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Josephine Earp Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: Circa 1860 in New York City, New York
Died: December 19, 1944 in Los Angeles, California
Biography | show moreshow less
Josephine Marcus (1861-1944), who became Josie 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, already a growing legend. She hastened on the scene after the Gunfight at the OK Corral, and in 1882 began calling herself Josephine Earp. (Wyatt and Josie 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.) He was part of the Alaska gold rush of 1897, as this letter notes. 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 negative reporting. Earp 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. 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.
  • ALS to husband Wyatt's personal secretary, John Flood, who was trying unsuccessfully to write an authorized biography of the famous lawman. Frequent mention of actor William S. Hart ("Bill"), a close friend of Wyatt Earp.

    Sale Price $2,762.50


  • 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.

    Sale Price $3,187.50


  • Very content-rich ALS to the man writing the manuscript of Wyatt Earp's autobiography, and mentioning help they are getting from Western actor William S. Hart. While urging author Flood to keep the story clean and to finish it soon, she reminds him of several more events in Wyatt's life he must include.

    Sale Price $4,037.50


  • JOSEPHINE "JOSIE" EARP Handwritten letter to friend and would-be biographer John Flood, she expresses concern over the actions of a Mr. Beard, saying "I am very much surprised the way Mr. Beard done, I always thought him a very honest man. You did not say who the party is that is putting up the money...

    Sale Price $2,762.50


  • JOSEPHINE "JOSIE" EARP Handwritten letter to friend and would-be biographer John Flood, only months after Wyatt Earp's death. "I am still worrying for my dear husband. I miss him so much." Autograph Letter signed: "Josephine Earp", 3 pages, 6x8 folded, otherwise 12x8.

    Sale Price $2,975.00


  • [WYATT EARP]On this framed slip of paper, his wife Josephine signed his name for him! Signature: "Wyatt S. Earp" signed by his wife, Josie Earp, 5x2½. Wyatt Earp's common law wife, Josephine served as a proxy signer towards the end of his life.

    Sale Price $2,762.50


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