Pinkerton (detective agency)

Last updated
Pinkerton
Private incorporation
IndustryPrivate security contractor
Founded Chicago, Illinois, United States
(1850;169 years ago (1850))
Founder Allan Pinkerton
Area served
Worldwide
ProductsInvestigations, employment screening, protective services, security, crisis management, intelligence services
ServicesSecurity management, full-service risk management consulting
Parent Securitas AB (2003–present)
Website www.pinkerton.com

Pinkerton, founded as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, is a private security guard and detective agency established in the United States by Scotsman Allan Pinkerton in 1850 and currently a subsidiary of Securitas AB. [1] Pinkerton became famous when he claimed to have foiled a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who later hired Pinkerton agents for his personal security during the Civil War. [2] Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. Notably, the Pinkerton Detective Agency hired women and minorities, a practice uncommon at the time. [3] Pinkerton was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world at the height of its power. [4]

Security guard person employed to protect property or people

A security guard is a person employed by a government or private party to protect the employing party’s assets from a variety of hazards by enforcing preventative measures. Security guards do this by maintaining a high-visibility presence to deter illegal and inappropriate actions, looking for signs of crime or other hazards, taking action to minimize damage, and reporting any incidents to their clients and emergency services, as appropriate.

Private investigator person hired to undertake investigatory law services

A private investigator, a private detective, or inquiry agent, is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private investigators often work for attorneys in civil and criminal cases.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Contents

During the labor strikes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate unions, supply guards, keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. One such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to reinforce the strikebreaking measures of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie. [5] The ensuing battle between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to the deaths of seven Pinkerton agents and nine steelworkers. [6] The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921.

Labor spying in the United States has involved people recruited or employed for the purpose of gathering intelligence, committing sabotage, sowing dissent, or engaging in other similar activities, in the context of an employer/labor organization relationship. Spying by companies on union activities has been illegal in the United States since the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. According to the American Management Association, nearly 80% of major US companies actively spy on their employees.

Strike action Work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work

Strike action, also called labor strike, labour strike, or simply strike, is a work stoppage, caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became common during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labor became important in factories and mines. In most countries, strike actions were quickly made illegal, as factory owners had far more power than workers. Most Western countries partially legalized striking in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

A trade union is an association of workers forming a legal unit or legal personhood, usually called a "bargaining unit", which acts as bargaining agent and legal representative for a unit of employees in all matters of law or right arising from or in the administration of a collective agreement. Labour unions typically fund the formal organization, head office, and legal team functions of the labour union through regular fees or union dues. The delegate staff of the labour union representation in the workforce are made up of workplace volunteers who are appointed by members in democratic elections.

The company now operates as "Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, Inc. d.b.a. Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management", a division of the Swedish security company Securitas AB. The former Government Services division, PGS, now operates as Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services, Inc. [7]

Origins

Original company logo We never sleep.jpg
Original company logo

In the 1850s, Allan Pinkerton, Scottish detective and spy, met Chicago attorney Edward Rucker in a local Masonic Hall and formed the North-Western Police Agency, later known as the Pinkerton Agency. [8] [9] [10]

Allan Pinkerton American Civil War spy

Allan J. Pinkerton was a Scottish-American detective and spy, best known for creating the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

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." [11]

Government work

Pinkerton guards escort strikebreakers in Buchtel, Ohio, 1884 Pinkerton escorts hocking valley leslies.jpg
Pinkerton guards escort strikebreakers in Buchtel, Ohio, 1884

In 1871, Congress appropriated $50,000 (about equivalent to $1,046,000in 2018) to the new Department of Justice (DOJ) to form a sub-organization devoted to "the detection and prosecution of those guilty of violating federal law." The amount was insufficient for the new DOJ to fashion an internal investigating unit, so they contracted out the services to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. [12]

United States Department of Justice U.S. federal executive department in charge of law enforcement

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.

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." [13]

Chicago "Special Officers" and watchmen

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, using the alias "James McKenna", infiltrated the Molly Maguires, a 19th-century secret society of mainly Irish-American coal miners, leading to the downfall of the labor organization.

The incident inspired Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novel The Valley of Fear (1914–1915). A Pinkerton agent also appears in a small role in "The Adventure of the Red Circle", a 1911 Holmes story. A 1970 film, The Molly Maguires , was loosely based upon the incident as well.

Pinkerton men leaving a barge after their surrender during the Homestead Strike Homestead riot harpers 3c26046v.png
Pinkerton men leaving a barge after their surrender during the Homestead Strike

Homestead Strike

Frick's letter describing the plans and munitions that will be on the barges when the Pinkertons arrive to confront the strikers in Homestead Frick to Carnegie letter about the arming of the Pinkertons.jpg
Frick's letter describing the plans and munitions that will be on the barges when the Pinkertons arrive to confront the strikers in Homestead

On July 6, 1892, during the Homestead Strike, 300 Pinkerton detectives from New York and Chicago were called in by Carnegie Steel's Henry Clay Frick to protect the Pittsburgh-area mill and strikebreakers. This resulted in a firefight and siege in which 16 men were killed, and 23 others were wounded. To restore order, two brigades of the Pennsylvania militia were called out by the Governor.

As a legacy of the Pinkertons' involvement, a bridge connecting the nearby Pittsburgh suburbs of Munhall and Rankin was named Pinkerton's Landing Bridge.

Steunenberg murder and trial

Harry Orchard was arrested by the Idaho police and confessed to Pinkerton agent James McParland that he assassinated former Governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho in 1905. Orchard testified, (unsuccessfully) under threat of hanging, [17] against Western Federation of Miners president Big Bill Haywood, naming him as having hired the hit. With a stirring defense by Clarence Darrow, Haywood and the other defendants of the WFM were acquitted in a nationally publicized trial. Orchard received a death sentence, but it was commuted. [18]

Indiana University

Bogus written and distributed by Indiana University students in 1890. The Pinkerton Agency was hired to find the authors. Indiana University Archives P0033903.jpg
Bogus written and distributed by Indiana University students in 1890. The Pinkerton Agency was hired to find the authors.

In 1890, Indiana University hired the Pinkerton Agency to investigate the authorship of a student "bogus" that had been distributed throughout town. While boguses were not uncommon, this particular one attacked IU faculty and students with such graphic language that Bloomington residents complained. The detective arrived in Bloomington on April 26 and spent nearly two weeks conducting interviews and dispatching regular reports back to the home office. In the end, it was town talk that led to the student authors and not the work of the agent. The seven Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers were from locally prominent families, including the son of a Trustee, but all were expelled. In 1892, however, the Trustees granted five of the men their degrees and all seven were reinstated in good standing. [19] [20]

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). On March 17, 1874, two Pinkerton Detectives and a deputy sheriff, Edwin P. Daniels, [21] encountered the Younger brothers (associates of the James–Younger Gang); Daniels, John Younger, and one Pinkerton agent was killed. In Union, Missouri a bank was robbed by George Collins, aka Fred Lewis, and Bill Randolph; Pinkerton Detective Chas Schumacher trailed them and was killed. Collins was hanged on March 26, 1904, and Randolph was hanged on May 8, 1905, in Union. Pinkertons were also hired for transporting money and other high-quality merchandise between cities and towns, which made them vulnerable to outlaws. Pinkerton agents were usually well paid and well armed.

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.

Modern era

Due to its conflicts with labor unions, the word Pinkerton continues to be associated by labor organizers and union members with strikebreaking. [22] Pinkertons diversified from labor spying following revelations publicized by the La Follette Committee hearings in 1937, [23] and the firm'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. With less of the labor and criminal investigation work on which Pinkertons 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. [24] The company now focuses on threat intelligence, risk management, executive protection, and active shooter response.

In 1999, the company was bought by Securitas AB, a Swedish security company, for $384 million, [25] followed by the acquisition of longtime Pinkerton rival, the William J. Burns Detective Agency (founded in 1910), to create (as a division of the parent) Securitas Security Services USA. [26]

Badge history

Books

Film

Music

Television

Video games

See also

Related Research Articles

Securitas AB Sweden security services group

Securitas AB is a security services, monitoring, consulting and investigation group, based in Stockholm, Sweden. The group has over 300,000 employees in 53 countries worldwide. Securitas AB is listed at Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, Large Cap segment.

Railroad police or railway police are persons responsible for the protection of railroad properties, facilities, revenue and personnel, as well as carried passengers and cargo. Railroad police may also patrol public rail transit systems. Their exact roles differs from country to country. In some countries railroad police are no different from any other police agency, while in others they are more like security police. Some are given extensive additional authority, while those in other jurisdictions are more restricted.

Molly Maguires Wikimedia disambiguation page

The Molly Maguires was an Irish 19th-century secret society active in Ireland, Liverpool and parts of the Eastern United States, best known for their activism among Irish-American and Irish immigrant coal miners in Pennsylvania. After a series of often violent conflicts, twenty suspected members of the Molly Maguires were convicted of murder and other crimes and were executed by hanging in 1877 and 1878. This history remains part of local Pennsylvania lore.

William J. Burns

William John Burns, known as "America's Sherlock Holmes," is famous for having conducted a private investigation clearing Leo Frank of the murder of Mary Phagan, and for serving as the director of the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) from August 22, 1921 to May 10, 1924. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and was educated in Columbus, Ohio. As a young man, Burns performed well as a Secret Service Agent and parleyed his reputation into the William J. Burns International Detective Agency, now a part of Securitas Security Services USA. A combination of natural ability as a detective combined with an instinct for publicity made Burns a national figure. His exploits made national news, the gossip columns of New York newspapers, and the pages of detective magazines, in which he published "true" crime stories based on his exploits.

The Baldwin–Felts Detective Agency was a private detective agency in the United States from the early 1890's to 1937. Members of the agency were central actors in the events that led to the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921 and violent confrontations with labor union members as part of the Coal Wars in such places as the Pocahontas Coalfield region of West Virginia, the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912 in West Virginia, the Ludlow Massacre in 1914 and the Battle of Matewan in 1920.

In the United States Senate, the La Follette Civil Liberties Committee, or more formally, Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee Investigating Violations of Free Speech and the Rights of Labor (1936-1941), began as an inquiry into a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigation of methods used by employers in certain industries to avoid collective bargaining with unions.

The Thiel Detective Service Company was a private detective agency formed by George H. Thiel, a former Civil War spy and Pinkerton employee.

The Coal and Iron Police was a private police force in the US state of Pennsylvania that existed between 1865 and 1931. It was established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly but employed and paid by the various coal companies. The origins of the Coal and Iron Police begin in 1865. Law enforcement in Pennsylvania at that time existed only on the county level or below; an elected sheriff was the primary law enforcement officer. The case was made by the coal and iron operators that they required additional protection of their property. Thus the Pennsylvania State Legislature passed State Act 228. This empowered the railroads to organize private police forces. In 1866, a supplement to the act was passed extending the privilege to "embrace all corporations, firms, or individuals, owning, leasing, or being in possession of any colliery, furnace, or rolling mill within this commonwealth". The 1866 supplement also stipulated that the words "coal and iron police" appear on their badges. A total of over 7,632 commissions were given for the Coal and Iron Police.

Charlie Siringo American law enforcement officer

Charles Angelo Siringo was an American lawman, detective, bounty hunter, agent for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

James McParland Private detective

James McParland was an American private detective and Pinkerton agent.

Morris Friedman was, until 1905, the private stenographer for Pinkerton detective James McParland. Friedman came to the attention of the public when he published an exposé of anti-union actions by the private detective industry which was called The Pinkerton Labor Spy. The book focused in particular on how mining and ore milling companies used spies during the Colorado Labor Wars.

Kate Warne was the first female detective, in 1856, in the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the United States.

The Pinkerton Labor Spy is a nonfiction book published in 1907 as an exposé of intrigue and abuses by the Pinkerton Detective Agency in general, and by chief agent James McParland in particular.

Anti-union violence

Anti-union violence is physical force intended to harm union officials, union organizers, union members, union sympathizers, or their families. It is most commonly used either during union organizing efforts, or during strikes. The aim most often is to prevent a union from forming, to destroy an existing union, or to reduce the effectiveness of a union or a particular strike action. If strikers prevent people or goods to enter or leave a workplace, violence may be used to allow people and goods to pass the picket line.

William J. Burns International Detective Agency

The William J. Burns International Detective Agency was a private detective agency in the United States, which was operated by William J. Burns. Founded in 1909, the agency had evolved into Burns Security then Burns International by August 2000, when it was acquired by Securitas AB From 1969 to 1983 it was headquartered in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Anti-union violence in the United States

Anti-union violence in the United States is physical force intended to harm union officials, union organizers, union members, union sympathizers, or their families. It has most commonly been used either during union organizing efforts, or during strikes. The aim most often is to prevent a union from forming, to destroy an existing union, or to reduce the effectiveness of a union or a particular strike action. If strikers prevent people or goods to enter or leave a workplace, violence may be used to allow people and goods to pass the picket line.

Damnation is an American period drama television series. The series was ordered on May 12, 2017. The series is a co-production between Universal Cable Productions and Netflix. Netflix streamed the show worldwide outside the United States, where it aired on USA Network. The series premiered on November 7, 2017. On January 25, 2018, it was announced that the series had been cancelled after one season.

References

  1. "Pinkerton Government Services, Inc.: Private Company Information – Businessweek". investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  2. Green, James (2006). Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement, and the Bombing that Divided Gilded Age America. Pantheon Books. ISBN   0-375-42237-4.p. 43
  3. Seiple, Samantha (2015). Lincoln's spymaster : Allan Pinkerton, America's first private eye. New York: Scholastic Press. ISBN   978-0-545-70901-9. OCLC   922643750.
  4. TM Becker (1974). "The place of private police in society: An area of research for the Social Sciences". Social Problems. Social Problems. 21 (3): 438–453. doi:10.1525/sp.1974.21.3.03a00110. JSTOR   799910.
  5. "Strike at Homestead Mill". Public Broadcasting System. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  6. Krause, Paul (1992). The Battle for Homestead, 1890-1892: Politics, Culture, and Steel. University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN   0-8229-5466-4. p.20-21
  7. LinkedIn
  8. Foner, Eric; Garraty, John Arthur, eds. (Oct 21, 1991). The Reader's Companion to American History. Houghton Mifflin Books. ISBN   0-395-51372-3.p. 842
  9. Robinson, Charles M (2005). American Frontier Lawmen 1850-1930. Osprey Publishing. ISBN   1-84176-575-9.p. 63
  10. Horan, James David; Howard Swiggett (1951). The Pinkerton Story. Putnam.p. 202
  11. Morn, Frank (1982). The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN   0-253-32086-0. p. 18
  12. Churchill, Ward (Spring 2004). "From the Pinkertons to the PATRIOT Act: The Trajectory of Political Policing in the United States, 1870 to the Present". The New Centennial Review. 4 (1): 1–72. doi:10.1353/ncr.2004.0016. Archived from the original on October 26, 2009.
  13. 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 "GAO Decision B-298370; B-298490, Brian X. Scott (Aug. 18, 2006)".
  14. "White, J.J." Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  15. "Rassmuson, Hans". Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  16. "Miller, Frank". Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
  17. Peter Carlson, Roughneck: The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood, W.W. Norton & Company, 1983, page 90
  18. Peter Carlson, Roughneck: The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood, W.W. Norton & Company, 1983, page 140
  19. Clark, Thomas D. (1970). Indiana University Midwestern Pioneer: The Early Years. Bloomington & London: Indiana University Press. pp. 257–260. ISBN   0-253-14170-2.
  20. Kellams, Dina (October 12, 2016). "Sincerely Yours: The Pinkerton Detective Agency". Blogging Hoosier History. Indiana University Libraries. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  21. "Deputy Sheriff Edwin P. Daniels". The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP).
  22. Williams, David Ricardo (1998). Call in Pinkerton's: American Detectives at Work for Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press. ISBN   1-550023-06-3.
  23. Morn, Frank (1982). The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN   0-253-32086-0. p. 188-189
  24. Morn, Frank (1982). The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN   0-253-32086-0. p. 192.
  25. The Pinkertons Still Never Sleep, New Republic, 23 March 2018
  26. About Securitas USA (company site)
  27. "The Pinkertons TV Series". Rosetta Media and Buffalo Gal Pictures. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  28. Andreeva, Nellie (July 23, 2014). "Angus Macfadyen Set To Play Allan Pinkerton In Syndicated Drama Series 'The Pinkertons'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 2014-10-11.
  29. "Rockstar defends Pinkerton name in ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’", The Washington Post (Associated Press), January 19, 2019.
  30. Nicholson, Tom. "The Actual Pinkerton Detective Agency Is Suing 'Red Dead Redemption 2'", Esquire , January 18, 2019.
  31. Robertson, Adi (2019-04-11). "Take-Two dropped its lawsuit over Red Dead Redemption 2's Pinkerton agents". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-04-11.

Further reading