Allan Pinkerton

American Civil War spy

Allan J. Pinkerton (25 August 1819 – 1 July 1884) was a Scottish–American detective and spy. He was best known for creating the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. He was known for protecting then-President-elect of the United States Abraham Lincoln during the Baltimore Plot (a plan to kill Lincoln in Baltimore, Maryland in 1862).[1]

Allan Pinkerton
Allan Pinkerton-retouch.jpg
Portrait of Allan Pinkerton, circa 1861
Born(1819-08-25)25 August 1819
The Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland
Died1 July 1884(1884-07-01) (aged 64)
Chicago, Illinois, US
Resting placeGraceland Cemetery, Chicago
OccupationCooper, abolitionist, detective, spymaster
Known forCreating Pinkerton Detective Agency, being an American Civil War Union spy
Spouse(s)Joan Pinkerton (m. 1842–1884)


  1. Hunt, Russell A. (2009). "Allan Pinkerton: America's first private eye (1819–1884)". The Forensic Examiner.