Tuesday, September 4, 2012


In a recent post I described my ignominious experience on a chat room devoted to the history of Tombstone, Arizona, especially my embracing as legitimate a group photo purporting to show all the male members of Wyatt Earp's family--Earp being, as you surely know, a famous (or infamous) gambler and gunman of the Old West.  Well, it's happened again.  An Arizona collector named John D. Rose has put forward an image he claims shows Wyatt as a child standing beside his mother, Virginia Anne Cooksey Earp, sometime in the 1850's, when Wyatt would have been somewhere between, maybe, eight and ten (he was born in 1848).  Again, as in my previous foray into the provenance of old photographs, I voted for its legitimacy but was roundly ridiculed by some of the other posters on the Board, though the majority--no doubt convinced by now of my complete incapacity in the field of photo interpretation--simply ignored my post.  Anyway, above is the picture in question, as well as a widely accepted photo of Wyatt's mother taken much later in life.  If you're interested, see if the two pictures of Mrs. Earp seem to be of the same woman, accounting for the difference in ages.  Click on each image to enlarge it.  I'd appreciate a comment if you have the time.

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