Allen Pinkerton Essay examples

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Allan Pinkerton , born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1819, emigrated to Chicago. He was

America’s first “private eye.” A man of many contradictions, he was a conservative

who strongly opposed slavery, a very cautious man who risked his life capturing criminals,

a militant labor organizer who suppressed the labor movement, and fought for women’s

rights to be detectives.

During his twenty-eight year career as a private detective, Allan Pinkerton and his

agency investigated over a thousand crimes. Pinkerton was involved in many dramas

of the nineteenth century. Work and the Underground Railroad became his life. The

Pinkerton’s fed and sheltered fugitives in their own home. Pinkerton was a very moral

man and despised slavery. The crisis
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War was inevitalble. Washington was filled with spies and Pinkerton

approached the President, offering to create a secret service to uncover and arrest the

spies. Lincoln would not agree.

George McClellan, an old friend of Pinkerton’s, wanted him to set up a military

intelligence operation and send agents into the South. Pinkerton assigned himself

and traveled as E.J.Allen, a Southern rebel. The information he gathered helped

McClellan win several minor battles in the Ohio Valley when war broke out. In 1861,

Pinkerton received devastating news. The Northern Army of the Potomac had been

defeated at Bull Run in the first major battle of the Civil War.

Pinkerton’s most challenging opponents was Rose O’Neal Greenhow, the South’s

most productive and effective spy. She concealed information that thwarted the

attack by General George McDowell at Manassas, outside of Washington. Pinkerton

realized Rose Greenhow, “the Southern Rose,” presented a great danger and had to be

arrested. A Union army captain was arrested leaving her home, carrying a vital military

map of gun ports. Pinkerton and his agents uncovered many military plans that she had

obtained to aid in the Southern war effort. She had a network of spies, including many

women. After her arrest and release from prison, she traveled abroad, raising money

for military support. Returning from Europe, her boat

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