A slew of new revelations about John Henry Holliday’s two sojourns in the Mile-High City

Doc in Stages
We have a bunch of ideas about who John Henry Holliday actually was, and they run the gamut from a whimpering sicko to a deadly gunman. Through the years I have tried to illustrate him in all those contradictory phases. And, as for his long stagecoach ride, I have a hunch he rode in more than one style of conveyance, especially in Prescott.

In this issue you will discover, just like I did, how wonderful it is when local historians dig deep into their local history. For a long time there have been several mysteries about Doc Holliday’s travels between late 1879 and 1880 before he eventually arrived in Tombstone, and now we have a better view of this time thanks to Brad Courtney.

Just to give you a taste of what has been uncovered: In March 1880 Doc traveled back to Las Vegas, New Mexico, to settle up a debt and support a friend in jail. It is a very long trip—538 miles! to be exact. How did he make this trip? Well, the details of that journey are hard to believe, but the scholarship is impeccable and proves the old adage that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Also, for me, the Holy Grail of research and history writing is finding a photograph of the place in question so we can see with our own eyes what it might have been like. For starters, let me say I have been looking at old Arizona photos for over a half century, and I have never seen a photograph of Gillett, a mining camp in Arizona Territory.

To recap: late in life Kate told three different interviewers about traveling from Prescott to the new mining camp of Gillett, where she claimed the mining superintendent allowed Doc and her to stay in his residence for the night. What might that have that looked like? Well, thanks to Brad Courtney, we now have a photograph of the place in question (see page 22 ).

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