Doc Quotes from others, about Doc in his own time…
“Doc was close to six feet tall, weight – one hundred and sixty pounds, fair complexion, very pretty mustache, blue-grey eyes, and a fine set of teeth”
Mary Katherine Haroney – “Big Nose Kate”
“Doc 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 from consumption, at the same time the most skilful gambler and the nerviest, speediest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever knew.”
Wyatt Earp – San Francisco Examiner – August 2, 1896
“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 it was hearsay, and that nothing of the kind could really be traced to Doc’s account. He was a slender, sickly, fellow, but whenever a stage was robbed or a row started, and help was needed, Doc was one of the first to saddle his horse and report for duty.”
Virgil Earp – Arizona Daily Star – May 30, 1882
“He was always decently peaceable, though his powers when engaged in following his ostensible calling, furthering the ends of justice, made him a terror to the criminal classes of Arizona.”
Bob Paul, Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona
Rocky Mountain News – May 22, 1882
“Dr. Holliday and Mr. Austin, a saloon keeper, relieved the monotony of the noise of firecrackers by taking a couple of shot at each other yesterday afternoon. The cheerful note of the six-shooter is heard once again among us.”
Dallas Weekly Herald (01/02/1875)
“I said to him one day: ‘Doctor don’t your conscience ever trouble you?’ ‘No, ‘he replied, with that peculiar cough of his, ‘I coughed that up with my lungs long ago.”
Col. John T. Deweese – Doc’s Lawyer – Denver, Colorado c. 1884-5
“I never approved of Doc.”
Tombstone Mayor John Clum
in a letter to Major Kelly dated 08/23/1929
“Holliday had a mean disposition and an ungovernable temper, and when under the influence of liquor, was a most dangerous man. – Holliday had few friends anywhere in the West. He was selfish and had a perverse nature, traits not calculated to make a man popular in the early days on the frontier.”
Bat Masterson – Human Life – May 1907
“…a shiftless, bagged-legged character-a killer and professional cut-throat and not a whit too refined to rob stages or even steal sheep… He is the identical individual who killed poor, inoffensive Mike Gordon and crept through one of the many loopholes that characterized Hoodoo Brown’s judicial dispensation.”
Las Vegas Optic – July 20, 1881
“Why you low down stinking slut! If I should step in soft cow manure, I would not even clean my feet on that bastard!”
Lottie Deno – Ft. Griffin, Texas – c. 1877
responding to Kate’s claim that Lottie was trying to steal her man.
The dammed son-of-a-bitch has got to fight!” – “The ball is about to open!”
Ike Clanton – Tombstone, Arizona – morning, October 26, 1881
“I’ve got you now, you son of a bitch!”
the fatally wounded Frank McLaury to Doc, near the end of the gunfight…
Tombstone, Arizona – October 26, 1881 (see Doc’s response below…)
“Doc tipped pretty good.”
Art Kendrick, Bellhop, Hotel Glenwood
Glenwood Springs. Colorado – Fall 1886
(quoted by Phyllis Bosco) Glenwood Post – August 23, 1985
“There is scarcely one in the country who had acquired a greater notoriety than Doc Holliday, who enjoyed the reputation of being one of the most fearless men on the frontier, and whose devotion to his friends in the climax of the fiercest ordeal was inextinguishable. It was this, more than any other faculty, that secured for him the reverence of a large circle who were prepared on the shortest notice to rally to his relief.”
Carbonate Chronicle – Leadville, Colorado
Doc’s obituary – November 14, 1887
“Doc Holliday was a native of Georgia and take him in all, he was possessed of the most daredevil and reckless bravery of any of his associates.”
C.P. Thomas, plainsman – Washington Post – 1906
Doc Quotes – From Doc hisself…
“I enjoyed about as much of this as I could stand.”
in a letter to Mattie from Dodge City about the “Flat” at Ft. Griffen, Texas – 1877
“I’ll make a sieve out of the next Son-of-a-Bitch who repeats that gossip!”
Doc, overheard by Tombstone Mayor John Clum,
referring to the rumor that he had participated
in the Benson Stage Robbery (03/15/1881)
and the killings of driver Bud Philpot and miner Peter Roerig. – March 1881
“If I had robbed that stage, I’d have got the $80,000.”
attributed to Doc after he was cleared of the Benson Stage hold-up – July 9, 1881.
JP Wells Spicer had tossed the case after Kate repudiated her “confession”.
“Son of a bitch, rustler.”
referring to Ike Clanton, just before the OK gunfight – October 1881
“You’re a daisy if you have.”
to the dying Frank McLaury – October 26, 1881
“This is just awful!”
to Kate, in their room at Fly’s after the gunfight. – October 26, 1881
“If I am taken back to Arizona, that is the last of Holliday!”
The Denver Republican – May 22, 1882
“If I were to kill someone here, no matter if I were acquitted, the governor would be sure to turn me over to the Arizona authorities, and I would stand no show for life there at all.”
Quoted in the Daily Democrat – Leadville, Colorado – 1884
“…Fort Griffen, where Twenty-four men were hung from one tree while I was there.”
The Denver Republican – May 22, 1882
“I’m not traveling about the country in search of notoriety, and I think you newspaper fellows have already had a fair hack at me.”
Gunnison Daily-News Democrat – June 16, 1882
“We have been the forerunners of government. As soon as law and order was established anywhere, we never had any trouble.”
quoted by Bat Masterson in “Human Life” – May 1907
“J.H. Holliday, Dentist, very respectfully offers his professional services to the citizens of Dodge City and surrounding country during the summer. Office at room No. 24, Dodge House. Where satisfaction is not given money will be refunded.”
Dodge City Times – June 8, 1878
“If you fellows have been hunted from one end of the country to the other as I have been, you’ll understand what a bad man’s reputation is built on. I’ve had credit for more killings than I ever dreamt of…”
06/01/1886 at Silverton, CO by The New York Sun,
reprinted in the Denver Daily Times
and the Georgia Times in hometown Valdosta, GA.
This is quite a long interview, no doubt somewhat embellished by the reporter. – Doc B
I probably have more Doc Quotes.
I’ll put ’em up as I find ’em in the “archives”.
If you have a good one send it to me.
There are several hundred western quotes
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End: Doc Quotes