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The first female detective in the United States: Kate Warne’s biography

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Kate Warne, the first female detective in the United States, born in 1833, grew up in Erin Cheung County, New York. Not much is known about her mother or her father, but she was not the only child. Kate Warne is an inspiration to all women for being one of the very first private eye detectives. Allan, director of the agency, greatly appreciated Kate, he said “In my service you will serve your country better than on the field. I have several female operatives. If you agree to come aboard you will go in training with the head of my female detectives, Kate Warne. She has never let me down”.

One Day Kate Warne was reading an ad for detectives, and she saw an opportunity to be apart of Allan Pinkerton’s Agency. She decides to go up for the job. Kate Warne stomps into the office, demanding to see Allan Pinkerton, although when he first met her, he was surprised that she was not there to become a clerical worker. Allan Pinkerton said “It is not custom to employ women detectives”. Kate Warne, trying to prove a point says, women could be “Most useful in worming out secrets in many places which would be impossible for a male detective”. Kate Warne is trying to demonstrate that women can do anything a man can do. Her argument influenced Allan Pinkerton so much that Kate Warne became the first female detective on August 23,1856 over the power of his brothers objection, Robert Pinkerton. Kate Warne had an affair with Allan Pinkerton, but he had kids and a wife. Allan Pinkerton and Kate Warne became married and travelled. This became a problem, because his brother asked about the prices that Kate was turning in. Kate Warne’s first assignment was in 1858 investigating the Adams Express Company for a robbing. Mr. Maroney was an expressman in Montgomery, Alabama who had stolen $50,000 from the Adam’s Express Company. Kate talked to the wife of the criminal for more information on the case.

With the help of Kate, she returned $39,515 to its rightful place, and Maroney spent 10 years on prison. One of the biggest cases Kate is known for is the assassination of the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. In 1861, Samuel Felton, president of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wilmington Road,hired Pinkerton. He Needed Allan Pinkerton to investigate the division breakaway in Maryland, and Felton worried “bout threats of damage to the railroads to Maryland by “roughs and divisions to Maryland”.Felton’s thoughts made Allan place agents at different points of Maryland to investigate, after they gathered enough information they are now aware where the assassination is located in Maryland (aware the the activity also included assassination plot).Warne then later on became part of the investigation team, she was sent to Baltimore on February 3,1861, which told a story to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, while changing trains in Baltimore going to D.C for his oath in the office. Mrs. Cherry and M. Barley gave Kate a fake identity as a flirting southern belle with a thick southern accent and they planted her in Barnum Hotel to uncover more information. Warne found out where and when Lincoln’s assassination would be and she came up with the plan to meet Lincoln at the small hallway of Calvert Street Station in Baltimore. She noticed that there was supposed to be a fight in the location that Lincoln was to be, hoping that the cops would come and see what the ruckus is about, meaning that would leave Lincoln in the middle of the scene at the time.

If Lincoln were to come through the city he would leave in death, and when Allan had heard of this he asked for a meeting with Lincoln while still in Philadelphia. His wishes came true, Lincoln listened and asked questions, and the agency decided to safely take him to D.C. Warne was one of the main detectives a part of the Baltimore assassination. Not only did she discover the plot, but took with her the most of the supplies to smuggle Lincoln into D.C., they went non-stop to Baltimore where he delivered a speech. Friday, February 22, 1861, appeared before state legislature in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he said “It shall be endeavored to preserve the peace of this country”. His train left at 11 and go to Philadelphia, on his way to Baltimore. Lincoln missed the ball in Philadelphia so he could make it to his next trip on a chartered train to Baltimore. Warne saved 4 beds using the excuse that the beds are for her family including her valid brothers.

Ward Lennon, his personal friend and bodyguard. A few months later, on April 14, 1865, actor John Wilkes Booth shot a bullet into Lincoln’s head. He believed that if the detectives were watching he would have never have access to the President’s box. Pinkerton relied on Warne, who has done many roles as a spy in her life. Sometimes she would pose as Pinkerton’s wife to gather information on military intelligence for Major George McClean within the Civil War. She then became Mrs. Potter, who persuaded some information on the murdere’s wife in Mississippi. She also became a Lucille, a fortune teller who found out the true story about. She became Lucille, a fortune teller who unveiled a plot to poison a man named Captain Sumner.

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GradesFixer. "The first female detective in the United States: Kate Warne’s biography." GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019,
GradesFixer, 2019. The first female detective in the United States: Kate Warne’s biography. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 11 August 2020].
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