"Erik Wright is the next Leon Metz."
- Marcus Huff, former editor True West Magazine
2016 WWHA Award Winner for Outstanding Article on
Winner of 7 Arkansas Press Association Awards
I have been writing about 19th-century U.S.-Mexico borderlands crime, violence, and warfare for more than 15 years. Specifically, I have focused on Earp-era Tombstone, forgotten gamblers and outlaws of the frontier west, and the Apache struggles of southeast Arizona Territory.
My work has appeared in such notable publications as True West Magazine, Wild West Magazine, the Journal of the Wild West History Association, Journal of the West, Bounty Magazine, and the National Tombstone Epitaph. During the course of my career I have taken a special interest in securing official recognition to Lt. Charles Gatewood for his efforts in ensuring that the Apache war leader Geronimo would surrender peacefully for the last time. While no government official has responded favorably to this yet, I believe Gatewood will someday see the honor he deserves.
In addition to my academic papers and popular articles I have presented lectures at the annual Tombstone Territory Rendezvous, Fort Verde Historic State Park, the Tucson Adobe Corral of Westerners, and at the Historic Arkansas Museum for their Pen to Podium series in conjunction with the Arkansas State Archives. In late 2017 I was elected as a Member of the Royal Historical Society in London and have published four books including: Main Street Mayhem: Crime, Murder & Justice in Downtown Paragould, 1888-1932; Phil Foote: Lawman, Outlaw... Hell-Raiser; and Policing the Underworld: The Life of San Francisco Detective Arthur McQuaide in the Golden Age of Vice & Violence.
Since 2017 I have served as assistant editor of the National Tombstone Epitaph and have been responsible for the publication's book reviews, YesterWest column, and the monthly author interview which has included such notables as Robert Utley, Dan Buck, Bob Boze Bell, Donald Chaput, Bill O'Neal, Robert K. DeArment, Mark Warren, John Boessenecker, and Jim DeFelice, Julia Bricklin, Patricia Tyson Stroud, Julia Bricklin, and more.
“Erik is an excellent researcher. When faced with a difficult project, he doesn’t back down or give up. If he isn’t able to find an answer immediately, he tries new avenues and will seek out new directions. He isn’t afraid to put in the hard work and long hours that in-depth research requires. Additionally, Erik is a great writer. He is able to easily put his thoughts on paper and express his thoughts. Erik is enjoyable to work with and he has the personality and knowledge to succeed in any project he undertakes.” - Jill McCleary, Former Collections Librarian at Arizona Historical Society, Tucson
"Erik Wright is a gifted author and historical researcher whose work has been published regularly in the USA. His interests are diverse – covering American frontier history and also the history of the Bligh Mutiny on the Bounty. He is known for his thorough research and ability to seek out important primary source documents. Erik is also an accomplished and engaging presenter who speaks with authority on his chosen topics." - Peter Brand, Earp/Tombstone Historian & Author of Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Posse Rider: The Story of Texas Jack Vermillion, Sydney (Australia)
"I recommend him without any hesitation." - Roy B. Young, Western Historian/Author/Former Editor, Wild West History Association Journal
"Erik conducts archival research with great fervor, and he produces excellent scholarship." - Shannon Sawyer, Scholar (University of North Texas)
"Erik Wright, a Wild West contributor and assistant editor of the Tombstone Epitaph, has a strong foothold in outlaw-lawman research, usually looking beyond the familiar big names in the Wild West." - Gregory Lalire, Wild West Magazine
"Erik instantly won my trust in his knowledge of Arizona History which put him at the top on my list of historians." - Soni Cido, Independent Historian/Researcher