Lot 8089: Autograph letter, dictated by Earp and written by his wife Josie, three pages on two sheets, 8 x 10, no date but postmarked April 18, 1927. Letter to John H. Flood, Jr., in part: "Since writing you this long letter I thought it all over, I wonder is it a good idea to answer any of the questions from Tucson. Perhaps we will have trouble with Burns, on account of answering his questions. What do you think. You have a chance to find out. Any way we told him in his letter to not write Mr. E. up at all. He is tricky. Now I just don't know what to think about it. Everybody is writing to him for information and are ready to trick him just because he is sincere and honest. We have just come to the conclusion that it best to keep quiet. So I think if you will just write him a few lines tell him his letter was forwarded here from Oakland to him. And he is leaving and will be in L. A. the last of May. And that he is not so well just now tell him Bunc has all of that datta [sic] as Wyatt sent it to him. Tell him though Doc was not his pal, but just an acquaintance, but not a bad man at that, a certain kind of element were his enemies. Will you find out Hays Hammond? Or Ham of Haye's address. Think it a good idea to write him a nice letter explain to him about the book and see what he will do. I imagine he would like to write the story. Tell Mr. Walker to give Wyatt's regards to Breckinridge."A postscript is included on the second page, and reads, in part: "I know you are going to have another headache trying to read my letter. But you understand my beautiful handwriting so well. He seems like a sincere man. Write him a real nice letter. And tell him Wyatt sends regards to Breckinridge. If you mean Virgil my brother he died in Nevada and is buried in Portland, Oregon. Was not assassinated." Central horizontal and vertical folds, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in his wife's hand to Flood, and signed on the reverse, again in the hand of his wife, "W. Earp, Vidal, Calif."Nearing the end of his life, Earp was determined to finally clear his reputation and counter the years of varied and negative accounts that had filled the public's minds. One of the major misconceptions, which still remains today, is that Earp and Doc Holliday were lifelong friends and partners: here we see an outright denial of that, "Tell him though Doc was not his pal, but just an acquaintance, but not a bad man at that, a certain kind of element were his enemies." Intent on setting the record straight, Earp hired John H. Flood, to whom Josie is writing, as his secretary and began working solely with him on his official biography, denying requests from other writers including author Walter Noble Burns, "we told him in his letter to not write Mr. E. up at all. He is tricky." This incredible letter, written from the small cottage that Wyatt and Josie owned from 1925-1928, not only addresses the major players in the attempt to get Earp's biography in print, but also blatantly denies the core of Tombstone legend—the Earp-Holliday partnership.
RR Auction's Remarkable Rarities Auction 461
Monday, 28th September 2015
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