Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait

Overview

John H. Holliday, D. D. S., better known as Doc Holliday, has become a legendary figure in the history of the American West. In Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait, Karen Holliday Tanner reveals the real man behind the legend. Shedding light on Holliday’s early years, in a prominent Georgia family during the Civil War and Reconstruction, she examines the elements that shaped his destiny: his birth defect, the death of his mother and estrangement from his father, and the diagnosis of tuberculosis, which led to his ...

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Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait

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Overview

John H. Holliday, D. D. S., better known as Doc Holliday, has become a legendary figure in the history of the American West. In Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait, Karen Holliday Tanner reveals the real man behind the legend. Shedding light on Holliday’s early years, in a prominent Georgia family during the Civil War and Reconstruction, she examines the elements that shaped his destiny: his birth defect, the death of his mother and estrangement from his father, and the diagnosis of tuberculosis, which led to his journey west. The influence of Holliday’s genteel upbringing never disappeared, but it was increasingly overshadowed by his emerging western personality. Holliday himself nurtured his image as a frontier gambler and gunman.

Using previously undisclosed family documents and reminiscences as well as other primary sources, Tanner documents the true story of Doc’s friendship with the Earp brothers and his run-ins with the law, including the climactic shootout at the O. K. Corral and its aftermath.

This first authoritative biography of Doc Holliday should appeal both to historians of the West and to general readers who are interested in his poignant story.

"Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait will be considered the definitive Holliday biography and will supplant all previously published works on the man’s life as a complete and authoritative account. This book will undoubtedly take a place among the foremost books in the Western gunfighter genre." - Robert K. DeArment, author of Alias Frank Canton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806133201
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 652,144
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Holliday Tanner is the author of Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West History Association.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
List of Maps xiii
List of Charts xv
Foreword xvii
Acknowledgments xxi
Preface xxv
1. Farewell 5
2. Birth of a New Holliday 9
3. Early Childhood 23
4. The War Years 39
5. Reconstruction 53
6. Atlanta Dentist 67
7. Gone to Texas 83
8. From Denver to Dodge 101
9. Following the Circuit 117
10. Arrival in the Arizona Territory 137
11. Gunfight in Tombstone 161
12. Refuge in Colorado 183
13. The Final Years 201
Epilogue 223
Appendix John Henry Holliday's Genealogy 235
Notes 243
Bibliography 307
Index 322
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Holliday Family Point of View

    Karen Holliday Tanner draws on family history, papers, albums and oral stories to augment hard research of libraries, museums, historical societies and personal collections. Through her exhaustive research, Ms. Tanner puts to rest some of the wild exaggerations of killings, life of a con man, and criminal schemes supposedly perpetrated by Doc during his life. <BR/>Young John Henry Holliday¿s early days were spent in Griffin, Georgia with his father Henry Holliday and mother Alice. <BR/>Henry Holliday was a prominent Griffin citizen, first clerk of the court of Spalding County, and was involved in real estate and land speculation. The elder Holliday had a military background and had fought in the Mexican War. Early in the Civil War he served in the Confederate Army in Virginia. Following his military service Holliday purchased land in South Georgia and moved his family there.<BR/>Alice Holliday contracted tuberculosis and died in September of 1866. John Henry mourned the loss of his mother and felt that his father had betrayed her name when he married Rachel Martin less than three months after the death of mother Holliday. The marriage caused a schism between father and son that never quite healed.<BR/>John Henry was a bright student and eventually chose dentistry as a profession. He graduated from The Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872 and returned to Atlanta where he practiced dentistry until he contracted tuberculosis and traveled west in search of a dryer climate.<BR/>John Henry Holliday became known as Doc Holliday and using his charm, wit and gambling skills made a name for himself and collected an array of friends Kate Elder, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Luke Short and Eddie Foy just to name a few.<BR/>While in Dodge City Doc saved Wyatt Earp from an angry mob of drunken cowboys and Wyatt never forgot it. Doc and Wyatt were both well known in gambling circles, but the incident that turned them into legends was the shootout at the OK Corral.<BR/>Doc stood with Wyatt and his brothers on the side of law and order against Cochise County¿s political ring. <BR/>This book will flesh out several not seen before points in the Holliday story.<BR/>Tom Barnes author of `Doc Holliday¿s Road to Tombstone

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Insightful

    Written from the viewpoint of a blood-relative. One of the best I have read on Doc Holliday with background on his life in the south before moving west.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

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