Pinkerton's National Detective Agency:
Nevada Field Office
Pinkerton, founded as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, was a private detective agency established in the United States by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. 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. Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. Pinkerton was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world at the height of its power.
In 1856, Pinkerton made history when he hired Kate Warne as the first female detective in the history of the United States. Warne would go on to become one of the most successful agents in Pinkerton's employ. NCWV member Sandy Gillott portrays Kate Warne--no picture of the actual Kate Warne is known to exist.
In 1861, the Pinkerton Agency foiled an assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln, and guided him safely to his first inauguration. For the duration of the war, Allan Pinkerton would serve as the head of the Union Intelligence Service--the forerunner of the United States Secret Service. It was during this time that he recruited the first African American Union Intelligence Agent, John Schobell. At the end of the war in 1866, the first recorded train robbery took place, and the Pinkertons were called to investigate.
The Pinkertons continued to serve the US Government, relentlessly pursuing outlaws such as Jesse James, the Dalton Brothers, and Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. By the early 1890s, Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency had 2,000 active agents and 30,000 reserves causing the state of Ohio to outlaw the agency, due to the possibility of it being hired out as a “private army” or militia.
Pinkerton's National Detective Agency ceased working for the Federal Government in 1893, after passage of the Anti-Pinkerton Act. The law states 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."
The Pinkertons of the Nevada Civil War Volunteers are also members of the Nevada Gunfighters, and proudly portray one of the most progressive law enforcement agencies in history.