This detective, who watched over Abraham Lincoln during the president-elect’s 1861 inaugural trip to the White House, founded an agency that still provides security services today:
Lafayette C. Baker
Isaac G. Middleton
Allan Pinkerton. The founder of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, famous for its “We Never Sleep” motto, Pinkerton immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1842. Going into police work, the ambitious Pinkerton won fame for breaking a counterfeiting ring, became deputy sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, and in 1850 founded his detective agency. He was involved in uncovering and foiling secessionists’ supposed plot to assassinate President-elect Lincoln when he stopped in Baltimore en route to Washington, D.C. Later, he set up the U.S. Secret Service and then oversaw intelligence-gathering operations for Major General George B. McClellan’s Union Army of the Potomac. Pinkerton’s estimates of Confederate strength were inflated; coupled with McClellan’s tendency toward excessive caution, they helped keep the Army of the Potomac from taking effective action. After the Antietam Campaign, when McClellan was relieved of his command, Pinkerton went back to civilian detective work. His agency originated the term “private eye.”
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