Allen Pinkerton

An HMS American Cultures collaborative production

Shadowing or assuming a role is two widely used techniques for spying today. Allan Pinkerton was the person that created these spying techniques. He was one of Lincoln's guards during the Civil war, but he wasn't planning on becoming a detective it as sheer chance. After he followed a group of boys making counterfeit coins, Pinkerton helped arrest them. Then Pinkerton was approached by the sheriff and later became the first full time detective in Chicago. He later started his own detective company. Pinkerton was an abolitionist, and his shop was used as a stop for the Underground Railroad. Working as a spy in the civil war, for the union, Pinkerton discovered a possible assignation plot against Abraham Lincoln. The suspects wanted to put the plan in motion at this inauguration, so Pinkerton told Lincoln and Lincoln changed his plans to go out of Baltimore MD. Lincoln later asks Pinkerton to form a secret service to get information about the confederate army. The secret service is still an important part of our country's protection to this day.


Online Sources:
"Allan Pinkerton." Wikipedia. 25 May 2009<>
"Allan PInkerton." America's Story from America Library. 25 May 2009 <>
"Pinkerton-Allan" Wikipedia

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