Testimony of Addie Bourland
in the Preliminary  Hearing in the Earp-Holliday Case,
Heard before Judge Wells Spicer

November 28, 1881

On this twenty-eighth day of November, 1881, on the hearing of the above entitled cause, on the examination of Wyatt Earp and J. H. Hol­liday; Addie Bourland, a witness of lawful age, being produced and sworn, deposes and says as follows;

Addie Bourland, a dressmaker, of Tombstone, Arizona.

(Q) [No written question.]

(A) I live on the opposite side of Fremont Street from the entrance to Fly's lodging house.

(Q) Questioned on the difficulty.

(A) I saw first five men opposite my house, leaning against a small house [the Harwood house] west of Fly's Gallery and one man was holding a horse [Frank McLaury], standing a little out from the house. I supposed them to be cowboys, and saw four men [the Earps and Doc Holliday] coming down the street towards them, and a man with a long coat on [Doc Holliday] walked up to the man holding the horse and put a pistol to his stomach and then he, the man with the long coat on, stepped back two or three feet, and then the firing seemed to be general. That is all I saw.

(Q) Where were you at the time you saw this?

(A) I was in my house at the window.

(Q) How long after the two parties met, did the firing commence?

(A) It was very shortly, only a few seconds.

(Q) Which party fired first?

(A) I don't know.

(Q) Were you looking at both parties when the firing commenced?

(A) I was looking at them, but not at anyone in particular. I did not know there was going to be a difficulty.

(Q) Did you know, or do you know now, the man with the long coat on?

(A) I did not know him then. I recognize Doctor Holliday, the man sitting there writing, as the man to the best of my judgment.

(Q) Did you notice the character of weapon Doc Holliday had in his hand?

(A) It was a very large pistol.

(Q) Did you notice the color of the pistol?

(A) It was dark bronze.

(Q) Was it or was it not, a nickel-plated pistol?

(A) It was not a nickel-plated pistol.

(Q) Did you see at the time of the approach of the party descending Fremont Street, any of the party you thought were cowboys, throw up their hands?

(A) I did not.

(Q) Did you hear any conversation or exclamation between the two parties after they met, and before the firing commenced?

(A) I did not, for my door was closed.

(Q) How long did you continue to look at the parties after they met?

(A) Until they commenced to fire and I got up then and went into my back room.

(Q) What did these men that you speak of as cowboys’ first do when the other party approached them?

(A) They came out to meet them from the side of the house, and this man with the long coat on stepped up and put his pistol to the stomach of the man who was holding the horse, and stepped back two or three feet and the firing seemed to be general.

(Q) About how many shots were fired before you left the window?

(A) I could not tell; all was confusion, and I could not tell.

(Q) Were all the parties shooting at each other at the time you were looking at them?

(A) It looked to me like it.

(Q) Had any of the parties fallen at the time you left the window?

(A) I saw no parties fall.


[Signed] Addie Bourland



[Inserted loose part of page reads: "The prosecution objects to the further examination of the witness Addie Bourland after she has been examined by the defense, and cross-examined by the prosecution, her testimony read to her and signed by her and not brought before the court at the solicitation of counsel on either side. The court voluntarily states that after recess, and the witness had retired, he went to see the witness at her house and talked with her about what she might further know about the case, and that he, of his own motion, says that he believed she knew more than she had testified to on her examination, now introduces her upon the stand for the purpose or" further examination without the solicitation of either the prosecution or defense.]

[Objection overruled, and questions asked of witness by the court as follows:]

(Q) You say in your examination in chief, that you were looking at parties engaged in [the] fatal affray in Tombstone on the 26th of October last, at the time the firing commenced. Please state the position in which the party called the cowboys held their hands at the time the firing commenced; that is, were they holding up their hands, or were they firing back at the other party. State the facts as particularly as may be.

[Counsel for the prosecution objects to court questioning witness after he admits he has talked with the witness, etc., crossed out.]

(A) I didn't see anyone holding up their hands; they all seemed to be firing in general, on both sides. They were firing on both sides, at each other; I mean by this at the time the firing commenced.


(Q) Did you say this morning, that you did not see who fired the first shot?

(A) I did say so.

(Q) Did you say this morning, there were two shots fired close together?

(A) I did not.

(Q) Did you say there were any shots fired at all?

(A) I did.

(Q) Did you say this morning, that when the first two or four shots were fired, you were excited and confused, and got up from the window and went into the back room?

(A) I didn't say how many shots were fired, for I didn't know when I went into the other room.

(Q) What conversation did you have with Judge Spicer, if any, with reference to your testimony to be given here since you signed your testimony this morning?

(A) He asked me one or two questions in regard to seeing the difficulty, and if I saw any men throw up their hands, whether I would have seen it, and I told him I thought I would have seen it.

(Q) Did you not testify this morning that those men did not throw up their hands that you saw?

(A) Yes sir, I did.

signed Addie Bourland

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