Mystery Monday: The Pinkerton Agency Part II
With the death of Allan Pinkerton in 1884, the agency was taken over by his sons, Robert (in New York) and William (in Chicago). Shortly, thereafter a branch was opened in Denver, with James McParland and Charlie Siringo managed the Western Division. Many of the agency’s assignments were connected to the federal government, and operatives performed may of the same duties that are now handled by the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. In addition, Pinkertons (as they began to be called) worked for the railroads and overland stage companies, chasing down outlaws, such as the Reno Brothers and Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch.
By this time, the company had become heavily involved in the anti-labor movement, often hired by large organizations to break strikes or prevent them from happening by using undercover agents to infiltrate the unions. However, the state of Ohio was not impressed with the agency, and in 1890 outlawed them saying that Pinkerton’s 2,000 active agents and 30,000 reserves were larger than the US army and could be hired out as a “private army” or militia.
At the turn of the century, Pinkerton began to face competition from other security agencies that had popped up as well as from improved city police departments. As a result, the agency expanded its operations to conduct investigations for insurance claims and provide protection at racetracks and public events. In 1907 Allan Pinkerton II, grandson of the company founder, inherited the agency. By the 1920s, the firm also began investigations into the growing Mafia presence in New York and New Orleans.
In 1930 Robert Pinkerton II, the great-grandson of Allan Pinkerton became head of the agency. During the labor upsurges of the Depression years, strikebreakers and union-busters relied heavily on spies and espionage. With an emphasis placed on undercover work, Pinkerton became the most important supplier of industrial spies in the country. By 1940, however, the agency narrowed its focus to private investigative services and guarding of property. During WWII, operatives were hired to guard war supply plants.
With most U.S. boys fighting for Uncle Sam in far off countries, Rochelle Addams has given up hope for a wedding in her future. Then she receives an intriguing offer from a distant relative to consider a marriage of convenience.
Conscientious objector Irwin Terrell is looking forward to his assignment at Shady Hills Mental hospital to minister to the less fortunate in lieu of bearing arms. At the arrival of the potential bride his father has selected for him, Irwin’s well-ordered life is turned upside down. And after being left at the altar two years ago, he has no interest in risking romance again.
Despite his best efforts to remain aloof to Rochelle, Irwin is drawn to the enigmatic and beautiful young woman, but will time run out before his wounded heart can find room for her?
Inspired by the biblical love story of Rebekkah and Isaac, Love’s Allegiance explores the struggles and sacrifices of those whose beliefs were at odds with a world at war.
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