Dentist, Gentleman, Sporting Man, Friend

Nulli Virtute Secundus

John Henry Holliday, DDS
14 August
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Everything for John.

"Mothers and... all the young people would gather around the piano and sing the songs of the Confederacy and of long ago, many of which are not heard any more. They, and the voices which sang them, in the primitive days of Valdosta, have passed into oblivion." - Thannie Wisenbaker's View of Valdosta, Georgia 1863 "From the Eyes of a 10 Year Old Civil War Refugee"

Why, I was a Civil War Refugee in Valdosta in 1863. I was eleven. My mama taught piano. I have not passed, will not pass, into oblivion, nor will those voices, those songs.

This journal contains Adult Material. Please refrain from reading if this offends you.

The Thousandth Man
Rudyard Kipling

One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it's worth while seeking him half of your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world against you.

It is neither promise nor prayer nor show
That will settle the finding for thee
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of them go
By your looks or your acts, or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world won't matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.


His wrong is your wrong, and his right is your right,
In season and out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men's sight -
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can't bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot - and after!

"Damon did no more for Pythias than Holliday did for Wyatt Earp." - Bat Masterson

"The young fellow who came into the office was so slim as to give a mistaken impression of his height, and was unusually pallid for the plains country. He was about five foot ten inches tall, but couldn't have weighed more than one hundred and thirty pounds. If his face had not been emaciated, he might have been handsome; he looked to be a man of intelligence and good breeding. From the moment I laid eyes on him, Doc Holliday's appearance haunted me - it does to this day - with his large blue eyes set deep in a haggard face, his heavy head of wavy ash-blond hair, and his neatly trimmed moustache, his really fine nose and his very expressive mouth."- Wyatt Earp

"With all of Doc's shortcomings and his undeniably poor disposition, I found him a loyal friend and good company. At the time of his death, I tried to set down the qualities about him which had impressed me. The newspapers dressed up my ideas considerably and had me calling Doc Holliday 'a mad, merry scamp with heart of gold and nerves of steel.' Those were not my words, nor did they convey my meaning. Doc was mad, well enough, but he was seldom merry. His humour ran in a sardonic vein, and as far as the world in general was concerned, there was nothing in his soul but iron. Under ordinary circumstances he might be irritable to the point of shakiness; only in a game or when a fight was impending was there anything steely about his nerves.

To sum up Doc Holliday's character as I did at the time of his death: he was a dentist whom necessity had made a gambler; a gentleman whom disease had made a frontier vagabond; a philosopher whom life had made a caustic wit; a long lean ash-blond fellow nearly dead with consumption and at the same time the most skillful gambler and the nerviest, speediest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever knew."
- Wyatt Earp

"There was something very peculiar about Doc. He was gentlemanly, a good dentist, a friendly man, and yet outside of us boys I don't think he had a friend in the Territory. Tales were told that he had murdered men in different parts of the country; that he had robbed and committed all manner of crimes, and yet when persons were asked how they knew it they could only admit that it was hearsay, and that nothing of the kind could really be traced up to Doc's account. He was a slender, sickly fellow, but whenever a train was robbed or a row started, Doc was one of the first to saddle his horse and report for duty." - Virgil Earp

"Doc had few real friends. He was selfish and of a perverse nature, characteristics not calculated to make a man popular on the frontier. I never liked Holliday; I tolerated him and helped him at times solely on Wyatt Earp's account, as did many others. As far as I can recall, Doc had but three redeeming traits. One was his courage; he was afraid of nothing on earth. The second was the one commendable principle in his code of life, sterling loyalty to his friends. The third was his affection for Wyatt Earp. The depth of this sentiment was shown not only by Doc's demonstrated willingness to stake his life for Wyatt without second thought; it was even more clearly established by the fact that, despite his almost ungovernable temper and his maniacal love of a fight, Doc Holliday could avoid trouble when there was a possibility that such an encounter might prove embarrassing to Wyatt." - Bat Masterson

"Doc called at the school. Many of the boys knew of his reputation, and hurriedly left. He didn't threaten to shoot them. He merely asked them to leave and not return, since they were disturbing school activities. The teacher, a kindly soul, asked Doc to come inside. She was not aware of his reputation. He looked more like a preacher or a lawyer than anything else. While in the school Doc gave a lecture on morality and on the importance of getting an education. When the parents heard that this gunslinging gambler had talked to their children, they became highly disturbed." - Wayne Montgomery, grandson of John Montgomery, who owned the OK corral, relating a story of his aunt as a schoolgirl

"Yes, "Doc Holliday was a tough citizen and a bad egg," and I was fully aware of the situation between Doc and Wyatt. He never played square with anyone in that country.... If Wyatt has not told you, out of respect for his memory, I will say nothing more about Doc Holliday, except to tell you where he died." - Fred Dodge, who I mistrust, writing to Stuart Lake, Wyatt's biographer. The elipses replace what are fully well regarded as lies, relating to the Benson stage robbery.

"About Doc Holliday: I never did know him but those who did always said that while he caused a lot of that big trouble, and was not much good to anybody, he was the loyalest friend there was and stood fast by the boys in Dodge City and Tombstone. Not once, but many times. A lot of people who did not like him at all changed their minds when they saw how loyal he was. He was a very sick young man, and whiskey was about the only relief for tuberculosis back there. The whiskey and tuberculosis inside of him killed most of his victims, and he himself was the last one to go by it." - Adelia Earp

"Holliday is one of the best boys that ever lived, if he is let alone, but you mustn't impose on him or you will smell powder burning. I've a letter in my pocket now from "Dock", and I expect to answer today..." - Lee Smith, John's friend from Georgia, at the time of John's arrest in Denver.

"He reached Dodge City safely and remained there until Wyatt Earp took him in his covered wagon to Arizona in the fall of 1880. Again he showed no disposition to quarrel or shoot while in Dodge, and many thought that much of the trouble he had been having in other places had been forced upon him, but I am satisfied that it was pretty much of his own seeking. His whole heart and soul were wrapped up in Wyatt Earp and he was always ready to stake his life in defense of any cause in which Wyatt was interested." - Bat Masterson

"I met Doc many times in Denver. He would take me here and there, but never to a saloon. Doc always resembled a Philadelphia lawyer, the way he dressed. I didn't know who Doc really was until years after he died. And the news I heard of him didn't alter my feelings for him because Doc was the only person who ever helped me at all. I've never told people who come here and ask me about the picture. If I'd ever told them I knew Doc personally they'd have laughed." - Lee John White, who Doc helped financially through school and agricultural college, after meeting him as a hungry newspaper boy in Denver

"There is no doubt in my mind that Doc Holliday was loyal to his friends and a 'dead game sport' - whether he was playing poker, or pulling the trigger. I made a stage trip with him once from Tucson to Tombstone. He told me he came to Arizona expecting to die from tuberculosis, and he intimated that this ailment often eliminated the joy of living and the fear of death, and that, while he would not deliberately provoke a gunfight, neither would he take the trouble to avoid it, as it might prove the boon that would end it all for him. You can understand that, in that frame of mind, he, doubtless, was a loyal friend and 'game' as a gambler or in a gunfight, but he was not a constructive citizen." - John Clum, mayor of Tombstone. Italics from the original.

"I knew Doc Holliday for short time only at Dodge City Kansas. When I knew him he was quite a gentlemanly fellow. He was always expecting to die and really wanted to be killed. That is why he always wanted to join Wyatt in those gun battles. So far as I know he never was married. He finally died in bed in a sanitarium in Colorado." - George Earp, Wyatt's cousin. It was really an hotel, not a sanitarium.

"The cardinal tenet of Doc Holliday's perverted creed was loyalty." - Stuart Lake

"A person unfamiliar with Holliday's deeds... would pass him off as a specimen of human insignificance. Holliday was of medium stature and blond complexion. He was small boned and of that generally slumped appearance common to sufferers from inherited pulmonary disease. The clenched setting of his firmly pointed lower jaw and the steadiness of his blue eyes were the only striking features of his pallid countenance. He was scrupulously neat and precise in his attire, though neither a ladies' man or a dandy.... He was too deeply sincere to be voluble of speech and too earnest in his friendships to make a display of them." - E. D. Cowen, via Gary Roberts, elipses in his original quote

"The visitor was very suprised at Holladay's appearance, which is as different from the generally conceived idea of a killer. Holladay is a slender man.... His face is thin and his hair is sprinkled heavily with gray. His features are well formed and there is nothing remarkable in them save a well-defined look of determination from his eyes, which the veriest amateur in physiognomy could hardly mistake. His hands are small and soft like a woman's, but the work they have done is anything but womanly. The slender forefinger which has dealt the cards has dealt death to many a rustler with equal skill and quickness, and the slender wrist proved its muscles of steel.... Holladay was dressed nealy in black, with a coloured linen shirt. The first thing noticeable about him in opening the conversation was his soft voice and modest manners." - The Denver Republican, 1882. Misspellings in the original.

""Doc" Halliday is a man of light weight, rather tall, smoothly shaven, and is always well-dressed. Streaks of gray can be seen in his hair which grows from a head a phrenologist would delight in examining. His eyes are blue, large, sharp and piercing. He is not over thirty five years of age, and as straight as an arrow.... He is well educated, and his conversation shows him to be a man of considerable culture." - Pueblo Daily Chieftan. John was in fact 30 at this time. Misspellings original.

"There, coming towards us was Doc Holliday, a thinner, more delicate appearing Doc Holliday than I had seen in Tombstone.

I have never seen a man exhibit more pleasure at meeting a mere friend than did Doc. He had heard Wyatt was in town, he said, and had immediately looked him up.

They sat down at a little distance from us and talked at some length, though Doc's almost continuous coughing made it dificult for him to talk....

Wyatt's sense of loyalty and gratitude was such that if the whole world had been all against Doc, he should have stood by him out of apreciation for saving his life....

My husband was deeply affected by this parting from the man who, like an ailing child, had clung to him as though to derive strength from him.

There were tears in Wyatt's eyes when at last they took leave of each other. Doc threw his arm across his shoulder.

"Good-bye old friend," he said. "It will be a long time before we meet again." He turned, and walked away as fast as his feeble legs could carry him." - Josephine Earp

"It used to worry me... to think that I must die, and I mixed up with everything that came along so as to forget myself. It occupied me and took my mind off my troubles." - J. H. Holliday, via Alfred Henry Lewis

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.

Fandom: History.

What is posted in this journal is as historical as it may be, given that a great deal of information has been lost - may it yet come to light. The most authoritative book thus far is the April, 2006 book Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend, by Gary Roberts. But I reserve the right, here and elsewhere, to use other sources than he at times, as he uses occasionally uses other sources than those I do. These are simply differences in interpretation and I mean no disrespect at all. There are many other books. I will use some, but there are those I disbelieve. The subject of John's life is rife with contradictory sources. Often one may have equally reasonable but different conclusions about which sources are correct. Again, I mean no disrespect. I myself do not believe that Kate (Elder or Fischer) was Mary Katherine Harony, for instance, which casts a very different light on things and is surely controversial. I have my reasons for this view. I will surely write some things creatively, apropos of little save my own ideas of possibilities, in the absence of evidence. I will surely creatively expand true things I find scant, to add what meaning I find. I will do my honest best, for John, and for his family, and for history. If you ever wish any bibliographical information, I would be happy to oblige. No copyright infringement nor disrespect is intended in this journal.

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Yes, I am writing a book. My writing here is copyright. Do not use it elsewhere without permission or credit. I work hard. This is a journal written by an adult for adults. Thank you.