Lincoln's Spymaster

Allan Pinkerton

Good Guys and Bad Guys

Of all the villains in this book, and there are a lot, my favorite is Rose Greenhow. She's a spy who works from home, basically, keeping a crystal clear record with the north. I decided to do a compare and contrast between Allan Pinkerton, and Rose Greenhow. The first Major difference between the two is their backgrounds. Pinkerton grew up in the slums of Ireland. With hardly enough money to eat and keep a roof over his head. Greenhow had a privileged childhood, with all the food and clothing she would ever need. Greenhow and Allan Pinkerton have different ways of doing the same job. Allan Pinkerton is a go-getter, he chases after criminals of all kinds, all over the country. Travelling from Illinois, to DC to Indiana, and back again. Rose Greenhow spies from the comfort of her own home, collecting information from northern leaders, who believe she herself is a northern sympathizer, at her massive parties, then passing her new found knowledge off to other spies to take her letters out of northern territory and to southern military leaders, and other powerful leaders.

Pinkerton was always a team player, working with many like minded spies, such as, Timothy Webster, and George Banks. And Greenhow worked mostly alone, except for her share of messengers and bodyguards. Allan Pinkerton lived in friendly territory. He was Union spy and lived in the Union. While Greenhow lived in the north, she was a secessionist, and an overall supporter of the south.

Rose Greenhow

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Allan Pinkerton with his company logo

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Civil War America

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Pinkerton's Legacy

-Under the leadership of his sons, his agency hunted down nearly every bank and train robber, even after Pinkerton's death

-Billy Pinkerton Brought international recognition to his agency when he found the stlen painting of the Duchess of Devonshire

-Billy also helped Scotland Yard develop fingerprinting

-The FBI today continues to use Pinkerton's methods including, shadowing suspects, and other undercover work

-Pinkerton's Detective Agency was a family business until Pinkerton's great grandson stepped down from his position as CEO in 1967.


I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars, taking off one star for a lack of strong vocabulary, and figurative language. Otherwise, Lincoln's Spymaster is a great story, that most definitely deserves more attention than it has received. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in history, or, espionage related stories.