Alan Pinkerton Biography

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Biography of Allan Pinkerton

CJS 250

Laureen Wendt

University of Phoenix

Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884) was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Pinkerton was a cooper and barrel maker by trade and in his early years he became involved and sought political and social reform. Pinkerton left Scotland and moved to Chicago in 1842 and here he obtained a position as a deputy sheriff of Cook County. Over time Pinkerton realized he had a knack for catching criminals. He also believed that he could supply the public with security services that the public police agencies could not provide to the citizens. In 1852 he founded his own detective agency known as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. His success of catching criminals led to contracts with the government to help protect the post office from robbery and to investigate issues concerning counterfeit money (Biography of Allan Pinkerton, n.d.). After being contracted by six railroad companies to establish a railroad police agency in 1855. The Agency was called the North West Police Agency (Limbaugh, 2010). Pinkerton soon developed a good reputation among the citizens and fear among the criminals he sought after. While investigating a railroad issue Pinkerton discovered that an assassination plot was in place to take out President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Pinkerton warned the President of the impending threat and the inauguration was rescheduled (Allan Pinkerton Biography, 2010). In 1858 Pinkerton formed the Pinkerton Protecting Patrol which consisted of uniformed men that were hired as night watchmen to protect local businesses. Over the long course of his career Pinkerton was viewed by some as being a traitor, a patriot, an outlaw and even a police officer. In reality he was a true detective seeking justice while still protecting the citizens of the community. Pinkerton’s agency is responsible for catching many counterfeiters,...
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