On October 26, 1881, lawmen and outlaws faced off in the famous “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” The Tombstone, Arizona, gunfight has come to symbolize the “Wild West” of the American frontier in the late 1800s.The famous gunfight did not actually take place in Tombstone’s O.K. Corral. It happened in a vacant lot next to a boarding house where gunfight participant John Henry “Doc” Holliday was staying. There, town marshal Virgil Earp met with his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, and their friend Doc. The Earps and Holliday all had criminal backgrounds, but represented “law and order” business interests in Tombstone.On the other side of the conflict were five members of the Cowboys, a loosely organized rural gang. The Cowboys were accused of being thieves and cattle rustlers, although several were also landowners and legal ranchers. The Cowboys represented the “untamed” interests of the Old West, and had the unofficial support of the county sheriff.The competing economic interests of the urban town and rural county were represented by competing newspapers—the Epitaph (which generally supported the Earps) and the Nugget (which generally supported the Cowboys).The Earps and Holliday walked away from the gunfight, which lasted about 30 seconds. Three Cowboys were killed, and the Earps and Holliday were found not guilty in their deaths. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral began a series of attacks that lasted more than a year. Eventually, the Earps left Arizona for the even wilder New Mexico Territory. Over the years, the Cowboys were arrested, killed in violent conflicts with other outlaws or lawmen, or simply forced out of business as infrastructure and government “tamed” the Wild West.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry accuse Verb
to blame or charge with a fault or crime.
to take into legal custody.
sale of goods and services, or a place where such sales take place.
cattle rustler Noun
person who steals cattle. Also called a cattle raider or (in Australia) a duffer.
a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.
enclosed area, usually for livestock.
political unit smaller than a state or province, but typically larger than a city, town, or other municipality.
Encyclopedic Entry: county criminal Noun
person convicted of a crime.
having to do with money.
largely unpopulated area that is slowly being opened up for settlement.
group of people gathered for a criminal enterprise.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
structures and facilities necessary for the functioning of a society, such as roads.
federal law-enforcement officer.
to make illegal or against the law.
person who owns or manages a livestock farm (ranch).
to stand for a person, community, or idea.
having to do with country life, or areas with few residents.
law enforcement officer, usually of a county.
to represent an object, idea, organization, or geographical region.
to domesticate or make useful for humans.
land an animal, human, or government protects from intruders.
human settlement larger than a village and smaller than a city.
having to do with city life.
empty or abandoned.
strong, destructive force.