In popular culture, early Arizona is often portrayed as a lawless frontier where disputes were settled with guns. One example of this is the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This 1881 shoot-out took place in Tombstone, Arizona, and involved noted gunfighter and lawman Wyatt Earp. The state's actual history, however, is considerably more complex and varied in terms of crime and punishment.

Territorial Era

In 1863, the federal Arizona Organic Act established a provisional government for the newly formed Arizona Territory that included a U.S. marshal to maintain law and ...

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