Billy Claiborne

Billy Claiborne (October 21, 1860November 14, 1882) was a western outlaw and gunfighter who was one of the survivors of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Gunfighter

A young would-be gunman, possibly from the Arizona or New Mexico Territory, Claiborne began to make a name for himself, demanding he be called "Billy the Kid" after William Bonney's death in July 1881. Claiborne was said to have killed three men who laughed at his claim, but newspapers report Claiborne to have fatally shot only one man in one gunfight (this man is not named and the shooting is not verified). Claiborne was arrested for the shooting of James Hickey, but Claiborne was found not guilty and released.

There are unsubstantiated claims Claiborne was imprisoned at San Pedro, Arizona Territory, until broken out by Ike Clanton, Frank McLaury and Tom McLaury on October 22, 1881 (this would have been 4 days before the O.K. Corral fight, and three days before the Clantons and McLaurys were known to be rounding up stock in the Animas Valley).

O.K. Corral

Claiborne, who had been a cattle rustler with the Clantons, was readily enlisted as a confrontation with Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp became imminent, with the common feeling among the "Cow-boys" that Claiborne would even the odds; Claiborne was with Ike Clanton when the group was confronted by the Earps and Doc Holliday at the O.K. Corral. Although popular western lore claims Claiborne was said to have fought less than admirably, firing one or two wild shots toward Virgil Earp, Claiborne said later that he was not armed at the time, and none of the Earps took him to be so. In the fight, Claiborne ran from the confrontation toward C.S. Fly's photography studio, surviving without harm.

Death

After testifying at the O.K. Corral inquest, Claiborne made little trouble until after the Earps and Holliday had fled to Arizona in April 1882. Disappearing for several months, Claiborne returned to Tombstone on November 14, 1882, his reputation having taken a backward spiral because of his non-participation in the O. K. Corral shootout. He became involved in an argument with noted gunfighter "Buckskin" Frank Leslie, after he refused to refer to Claiborne as "Billy the Kid". Later that night, Claiborne returned to the Oriental Saloon, where he drunkenly called out Leslie. Awaiting him outside the saloon with a rifle, Leslie followed Claiborne out a side-door onto the street and killed Claiborne in the ensuing gunfight with a single shot to the chest.

References

  • Sifakis, Carl. Encyclopedia of American Crime, New York, Facts on File Inc., 1982
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outlaw is a person living the lifestyle of outlawry, meaning literally "outside the law". In the common law of England, a judgment declaring someone an outlaw was one of the harshest penalties in the legal system, since the outlaw could not use the legal system to protect
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Gunslinger, also gunfighter, is a name given to men in the American Old West who had gained a reputation as being dangerous with a gun. Also used as slang reference for a member of the U.S. Marine Corps infantry unit.
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The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a gunfight that has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West where law enforcement was often thin, and where some of
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Arizona Territory was an organized territory of the United States that existed between 1863 and 1912, as well as a territory of the Confederate States of America that existed officially from 1861 to 1863, when the Union territory was declared in Washington, D.C.
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The New Mexico Territory became an organized territory of the United States on September 9, 1850, and it existed until New Mexico became the 47th state on January 6, 1912.
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Henry McCarty (November 23, 1858[1] – July 14, 1881), better known as Billy the Kid, but also known by the aliases William Antrim and William Harrison Bonney
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Joseph Isaac (Ike) Clanton (1847-June 1, 1887) was born in Callaway County, Missouri, and grew up to be one of the pivotal players in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, one of the most famous events of the American Old West.
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The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a gunfight that has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West where law enforcement was often thin, and where some of
..... Click the link for more information.
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a gunfight that has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West where law enforcement was often thin, and where some of
..... Click the link for more information.
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The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a gunfight that has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West where law enforcement was often thin, and where some of
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Cattle rustling or cattle raiding is the act of stealing livestock. In Australia, such stealing is often referred to as 'duffing', and the person as a 'duffer'.
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citation, footnoting or external linking.
Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp at about age 21, photo about 1869
Born: March 19 1848(1848--)
Monmouth, Illinois, U.S.
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Virgil Walter Earp (July 18, 1843–October 19, 1905) was one of the men involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the Arizona Territory of the United States. He spent his life in law enforcement, although ironically it is his younger brother Wyatt Earp, who spent most of
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Morgan Seth Earp (April 24, 1851–March 18, 1882) was the younger brother of Wyatt Earp, the famous gunfighter. Morgan was involved in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, where he was wounded.
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John Henry "Doc" Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American dentist, gambler, and gunfighter of the American Old West frontier who is usually remembered for his associations with Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
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The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a gunfight that has been portrayed in numerous Western films. It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West where law enforcement was often thin, and where some of
..... Click the link for more information.
City of Tombstone, Arizona
Location in Cochise County and the state of Arizona
Coordinates:
Country United States
State Arizona
County Cochise
Founded 1879

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"Buckskin" Frank Leslie (March 23, 1848?-1930?) was a western gunman, most known as the killer of Billy Claiborne, as well as an Indian scout and customs official and prospector.
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