This seems to be a rather unusual way for Burns to begin his account of the street fight, since the next paragraph is directly from Wyatt Earp's statement at Spicer's Hearing. Maybe he is attempting to appear unbiased by presenting both sides. However, from then on he seems to favor the Earp's version of events. In the sources section he says his account of the gunfight "is based on testimony from the witness stand...The Tombstone Epitaph published this testimony in full and that of many other eyewitnesses to the battle from stenographic notes...From these authentic records I have presented both sides of the case." So Burns is probably referring to what was said about who fired the first two shots primarily by those that testified for the prosecution at the hearing.
In his book AMERICAN MYTHMAKER, Mark Dworkin has a chapter "The Story And The Sources" about Burn's time spent in Southeastern Arizona doing research. Billy Breakenridge and Edith Kitt of the Arizona Historical Society are mentioned as providing anti-Earp information to Burns.
"Whatever the truth, two guns blazed almost simultaneously with Virgil's comand. These first two shots, it was believed, were fired bt Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp." Thse words were written by an author... more
Wyatt confessed in court to firing one of the first shots. A man confessing is quite convincing. Since it's highly unlikely that Wyatt fired one of the first shots, I can't help but wonder why he would... more
We notice on Burns' 'Sources' page ix quite a few old-timers' names. Two of them stand out as contemporaries who were close to the action: Breakenridge and Edward Vail of Empire Ranch notoriety. The latter... more
Was this Edith Kitt, the 1934 interviewer of FRANCIS J. VAUGHAN, whose comments re many of the Cochise County citizens was spoken of here earlier in the year? If so, Bob, what exactly did her position... more
Sharon, in a quick search of newspapers.com for "F.J. Vaughn" and "Frank Vaughn" I came up with literally hundreds of articles fom Tucson, Tombstone, and Bisbee papers. There seems to have been two 'F.J.... more
...and so you can see why his statements might be more acceptable regarding the situation out at Drew's. Sadly, Mrs. Kitt did not seem to have a curious nature as she did not attempt to pursue any additional... more
Sharon, because of his long public service Frank Vaghn's staements "might be more acceptable", as you say. However, when it comes to anything related to the Earps one has to be very careful with the memoirs... more
Hello Sharon, This is not going to add much to what has already been provided, but Edith Kitt is mentioned in two notes in Mark Dworkin's book: Edith Kitt to Burns, on Arizona Pioneer's Historical Society... more
The online bio says that Edith Kitt assumed the position of secretary of the Arizona Historical Society and remained the secretary for the Society for 22 years and became a leading authority on Arizona... more
Bob - sorry for waiting so long in responding. I THINK, in my mess of books, I have Burns', but can't find it with a hay rake! Books stacked everywhere! Does Burns' sources state the names of the "pioneers... more
...It is interesting that Edith Kitt had an impressive Resume and was considered a leading authority on Arizona history; but when reading over Frank Vaughn's memoirs recorded by Mrs. Kitt, I am disappointed... more
Hi, Jerry, Joyce and Bob... Thanks for your input on Mrs. Kitt. After learning her given name, I finally found her online and saw her ages-long contribution to AZ history. Joyce, I agree with you about... more
...an introduction to speculation; in this case a favoured view toward Wyatt Earp's testimony. I suspicion that much of the town spent endless hours in the local saloons exchanging viewpoints on what was... more