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The Mark Inside

The Otero Letters.


Judging Authenticity.

Otero Letter 1

Otero Letter 2

Discovered by Allen Barra in 1998
and reproduced here with his permission.
Transciption provided by Mark Dworkin.
Discovered by Chuck Hornung in 2001
and reproduced here with his permission.
Published in True West, Vol. 48, No. 8.
Direct Primary League of New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
August 17th, 1940

Mr. Watson Reed,
1232 Holly Street
DENVER, Colorado

Dear Mr. Reed: Dear Old Friend,
I have been sick for several months and have not been out of the house for nearly six months, much of the time confined to my bed and room. It was good to hear from you and learn all is well in Albuquerque.
Yes, I knew Wyatt Earp and his brothers and Doc Holliday when they were all in Dodge City, Kansas, but I never followed up his life when he went to Tombstone, Arizona. Yes, I knew Wyatt Earp. I knew him to be a gentleman and he held a reputation of being an excellent law officer. I knew the Earp brothers first in Kansas, but did not see much of them after that time. My father knew them best. I knew Doc Holliday at Las Vegas and told that adventure in My Life on the Frontier, Vol. 1.

I tried to help them in their quest to stay in New Mexico following the Tombstone trouble. The Lake book you mentioned did not relate the matter, Earp and Holliday and some others stayed in Albuquerque a couple of weeks while Sheldon and the powers of the Santa Fe and Wells Fargo tried to work out some kind of arrangement.


Earp stayed at Jaffa's home and the other boys were around town. Jaffa gave Earp an overcoat from his store, Earp's had been ruined in a fight with the Cow-boys. I remember that cold wind even today. I do not remember that the boys had much money.


Father sent me to see to the comfort of the Earp posse because his railroad supported the boys. Earp had a long meeting with the president of Wells Fargo, but I can not say about the direction of the talk.


One afternoon I drove Earp and Jaffa to the river to see them building the new bridge. Earp remarked how it reminded him of the big bridge in Wichita. 


Some days later Earp and Holliday had a falling out at Fat Charlie's one night. They were eating when Holliday said something about Earp being a Jew boy. Something like Wyatt are you becoming a damn Jew boy? Earp became angry and left. Charlie said that Holliday knew that he had said it wrong, he never saw them together again. Jaffa told me later that Earp's woman was a Jewess. Earp did mu-[illegible] when entering his house.


Wells Fargo arranged safety in Colorado and the road gave them passage to Trinidad. I remember that Blonger and Armijo kept watch over the boys. I was able later, when governor, to reward Armijo for that favor to my father. That is all I know about the Earps.

Quite recently I read a book written on the life of Wyatt Earp. I borrowed it from a friend of mine and found I found it very interesting. I forgot who wrote it.  
I would not and could not take the time to write any stories other than My Memoirs, for I am not strong enough to undertake it. My illness has pulled me down, when I left the Canal Zone I weighed from 187 to 184 year in year out, now I weigh about 90 pounds and am 81 years old, or will be next October 17th. My health is not good at present. I spend much time confined to my bed.
Wyatt Earp was always known as a gentleman and an excellent law officer. I just telephoned my friend and he says the author's name is Stuart N. Lake. You may be able to get it at the library, I enjoyed the book very much.  
My latest book, "My Nine Years as governor of the territory of New Mexico" will be out on August 14th and I am exploring a prospectus. I am glad you found my new book of interest. My best to the Mrs. and season's greetings to all.
Very sincerely yours,

Miguel A. Otero,
354 Palace Avenue,
Santa Fe, N. M. P.O. Box No. 346

Yours sincerely yours,



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