Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Allan Pinkerton was Abraham Lincoln's body guard during the civil war. He created the first detective agency in America circa 1850.
Kate Warne was the first female investigator in America. She worked closely with Allan Pinkerton - (see below)
In the 1970's, I was an investigator for Pinkerton in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I was the only woman Pinkerton investigator in Quebec at the time.
Some of the other investigators - all men - in my office at Pinkerton, Quebec, did not want me there. But I was really good at my job and I remember it with pride and satisfaction.
(L-R): Maj. Allan Pinkerton, US Pres. Abraham Lincoln (wearing his trademark stovepipe hat) & Gen. John A. McClernand, in front of pitched tent on battlefield while Civil War is taking place. (Photo by Alexander Gardner/Mathew Brady Collection/National Archives/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
1819 -1894
Alan Pinkerton was born August 25, 1819, Glasgow, Scotland—died July 1, 1884, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.) Scottish-born detective and founder of a famous American private detective agency.

Pinkerton was the son of a police sergeant who died when Allan was a child, leaving the family in great poverty. Allan found work as a cooper and soon became involved in Chartism, a mass movement that sought political and social reform. His activities resulted in a warrant for his arrest, and in 1842 Pinkerton fled to the United States, settling in Chicago.
Moving the next year to the nearby town of Dundee in Kane county, he set up a cooper's shop there. While cutting wood on a deserted island one day, he discovered and later captured a gang of counterfeiters. Following this and other similar achievements, he was appointed deputy sheriff of Kane county in 1846 and soon afterward deputy sheriff of Cook county, with headquarters in Chicago.

In 1850 Pinkerton resigned from Chicago's new police force in order to organize a private detective agency that specialized in railway theft cases. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency became one of the most famous organizations of its kind. Its successes included capture of the principals in a $700,000 Adams Express Company theft in 1866 and the thwarting of an assassination plot against President-elect Abraham Lincoln in February 1861 in Baltimore.
In 1861, working for the Union during the Civil War, Pinkerton, under the name E.J. Allen, headed an organization whose purpose was to obtain military information in the Southern states.

After the Civil War Pinkerton resumed the management of his detective agency. From 1873 to 1876 one of his detectives, James McParlan, lived among the Molly Maguires in Pennsylvania and secured evidence that led to the breaking up of this organization of coal miners supposedly engaged in terrorism.
During the strikes of 1877 the Pinkerton Agency's harsh policy toward labour unions caused it to be severely criticized in labour circles, although Pinkerton asserted he was helping workers by opposing labour unions. Pinkerton wrote The Molly Maguires and the Detectives (1877); The Spy of the Rebellion (1883), his account of Lincoln's journey to Washington in 1861; and Thirty Years a Detective (1884).

Kate Warne First Female Private-Eye
By Barbara Maikell-Thomas

Kate Warne has the honor of being America's first female private investigator. She become a very good one and was able to act as an undercover agent infiltrating social gatherings and gathering information no man was able to obtain. She was able to wear disguises, change her accent at will and became a huge asset to the success of Allen Pinkerton and Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

Kate Warne was so undercover for Pinkerton, no one know is sure of what her actual name was. Note that on her tombstone (she is burred next to Allen Pinkerton himself) her name is spelled Warn without the "e". All known documents from the Pinkerton family history have is spelled Warne. Robert Pinkerton called her Kitty.

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