Pinkerton National Detective Agency


Pinkerton National Detective Agency

:"We Never Sleep", the famous motto of the Pinkerton Agency, redirects here. For the 1917 film starring Harold Lloyd, see We Never Sleep (film)".

The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, usually shortened to the Pinkertons, was a private U.S. security guard and detective agency established by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. Pinkerton had become famous when he foiled a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who later hired Pinkerton agents for his personal security during the Civil War.Fact|date=July 2008 Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. At its height, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than there were members of the standing army of the United States of America, causing the state of Ohio to outlaw the agency due to fears it could be hired out as a private army or militia.Fact|date=September 2008

During the labor unrest of the late 19th century, businessmen hired Pinkerton agents to infiltrate unions, and guards to keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories. The most well known such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to enforce the strikebreaking measures of Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie, who was abroad; the ensuing conflicts between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to several deaths on both sides. The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, as well as the railroad strikes of 1877.

The company now operates as Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations, a division of the Swedish security company Securitas AB, although its government division is still known as Pinkerton Government Services. The organization was pejoratively called the "Pinks" by the outlaws and opponents.

Origins

In the 1850s, Allan Pinkerton partnered with Chicago attorney Edward Rucker, in forming the North-Western Police Agency, later known as the Pinkerton Agency. cite book
last =Foner
first =Eric
authorlink =
coauthors =John Arthur Garraty, eds.
year =Oct 21, 1991
title =The Reader's Companion to American History
publisher =Houghton Mifflin Books
location =
id =ISBN 0-395-51372-3
p. 842] cite book
last =Robinson
first =Charles M
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =2005
title =American Frontier Lawmen 1850-1930
publisher =Osprey Publishing
location =
id =ISBN 1-84176-575-9
p. 63] cite book
last =Horan
first =James David
authorlink =
coauthors =Howard Swiggett
year =1951
title =The Pinkerton Story
publisher =Putnam
location =
id =
p. 202]

Historian Frank Morn writes: "By the mid-1850s a few businessmen saw the need for greater control over their employees; their solution was to sponsor a private detective system. In February 1855, Allan Pinkerton, after consulting with six midwestern railroads, created such an agency in Chicago." cite book
last =Morn
first =Frank
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =1982
title =The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency
publisher =Indiana University Press
location =Bloomington
id =ISBN 0-253-32086-0
p. 18]

Government work

In 1871, Congress appropriated $50,000 to the new Department of Justice (DOJ) to form a suborganization devoted to "the detection and prosecution of those guilty of violating federal law." The amount was insufficient for the DOJ to fashion an integral investigating unit, so the DOJ contracted out the services to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.cite journal
first =Ward
last =Churchill
authorlink = Ward Churchill
year =2004
month =Spring
title =From the Pinkertons to the PATRIOT Act: The Trajectory of Political Policing in the United States, 1870 to the Present
journal =The New Centennial Review
volume =4
issue =1
pages =1–72
id =
url =http://www.geocities.com/travbailey/index.html
doi =10.1353/ncr.2004.0016
]

However, since passage of the Anti-Pinkerton Act in 1893, federal law has stated that an "individual employed by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, or similar organization, may not be employed by the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia." [5 U.S. Code 3108; Public Law 89-554, 80 Stat. 416 (1966); ch. 208 (5th par. under "Public Buildings"), 27 Stat. 591 (1893). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in "U.S. ex rel. Weinberger" v. "Equifax", 557 F.2d 456 (5th Cir. 1977), "cert. denied", 434 U.S. 1035 (1978), held that "The purpose of the Act and the legislative history reveal that an organization was 'similar' to the Pinkerton Detective Agency only if it offered for hire mercenary, quasi-military forces as strikebreakers and armed guards. It had the secondary effect of deterring any other organization from providing such services lest it be branded a 'similar organization.'" 557 F.2d at 462; "see also" cite web
title ="GAO Decision B-298370; B-298490, Brian X. Scott" (Aug. 18, 2006).
work =
url =http://www.gao.gov/decisions/bidpro/298370.htm
accessdate=
]

Molly Maguires

In the 1870s, Franklin B. Gowen, then president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad hired the agency to investigate the labor unions in the company's mines. A Pinkerton agent, James McParland, infiltrated the Molly Maguires using the alias James McKenna, leading to the downfall of this militant labor union. The incident was the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novel "The Valley of Fear". A Pinkerton agent also appears in a small role in "The Adventure of the Red Circle", another Holmes story.

Homestead Strike

During the Homestead Strike, the arrival, on July 6 1892, of a force of 300 Pinkerton detectives from New York and Chicago, who were called in by Henry Clay Frick to protect the mill and replacement workers ("scabs"), resulted in a fight in which 16 men were killed (7 Pinkertons and 9 Strikers died), and to restore order two brigades of the state militia were called out.

Detective Frank P. Geyer

In 1895 Pinkerton detective Frank Geyer tracked down the three murdered Pitezel children leading to the eventual trial and execution of the United States' first (known or identified) serial killer Herman Mudgett (aka. H.H. Holmes). His story is told in his self-written book, The Holmes-Pitezel Case (ISBN-10: B000RB43NM). It should also be noted that in 1894, Pinkertons were also the ones who apprehended Holmes in Boston on an outstanding warrant for horse theft in Texas.

teunenberg murder and trial

Harry Orchard was arrested by the Idaho police and confessed to Pinkerton agent James McParland that he assassinated Governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho and received a sentence of life imprisonment in a nationally publicized trial.

Outlaws and competition

Pinkerton agents were hired to track western outlaws Jesse James, the Reno Gang, and the Wild Bunch (including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid).

G.H. Thiel, a former Pinkerton employee, established the Thiel Detective Service Company in St. Louis, Missouri, a competitor to the Pinkerton agency. The Thiel company operated in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Due to its conflicts with labor unions, the word "Pinkerton" continues to be associated by labor organizers and union members with strikebreaking. [cite book| last =Williams| first =David Ricardo| title =Call in Pinkerton's: American Detectives at Work for Canada| publisher =Dundurn Press | date =1998| location =Toronto| id = ISBN 1-550023-06-3] Pinkerton's, however, moved away from labor spying following revelations publicized by the La Follette Committee hearings in 1937. [cite book
last =Morn
first =Frank
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =1982
title =The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency
publisher =Indiana University Press
location =Bloomington
id =ISBN 0-253-32086-0
p. 188-189
] Pinkerton's criminal detection work also suffered from the police modernization movement, which saw the rise of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the bolstering of detective branches and resources of the public police. Without the industrial espionage against labor and criminal investigation work on which Pinkerton's thrived for decades, the company became increasingly involved in protection services, and in the 1960s, even the word "Detective" disappeared from the agency's letterhead. [cite book
last =Morn
first =Frank
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =1982
title =The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency
publisher =Indiana University Press
location =Bloomington
id =ISBN 0-253-32086-0
p. 192.
] In July 2003, Pinkerton's was acquired along with longtime rival, the William J. Burns Detective Agency (founded in 1910), by Securitas AB to create Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., one of the largest security companies in the world. Securitas, and several other major security companies, are now under union organization through the SEIU (Services Employees International Union).

In popular culture

*In 1892 there was a popular song about the Pinkertons: "Hear the poor orphans tell their sad story/Father was killed by the Pinkerton men." cite book
last =Powers
first =Richard Gid
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =Oct 19, 2004
title =Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI
publisher =Simon and Schuster
location =
id =ISBN 0-684-83371-9
p. 44]

*A Pinkerton Detective appears in the town of Sweetwater in the episode 'False Colors' of The Young Riders. The agent is gunned down in cold blood by outlaws.

*Dashiell Hammett, pioneer of the hard-boiled detective novel, was an ex-detective for Pinkerton and adapted some of the experiences he had while employed there in his stories and novels.

*The Pinkertons were mentioned in the song "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" on the Elton John album, "Tumbleweed Connection".

*In the 2005 movie "The Legend of Zorro", Pinkerton agents goad Zorro's wife to divorce him and become one of their agents in order to investigate a secret society threatening to derail California's 1850 admission to the Union.

*The Pinkerton Agency and several agents are featured in the HBO series "Deadwood". Pinkertons are often referred to ominously or with contempt by several of the show's characters. In season 1, episode 3, set in 1876, Brom Garrett threatens action by the Pinkertons towards Swearengen. In season 2, the tutor for Alma Garrett's ward is discovered to be an undercover operative for the agency. In season 3, the Pinkertons were hired by the character of George Hearst.

*In an early scene of the 1992 movie "Hoffa", corporate-hired Pinkerton personnel assault early 20th century union organizers.

*Pinkerton toughs occasionally appear as secondary characters throughout Harry Turtledove's series of "Great War" and "American Empire" fictional novels.

*In Sergio Sollima's "Faccia a faccia" (1967), William Berger portrays a real-life Pinkerton agent Charlie Siringo.

*Pinkerton agents appear on the trail of four heroines in the 1994 movie Bad Girls.

*Pinkertons appear a few times in the TV show "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr".

*Pinkerton men are frequently referred to in the 1980 film about Jesse James and his gang, "The Long Riders".

*Pinkertons also appear in the early Ian Fleming James Bond novels. Felix Leiter joins Pinkertons after leaving the CIA and teams up with Bond in his capacity as a Pinkerton in "Diamonds are Forever". He is still a Pinkertons employee in the new James Bond novel, "Devil May Care" by Sebastian Faulks.

*In the 2001 movie "American Outlaws", Allan Pinkerton is portrayed by actor Timothy Dalton. The Pinkerton Agency is shown trying to capture outlaw Jesse James (portrayed by Colin Farrell).

*"The Valley of Fear", a fictional story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, features a Pinkerton Detective among a gang of terrorist 'Scowrers', a sect of Freemasons, living in the imaginary Gilmerton Mountains set in the west of the United States. The Pinkertons also features in Sir Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Red Circle".

*In "The Dante Club" a Pinkerton Detective is hired to investigate people's feelings about Dante's literature.

*New England punk band The Pinkerton Thugs took their name from the agency.

*The Pinkerton Detective Agency feature in Malcolm Pryce's "Don't cry for me Aberystwyth."

*The Hollywood western "" and its feature Pinkerton agents escorting an armed stagecoach filled with bank notes through Arizona. Pinkerton agents are seen throughout the 2007 version.

* In High Moon, a werewolf western webcomic series by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, the protagonist Matthew 'Mac' Macgreor is a Pinkerton detective.

* In the 1960s film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the main characters are chased into Bolivia by the Pinkerton detectives, headed by Joe Lefors

* The Pinkerton National Detective Agency was lampooned on the 1973-74 NBC Saturday morning cartoon "Inch High, Private Eye": The "Finkerton" Detective Agency, where the title character, Inch High, worked.

* In the computer game Post Mortem, the player-character Gus McPherson is mentioned as being a former member of Pinkerton, and depending on the player's actions, sends telegraphs to the agency for research.

* In 2005 historian Howard R. Lamar published "", detailing the life of Pinkerton detective Siringo and the Agency's decline into illegality.

ee also

*Historian J. Bernard Hogg, Public Reaction to Pinkertonism and the Labor Question
*Morris Friedman, author of "Pinkerton Labor Spy"
*Labor spies
*Baldwin-Felts detective agency
*Coal and Iron Police, a Pinkerton-supervised private police force in Pennsylvania
*Industrial Workers of the World
*Frank Little, American labor leader; lynched in 1917, probably by Pinkerton agents.
*Joe Lefors Tracker for the Pinkerton Detectives

References

References


*cite web
title =Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations Inc.
work =
url =http://www.ci-pinkerton.com/
accessdate=2006-05-11

*cite journal
first =
last =
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =2004
month =Spring
title =From the Pinkertons to the PATRIOT Act: The Trajectory of Political Policing in the United States, 1870 to the Present
journal =The New Centennial Review
volume =4
issue =1
pages =1–72
id =
url =http://www.geocities.com/travbailey/index.html
doi =10.1353/ncr.2004.0016
author =Churchill, Ward

External links

* [http://www.ci-pinkerton.com/ Pinkerton official site]

Further reading

*cite book
last =Jeffreys-Jones
first =Rhodri
authorlink =
coauthors =
year =Oct 1, 2003
title =Cloak and Dollar: A History of American Secret Intelligence
publisher =Yale University Press
location =
id =ISBN 0-300-10159-7


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