Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Sunday, June 9, 2019

IHMN: The Pinkerton Detective Agency (Episode 5.8)


In the 1850s, Allan Pinkerton, Scottish detective and spy, met Chicago attorney Edward Rucker in a local Masonic Hall and formed the North-Western Police Agency, later known as the Pinkerton Agency. By the mid-1850s a few businessmen saw the need for greater control over their employees; their solution was to sponsor a private detective system. In February 1855, Allan Pinkerton, after consulting with six midwestern railroads, created such an agency in Chicago. Needless to say, they were not very popular at the time. In addition, the Pinkerton Detective Agency was hired by many firms and local law enforcement to hunt down criminals and their activities.


In 1871, Congress appropriated $50,000 to the new Department of Justice (DOJ) to form a sub-organization devoted to "the detection and prosecution of those guilty of violating federal law." The amount was insufficient for the new DOJ to fashion an internal investigating unit, so they contracted out the services to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. However, since passage of the Anti-Pinkerton Act in 1893, federal law has stated 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." However, it does not stop private organizations from using their services such as being hired for transporting money and other high-quality merchandise between cities and towns, which makes them vulnerable to outlaws. Pinkerton agents are well paid and well armed.

 "We Never Sleep"

"Beware of the Old Man in a Young Man's profession." 

Special Officer James McParland was an Irish immigrant who joined the Pinkertons when a "fire" destroyed his business. McParland would stop at nothing to take down his client's enemies because he believed his authority came from "Divine Providence." To carry out God's Will meant he was free to break laws and lie until every man he judged evil was hanging on the gallows. He has trained many a Special Officer in his methods of undercover work, detection, and tracking.
 
Name: Special Officer James McParland
Pluck: +3
Leadership: +1
Speed: 0
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: +4
Talents: Fearless, Lightning Draw, Intuitive, Marksman (Military Rifle), Tough
Basic Equipment: Military rifle, pistol, fighting knife
Armor: The Patented Brigandine Faraday Coat* (Armor is 9 but 11 against Arc Weapons)
Cost: 72

*The Patented Brigandine Faraday Coat cost 9 points and is probably the most distinctive aspect of the Pinkerton Detective Agency


Ben Thompson is a gambler, gunfighter, and sometime lawman who rubbed shoulders with some of the most famous figures of the Old West. He started his criminal career at the age of 17, when he stabbed and killed a fellow gambler whom he had accused of cheating him at cards. Thompson was known for being lightning fast on the draw, and gained a reputation as a gunfighter after killing two men in a shootout on Christmas Eve of 1886. Wanting to escape this reputation, he took a job as a Special Officer with the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Name: Special Officer Ben Thompson
Pluck: +3
Leadership: +1
Speed: 0
Fighting Value: +1
Shooting Value: +4
Talents: Fearless, Lightning Draw, Gunslinger, Duelist (Pistol), Marksman (Pistol), Tough
Basic Equipment: Two pistol, fighting knife
Armor: The Patented Brigandine Faraday Coat (Armor is 9 but 11 against Arc Weapons)
Cost: 64



Although not as well known as someone like Wild Bill Hickok or Wyatt Earp, Dallas Stoudenmire was a feared lawman in his day, and is known for participating in more gunfights than most of his contemporaries. After being wounded several times while fighting in the Civil War, Stoudenmire moved to the lawless city of El Paso, Texas to serve as sheriff. Only three days into his tenure, he became involved in one of the West’s most legendary battles, what is common known as the “Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight,” in which he shot three men. A few days after the fight, friends of the men Stoudenmire had shot hired the town drunk to assassinate him. But Dallas was able to get the drop on him and supposedly shot the man eight times, killing him. Unfortunately, the drunk got off one shot that lodged in Stoudemire's skull blinding him - but also for some reason unleashing an untapped mechanical genius. Forced to retire as sheriff, he joined the Pinkerton Agency with his new "mechanical eyes."

Name: Special Officer Dallas Stoudenmire
Pluck: +3
Leadership: +0
Speed: 0
Fighting Value: +1
Shooting Value: +4
Talents: Lightning Draw, Marksman (Military Rifle), Tough, Engineer, Impervious (bullet in the skull!)
Basic Equipment: Military rifle, pistol, fighting knife, monocular targeting array
Armor: The Patented Brigandine Faraday Coat (Armor is 9 but 11 against Arc Weapons)
Cost: 70


Special Officer Tom Horn

Name: Pinkerton Detective Agency Special Officer
Pluck: +5
Leadership: +0
Speed: 0
Fighting Value: +2
Shooting Value: +2
Talents: A Special Officer may have up to 3 talents. Available talents are Lightening draw, Marksman, Tough, Intuitive, Duelist, Fearless, Intuitive, Stealthy, Trick Riding (of course you need to be mounted), Cavalryman, Part of the Crowd, Fortitude, Mechanic, Skirmisher and Medic
Basic Equipment: May chose pistol, shotgun, shotgun (short), carbine, military rifle, throwing knife, fighting knife, monocular targeting array and rocket pack.
Armor: The Patented Brigandine Faraday Coat (Armor is 9 but 11 against Arc Weapons)
Cost: ?

Special Officer Charlie Siringo

Special Officer Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan

Left to Right: Special Officers James McParland, Dallas Stoudenmir, and Ben Thompson

8 comments:

  1. It's hard for me to reconcile Pinkerton's excellent reputation with the truly abominable intelligence work his firm did for the Army of the Potomac in 1862. Somehow they concluded that Confederate forces vastly outnumbered the Federals, which was ridiculous--quite the opposite was the case. How were they so far off? Did Pinkerton perhaps not assign his best men to the job? Worse, this misinformation dovetailed nicely with McClellan's obsession that his opponent always had overwhelmingly superior numbers. Pinkerton's men must have been fired shortly after McClellan was, as they are not mentioned much afterwards.

    Best regards,

    Chris Johnson

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, I'm a military historian and agree; I won't even get into the labor union busting activities. This entry is not factual and is designed to supplement a Victorian Sci Fi game.

      Delete
  2. Very nice, I live in Edinburgh and the Pinkerton family gave funds to his wife's former church to have a stained glass window made. It's still there on the upper floor of Duddingston Church which also happens to be one of the oldest churches in Edinburgh. I was married there and the minister recounted this story to me as I was stood nervously waiting on my wife...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities and my wife and I have visited many times - in fact Honorable Son #2(The Captain) and his lovely bride (The Future Lawyer) honeymooned in Edinburgh.

      Delete
  3. Another great addition to the narrative

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riot - Thanks. For me half the fun is coming up with the characters and having a reason for them.

      Delete