Essay on Biography of Allan Pinkerton

Words: 913
Pages: 4

Biography of Allan Pinkerton

CJS 250
Axia College UOP

Allan Pinkerton is without a doubt one of the most famous figures in the Detective history. In his long and varied career he was called a traitor and a patriot, an outlaw and a police officer, a thug and an idealist, a left-leaning political activist fighting for the plight of the workers and a hired goon for bosses, a defender of liberty and a tramper of rights, an immigrant and a drunkard, a rogue, an adventurer and a barrel maker. Nevertheless, most of all, he was a detective.
He founded the detective agency that still bears his name, arguably the most famous private detective agency in the world. He and his operatives foiled assassination attempts on presidents and
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Allen, headed an organization whose purpose was to obtain military information in the Southern states. The rapidly expanding agency soon became known for other, less admirable activities, not quite so easily made jest of. Free of any real legal restraints, they often became a law unto themselves, and soon became notorious for some rather shady tactics, from entrapment and intimidation up to kidnapping and murder. Their heavy-handed, ruthless and often reckless pursuit of criminals such as the James brothers (they firebombed their mother's farmhouse, killing a child) and their growing notoriety as strikebreakers, selling dirty tricks and muscle to rich capitalists, soon began to turn public sympathy away from the agency.
Perhaps it is fortunate Pinkerton was long gone by that time. However, you still have to wonder what Pinkerton, who as a young man was heavily involved in pro-labor politics himself, thought of the agency he had founded becoming a sort of special interest army for the rich and powerful, intent on crushing the burgeoning American labor movement. Maybe he did not have the time – by then, Pinkerton was too busy running a huge and rapidly expanding business empire to philosophize on the irony of it all.
Pinkerton passed away in 1884, and his agency was taken over by his sons, Robert and William, who continued the agency's movement from detective work to security and protection. Nevertheless,