Virgil Earp: Western Peace Officer

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The exploits of Wyatt Earp, real or otherwise, always have overshadowed those of his brothers. Now, for the first time, Donald Chaput removes the eldest brother, Virgil Earp, from that shadow and tells in detail the story of the real leader of the Earp clan. As a peace officer in Prescott, Arizona, Virgil experienced his first street shootout, and it was there he met his future nemesis, Johnny Behan. In 1880 Virgil's brothers joined him in Tombstone, Arizona. Acting as both the town marshal of Tombstone and a U.S. deputy marshal, he led the Earp gang to the fateful gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Most records of Virgil Earp stop here, but Chaput fleshes out the rest of Virgil's life in California, Nevada, and other western states as a peace officer, gambler, miner, Republican politician, and rancher.

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Chaput's well-supported view is that many of the exploits popularly thought to be Wyatt Earp's should instead be attributed to his older brother, Virgil. Chaput traces the history of the restless Earp clan from the Prairie States to the Arizona Territory, sorting out the historical record with care; he is particularly enlightening, and entertaining, on the famous Tombstone altercation, otherwise known as the shootout at the O.K. Corral. Wyatt was there, but he was working for his brother, the city marshal, and it was Virgil who ran the show. John Mort

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9780806128818: Virgil Earp: Western Peace Officer

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ISBN 10:  080612881X ISBN 13:  9780806128818
Publisher: Univ of Oklahoma Pr, 1996
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