University of Arizona

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Correspondence of Crawley P. Dake

Correspondence to Dake

Crawley P. Dake was a Union soldier during the Civil War and U.S. Marshall for Arizona Territory from 1878 to 1882. Dake was born at Kenfield, Ontario, Canada in 1827. When the Civil War broke out, he was commissioned in the 5th Michigan Cavalry and served at Gettysburg and in other major actions until he was wounded and retired as a major in August 1864.

He then worked for the Internal Revenue Service before being appointed as the U.S. Marshal for Arizona Territory on June 12, 1878. For the first two years, he dispatched a number of posses to the Mexican border, trying to control the lawlessness taking place there. Dake had a number of famous frontier characters working for him, including Leslie Blackburn, Virgil and Wyatt Earp, and Joseph Evans. After the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in October 1881, he was heavily criticized and replaced in July of 1882. He remained in Arizona, living in Prescott, managing mining and business interests until his death on August 9, 1890.

Collection consists of photocopies of correspondence relating to lawlessness in the southeastern section involving cowboy gangs, difficulties between local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Marshall, Crawley P. Dake, and his deputy, Wyatt Earp. Correspondents include John J. Gosper, acting Governor of Arizona, and various officials of the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Also includes two reports from Leigh Chalmers, Special Examiner of the Dept. of Justice, Aug.-Sept. 1885. Accompanied by a detailed list each letter and its contents.