JOSEPHINE "JOSIE" EARP - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 287779
Sale Price $3,187.50
Writing to authorized biographer John Flood, Wyatt Earp's wife insists that "Mr. E. life story is not supposed to be like Billy the Kid or Wild Bill Hickock as he was an officer." Unfortunately, Flood's account, which Wyatt Earp considered the true story of his life, would never get published.
Autograph Letter signed: "Mrs. Earp", 2 pages (front and verso), 8x10. Vidal. California, 1927 March 1. To "Dear Mr. Flood", in full: "I wrote to you several days ago. I hope you got my letter, and in the letter I tell you that we had a letter from Mr.[actor and friend William S.] Hart, but I cannot find it. But yesterday I looked for it - again. And I was lucky to find it. I had it put away in a dress pocket. So I am sending it to you today with another one we received yesterday. So you can see just how things stand. I fully intended to write to you and have you write to Wm. if it came back again not to try it again as I am afraid we will not be able to do anything with it. I can't understand why they will not except [sic] it. Of course, as you have said, you are not expert at story writing. And I am no critic. So we know now that there is a mistake somewhere But you can see for yourself what they all think of it. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart, as I know how hard you tried and you certainly did your best, and everything to please. I am sorry now we did not let the whole thing die out the first time it was returned. Wyatt meant well and so do we all. So it is up to you now. You know that Mr. E's story is not supposed to be like Wild Bill or Billy the Kid. And when you write to him you can explain that to him. And to he knows so many people and they all have said to him why don't you have your life story written, and so many wanted to write it. But we thought you were the one to do it. And I surely feel badly over it. I saw by the paper a few days ago that Billy the Kid was to be put on the screen by Lasky Co. and Burns wrote the story. I will look it up and send it to you too, so you can see how lucky some people are. I wish when you write to Wm you can make mention of it to him. Perhaps he may have seen it. It was in the Times about two weeks ago. But - I will find it if I can. I think I put it away to send to you too. Also please tell him that Mr. E and I were going to write - and tell him not to send it out again if it was returned. So we think it a good idea not to try it again until something is done about it. It seems that they are taking and have taken stories written about Mr. E. Mr. E. is getting very tired of it and is going to put a stop to it. Hammond Hays or Hays Hammond also did the man who also wrote the piece in the Saturday night. All seemed anxious but we can do nothing with ours. All wanted to write it. I have noticed in Wm. Hart's last letter which you can see for yourself. Sealed on the back I wonder why he did that. I wonder if he did it. I wish I knew. Well Mr. Flood please read the letter over good and let us know what you think is best for us to do. We had a long letter from Burns. He was asking a few questions about Doc and I said he had the book near finished. And it is giving Mr. E. a big sendoff. Well, I don't know of anything more to write to you so please let us hear from you very soon. I am so disappointed over it all. Write Mr. H a long letter. You of course know just what to say to him. And above all tell him Mr. E. life story is not supposed to be like Billy the Kid or Wild Bill Hickock as he was an officer. I told you and Mr. E. right along there was too much - I did, I did, but you both wanted to go with it. There were many things I did not like but you were both very stubborn and did not hear it. And don't forget to tell him too that we were going to write and tell him to hold it back and not send it out any more. And thought his suggestions just fine. I hope you are well and making lots of money. My nieces are just doing fine, and wish to be remembered to you. We are thinking of going to Parker tomorrow and if we go I will mail the letter there. And if not will send it by express to you like a package all sealed up. And please do the same then you can tell me just what you want. Seal it and address to Mr. W. Earp. But don't worry something will turn up for us. I am sorry now that so many of the publishers got to read it, and the best of them too. Be sure and return letter to us. And tell Mr. Hart is he should write to us again to seal his letter good as they are handled so many times before we get them. I sure would like to know if he put the seal on, as he has never done so before. Pardon all mistakes and this awful scribbling. Am writing in a hurry and it is so very uncomfortable too. Best wishes, and hoping soon to hear from you. [signature] P.S. Send by express like I am doing if I don't go to Parker. You see you will have to put it in a small letter package, as they take no letter. And seal good. Will you please look in the phone book and find Mr. [name illegible] home no. for me. Send envelopes back to me too. Last two had seals on them. Accompanied by original mailing envelope addressed in her hand. Josephine Marcus (1861-1944), who became JOSIE (OR JOSEY) EARP was a dancer and actress who moved to Tombstone, Arizona in 1879. At first she was mistress of Sheriff Johnny Behan, an enemy of Wyatt Earp, and was also a prostitute. (Her license for that trade survives.) In 1881, she became enamored with Wyatt Earp, and the following year began calling herself Josephine Earp. (Wyatt and Josey were together until his death, in what was probably a common law marriage. Wyatt abandoned his law enforcement career, traveling around the West with Josie, often gambling and sometimes operating a saloon.) In their senior years, the Earps became quite concerned about their image/reputation, as this letter shows. Wyatt was uncomfortable with some of the exaggerated claims made for him, but angry at some of the negative reporting. Burns and publisher Doubleday would face Wyatt's wrath following the publication of Tombstone: Iliad of the Southwest - Earp was unimpressed with Burns' fact-checking and ended any further collaboration with the author. He resolved to write an autobiography setting the record straight, encouraged in this by his close friend, Western actor William S. Hart. Unwisely, he chose his personal secretary, JOHN H. FLOOD, JR., to write the manuscript. The Earp's hopes were dashed when Flood's text, accurate but sadly lacking in literary style, was rejected by publisher after publisher. Though never published, Flood's text survives, and might have enriched public understanding of Wyatt Earp if a good editor had been found to revise the manuscript. Her repeated cautions about letter security were prompted by wll justified concerns that competing biographies were being written. Wyatt Earp died in 1929. Josey survived 15 more years, devoting much time to trying to refute or prevent publication of biographies and films unflattering to her husband and to herself. Vidal, California, is a small town on the Arizona border where Wyatt Earp spent his final years, working nearby claims of copper and gold. Creased. Lightly toned around edges. Corners lightly worn. Top edges lightly frayed. Otherwise, fine condition.
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