In the last few years many people have discussed the HOOKER MANUSCRIPT when commenting about Wyatt Earp. Written around 1918 by Forrestine Hooker, daughter-in-law to Henry Hooker, many people seem to place great weight on the document. Yet, upon closer inspection the information in the manuscript is shown to be error prone and in some cases simply fiction. While it is tempting to use manuscripts such as the Hooker ms., in reality, the information it contains should not be taken at face value. Many people fail to realize that Forrestine Hooker was a young girl that was not even in Arizona when the turbulent period in Tombstone's past occurred. She did not have first hand knowledge of the events. Instead, she relied upon, as the manuscript clearly indicates on the title page, WYATT S. EARP.
Lately, Earp buffs, researchers, and writers have used the Hooker ms. to present information about Wyatt's life and adventures. Unfortunately, the fact that Hooker relied upon Wyatt for the stories included in the manuscript (accounts of events and people that Hooker simply could not have known about)is often ignored by Earp buffs when the many factual errors and embellishements in the manuscript, errors that most likely originated with Wyatt Earp, are pointed out.
Since the Hooker ms., for the most part is not readily available, I will begin to place the entire manuscript on the internet, with editorial notes (provided in the color red) concerning the information the document contains. By doing this, and by making it more available, I hope to inform the public about this Wyatt Earp source document, and to show the many errors and embellishements (which probably originated with Wyatt), that the manuscript contains. This will allow the public to place the proper weight upon the information and on this source document. Rather that simply relying on Earp buffs and writers that use the information in books and articles, citing the Hooker ms., which provides a false image concerning the strength and value of this material
The Hooker manuscript is about 86 typed pages, so it will take a little while to post the entire work, with editorial notes. The first two pages are now available. On May 8, I will put more pages on the net for the public to review.
To view the first two pages, click on the link below. Check back next week as more pages will be available. Also, I intend to place the entire OK Corral Gunfight testimony on the net beginning net week, and will try to post the John Flood manuscript in the future as well. Keep checking back
Forrestine Hooker's Wyatt Earp Manuscript