The Clanton Gang Essay

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In the middle and late part of the nineteenth century, the West was a harsh and dangerous place to live. Bar fights and murders were being committed in every town. This was acceptable behavior however in those days. Men settled their problems face-to-face, and normally, the slower man ended up dead. Gunfighting in the West was started and carried on by a group of men known as the Clanton Gang. Old Man Clanton was the leader and founder of gunfighting, his sons carried some of his fights and continued with their own fights, and his last surviving son parted with gunfighting and started his own successful business.      
Gunfights were common and took place regularly. The earliest gunfighters, or
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Corral gunfight, was when Billy was caught riding Wyatt’s stolen horse. Ike Clanton, born in 1847, was also involved in the O.K. Corral shootout. Ike’s involvement in the shootout started when “Doc” Holliday offered him $6000 in reward money to help find, or kill, the men involved in the “stage-coach murders”, and he declined. Then when Doc was accused of murder in Tombstone, Ike openly expressed his thoughts when Doc was found innocent. All these events led up to the famous gunfight. The date was October 26, 1881, 2:30 p.m., and the setting was a vacant lot officially known as lot number two, block 17, in Tombstone, Arizona (internet, #5). Nineteen year old Billy Clanton, thirty-four year old Ike Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury face Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp, along with Doc Holliday. The O.K. Corral Gunfight last 30 seconds, Frank McLaury was dead from a bullet wound to the stomach fired from Wyatt’s gun, Tom McLaury was dead from Doc Holliday’s shotgun, and Billy Clanton was dying from chest wounds (internet, #6). Ike Clanton escaped by running into Fly’s Photo Studio nearby. Billy was rushed into a nearby house screaming in pain. Dr. N. S. Gibberson shot Billy full of morphine to ease the pain. As crowds gathered around Billy’s bed, his last words were documented, “Drive the crowd away”(internet, #4). Jonas V. Brighton murdered Ike Clanton six years later on June 1, 1887 near Springerville,

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