, by Charles River Editors

NEW SWOOSH

Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, 1876.

Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, 1876.

“The 26th of October, 1881, will always be marked as one of the crimson days in the annals of Tombstone, a day when blood flowed as water, and human life was held as a shuttle cock, a day to be remembered as witnessing the bloodiest and deadliest street fight that has ever occurred in this place, or probably in the Territory.”

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– The Tombstone Nugget

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“In Tombstone, prostitution was a legal form of business and was not hidden. In fact, prostitution was expected, and there were plenty of townspeople who took issue with gambling but had no complaints about what happened in bordellos. Some women even freelanced out of their own homes with no outside interference.”

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~ Legends of the West: Tombstone, Arizona, by Charles River Editors

NEW SWOOSH

  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Editors (February 28, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 28, 2013
  • Listening Length: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Audible.com Release Date: July 7, 2015
  • Audible narrator: Nick Hart

You’ll find the Charles River Editors catalog of many different historical books on Amazon.

This title is available for Kindle, in paperback, and audio version (Audible):

Kindle edition is available as a FREE read with the kindleunlimited subscription.

tombstone

Did you know lots of enjoyable FICTION is set in Tombstone, Arizona?


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BOOK REVIEW: The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-Line Pioneers BOOK REVIEW: Legends of the West: The History of the James-Younger Gang, by Charles River Editors Book Review– The Pony Express: The History and Legacy of America’s Most Famous Mail Service Book Review: The Transcontinental Railroad: The History and Legacy of the First Rail Line Spanning the United States, by Charles River Editors Book Review: The History of the Telephone by Herbert Newton Casson Book Review: Life in a Victorian Household, by Pamela Horn Book Review–Things Mother Used to Make: A Collection of Old Time Recipes, Some Nearly One Hundred Years Old and Never Published Before Great Hurricane, Galveston, TX (September 8, 1900)

Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt, LC