KALOMA…“I Married Wyatt Earp”

Rare original photo titled “Kaloma” that was widely circulated and a very famous early erotic image. This photo was used in the book “I Married Wyatt Earp” the recollections of Josephine Earp. There is much debate weather or not the image is really the wife of Earp or not. Still a very historic and one of the most famous early images of it’s type.

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Kaloma

 

 

coverThe 1976 book I Married Wyatt Earp was believed to be a memoir of his widow Josephine Earp, but was many years later described as a fraud, creative exercise, and a hoax. Originally published by the respected University of Arizona Press, it is the second best-selling book about western Deputy U.S. Marshal Wyatt Earp ever sold. It was regarded for many years as a factual account that shed considerable light on the life of Wyatt Earp and his brothers in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. It was cited in scholarly works, assigned as classroom work, and used as a source by filmmakers. Amateur Earp historian Glenn Boyer said that the retouched image on the cover of a scantily-clad woman was of Josephine in her 20s, and based on his statements, copies of the image were later sold at auction for up to $2,875.

Boyer had a long-term relationship with members of the Earp family. He claimed that he used two manuscripts written by Josephine Earp as the basis for the memoir. The first was an account, allegedly composed by Josephine with the help of former Tombstone Mayor and The Tombstone Epitaph publisher John Clum, known as the “Clum manuscript”. The second, supposedly written by Josephine with the assistance of two Earp cousins, was known as the “Cason manuscript”. Josephine fiercely protected details of her and Wyatt’s early life in Tombstone, including her own life there and the existence of Wyatt Earp’s second wife, Mattie Blaylock, even threatening litigation to keep some details private. Josephine was repeatedly vague about her and Wyatt’s time in Arizona, so much so that the Earp cousins gave up collaborating with her and publishers refused to publish the manuscript.

In 1994, other Western researchers and rival authors of new Earp books identified alleged discrepancies in the book and began to challenge the authenticity of what they called the “Clum manuscript”. They also claimed to have identified factual errors and inconsistencies in other books published by Boyer, leading to an increasing number of questions about the veracity of his work. The risque cover image was linked to a photogravure titled Kaloma that had been first published by a novelty company in 1914. A 1998 investigative article in the Phoenix New Times revealed that Boyer could not prove the Clum manuscript existed and refused to allow the reporter access to the source documentation. The article also disclosed that the university press’ editor encouraged Boyer to embellish the account. During the interview, Boyer said that he had a responsibility to protect the reputation of the Earp brothers, and that he “had a license to say any darned thing I please…[to] lie, cheat, and steal.” Boyer found another publisher and continued to publish the work, representing it as an authentic history of Wyatt Earp’s life.

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