American Indians, Famous People of the Old West, Researching Historical Fiction, Resources and Events for Writers

My Kingdom for a Horse

It’s impossible to imagine the Old West without horses. Impossible to imagine cowboys, outlaws or lawmen making their way across the plains without them. I recently volunteered to help with a 30- and 50-mile endurance riding event to learn more about the sport, and in the process, I learned a lot about horses, which naturally… Continue reading My Kingdom for a Horse

Famous People of the Old West, Women in the West

Mattie Blaylock Earp: Hidden from history

The recent Wild West auction in Harrisburg, Pa., included a trunk owned by Celia Ann "Mattie" Blaylock, Wyatt Earp’s second wife. I couldn’t verify its origins, but I wonder if it was the one that surfaced in the 1950s when her nephew read an article about the opening of a new museum in Dodge City,… Continue reading Mattie Blaylock Earp: Hidden from history

Famous People of the Old West, Researching Historical Fiction

Unearthing Wyatt Earp’s revolver

A gun that once belonged to Wyatt Earp sold for $35,000 at an auction held by the city of Harrisburg, Pa., in July. The label on the gun’s grip reads: "To Wyatt Earp, Welcome From the Citizens Committee of Nome." Wyatt moved to Nome, Alaska, in 1897 at the height of a gold rush. While… Continue reading Unearthing Wyatt Earp’s revolver

Famous People of the Old West, Researching Historical Fiction

Doc Holliday’s incessant cough

It’s hard to believe now, but in the first half of the 19th century, tuberculosis—or consumption, as it was known until the 1880s—was responsible for one in five deaths, making it America’s deadliest disease. It was widely believed to be hereditary (like insanity), in part because multiple family members across generations died of the disease.… Continue reading Doc Holliday’s incessant cough