Biography of Allan Pinkerton

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  • Topic: Pinkerton National Detective Agency, Molly Maguires, Police
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Running head: Biography of Allan Pinkerton

Biography of Allan Pinkerton
Timothy Smith
CJS 250
November 22, 2010
Thomas J. Blank

Biography of Allan Pinkerton

Allan Pinkerton was the founder of one of the most top detective agencies in American. Allan Pinkerton was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1819. Pinkerton was the son of a police sergeant who ended up getting injured on the job and he was not able to work which caused Pinkerton to grow up in poverty. His father ended up dying from these injuries in 1828 from a prisoner he had in his custody. In order for Pinkerton to support his family, he worked as a barrel maker that eventually ran afoul of local authorities over his membership in the Chartist movement. In 1842, Allan emigrated to Chicago, Illinois to work as a cooper for Lill’s Brewery for a few years before relocating to Dundee where the Scottish immigrants settled. Pinkerton had hopes of establishing his own business to make a good living for his family. Pinkerton never had any intensions on become a detective until stumbling across illegal activities that caught his attention. “While wandering the forest near Dundee looking for wood for barrel staves, he stumbled across a band of rural counterfeiters hard at work. Pinkerton notified the local sheriff and returned with him to make the arrest” (smith, n.d.). His successes lead him to become a party time deputy for the county. Shortly after, he was a Deputy Sherriff of Cook County with headquarters in Chicago. “There he organized a force of detectives to capture thieves who were stealing railway property, and this organization developed in 1852 into Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, of which he took sole charge in 1853” (NNDB, 2010). The Pinkerton Detective Agency was the first in the United States to solve a series of train robberies. There were several major events involving the Pinkerton Detective Agency during Pinkerton’s lifetime. In 1861, the Pinkerton agency...
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