#OnThisDay August.25: Founder of ‘ Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency ‘ was bor n ‘ Allan Pinkerton ‘ in 1819 in Glasgow, Scotland: He was an ardent abolitionist, and his s hop functioned as a “station” for escaped slaves traveling the Underground Railroad to freed om in the North #AceHistoryDesk report

#AceHistoryReport – Aug.25: Allan Pinkerton (1819-84), founder of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on August 25, 1819: Pinkerton emigrated to the United States in 1842 and eventually established a barrel-making shop in a small town outside of Chicago. He was an ardent abolitionist, and his shop functioned as a “station” for escaped slaves traveling the Underground Railroad to freedom in the North: The Late Allan Pinkerton. Illustration from Harper’s Weekly, July 12, 1884. p.452. Prints & Photographs Division

Pinkerton’s career as a detective began by chance when he discovered a gang of counterfeiters operating in an area where he was gathering wood. His assistance—first in arresting these men and then another counterfeiter, led to his appointment as deputy sheriff of Kane County, Illinois, and, later, as Chicago’s first full-time detective.

Secret Service by Wm Gillette. “It Looks Like a Plot on Our Telegraph Lines!” New York: Strobridge & Co. Lith, c1896. Posters: Performing Arts Posters.Prints & Photographs Division

Pinkerton left his job with the Chicago police force to start his own detective agency. One of the first of its kind, this predecessor to Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency provided an array of private detective services—specializing in the capture of train robbers and counterfeiters and in providing private security services for a variety of industries. By the 1870s, Pinkerton’s growing agency had accumulated an extensive collection of criminal dossiers and mug shots that became a model for other police forces.

In 1861, while investigating a railway case, Pinkerton uncovered an apparent assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln. It was believed that conspirators intended to kill Lincoln in Baltimore during a stop along the way to his inauguration. Pinkerton warned Lincoln of the threat, and the president-elect’s itinerary was changed so that he passed through the city secretly at night.

Union General George McClellan later hired Pinkerton to organize a “secret service” to obtain military information in the Southern states during the Civil War. Pinkerton sent agents into Kentucky and West Virginia, and, traveling under the pseudonym “Major E. J. Allen,” performed his own investigative work in Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi.

After McClellan was replaced as the commander of the Army of the Potomac in 1862, Pinkerton resumed the management of his detective agency. The agency expanded after the Civil War, opening offices in New York City (1865) and Philadelphia (1866). As his business grew, Pinkerton drew public attention to its work by producing a series of popular “true crime” stories.

Antietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton (“E. J. Allen”) of the Secret Service on Horseback. Alexander Gardner, photographer, September 1862. Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints. Prints & Photographs DivisionAntietam, Md. Allan Pinkerton, President Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand; another view. Alexander Gardner, photographer, October 3, 1862. Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints. Prints & Photographs Division

In time, because Pinkerton’s Agency was often hired by industrialists to provide intelligence information on union-organizing efforts, Pinkerton guards and agents gained notoriety as strikebreakers. Notable confrontations between Pinkerton agents and laborers include the 1886 Haymarket Riot and the 1892 Homestead Strike, both of which occurred after Pinkerton’s death in 1884.

Illinois-The Anarchist-Labor Troubles in Chicago, from a sketch by C. Bunnell. Illus. in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, May 15, 1886. Prints & Photographs Division.The Labor Troubles at Homestead, Pa.- Attack of the Strikers and Their Sympathizers… Drawn by Miss G. A. Davis from a sketch by C. Upham; illus. in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, July 14, 1892. Prints & Photographs Division
#AceHistoryDesk report ………..Published: Aug.25: 2020:

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#OnThisDay August 5, 1775, the Spanish ship San Carlos, commanded by Juan Manuel de Ayala, entered what woul d soon be called San Francisco Bay: Unnoticed by such early naval explorers as Sir Francis Drake and Sebasti án Vizcaíno, the bay had been sighted by land during a Spanish scouting expedition six years earli er #AceHistoryDesk report

Spanish authorities, intent on offering proof of Spain’s claim to the area, promptly sent nearly two hundred settlers to populate the region. In 1776 both a presidio, or garrison, and a Catholic mission were established. Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores) was started by Franciscans, who named both the bay and the mission after the founder of their religious order, St. Francis of Assisi View of San Francisco, Formerly Yerba Buena, in 1846-7 Before the Discovery of Gold. [San Francisco?]: Bosqui Eng. & Print. Co., 1884. Panoramic Maps.Geography & Map Division

As early as 1835, the United States sought to buy San Francisco Bay from Mexico (independent of Spain since 1821), the same year that a small town called Yerba Buena was founded. It was not until after the end of the Mexican War that California was ceded to the United States as a provision of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed within days of the discovery of gold along the American River. By then, Yerba Buena had claimed its new name, San Francisco—and the Gold Rush was on.

I soon shall be in Frisco,
And then I’ll look around;
And when I see the gold lumps there,
I’ll pick them off the ground. O California,
That’s the land for me:
I’m bound for San Francisco,
With my washboard on my knee.

I Soon Shall be in Frisco.” [Text, c1914]. California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell. American Folklife Center

Holmes Reaches Pikes Peak!

On August 5, 1858, Julia Archibald Holmes became the first woman on record to reach the summit of Pikes Peak. She, her husband James Holmes, and two others began their trek on August 1. For the ascent, Julia Holmes wore what she called her “American costume” — a short dress, bloomers, moccasins, and a hat. In a letter written to her mother from the summit, she said:

“I have accomplished the task which I marked out for myself…Nearly everyone tried to discourage me from attempting it, but I believed that I should succeed…”

A Bloomer Girl on Pike’s Peak, 1858: Julia Archibald Holmes, First White Woman to Climb Pike’s Peak. Agnes Wright Spring, ed.; Denver: Western History Department, Denver Public Library, 1949), 39.

Pikes Peak Panorama. H. (Henry) Wellge; Milwaukee, Wis., American Publishing Co. [1890]. Panoramic Maps. Geography & Map Division

Pikes Peak takes its name from Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, who, fifty years prior to Holmes’ ascent, led an expedition to reconnoiter the southwestern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase. In November 1806, Pike, with a small party, began an ascent of the peak. Weather conditions forced them to abandon their frustrating attempt to climb to the summit.

A Pike’s Peak Prospector. William Henry Jackson, photographer, ca. 1900. Detroit Publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division

In 1820, during the administration of President James Monroe, another party, under Major Stephen H. Long, was sent to explore this area. Dr. Edwin James, historian of Long’s expedition, led the first recorded ascent of Pikes Peak in July of that year.

When gold was discovered in Colorado in 1858, the phrase “Pikes Peak or Bust” entered American parlance. Pikes Peak was used as verbal shorthand for a vast area in the general range of the peak presumed to be rich in gold. In 1891, the year of the discovery of the great gold field at Cripple Creek, the Pikes Peak cog railroad began operating.

Katharine Lee Bates’ 1893 climb to the top of Pikes Peak inspired her to compose a poem. Her text, later set to music, is the beloved American hymn, “America, the Beautiful,” which vied with “The Star-Spangled Banner” to become the national anthem:

The mountain of the Holy Cross, Colorado. Thomas Moran, artist: L. Prang & Co., c1876. Popular Graphic Arts. Prints & Photographs Division

O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

The advent of the automobile brought more visitors to Pikes Peak. Capitalizing on this phenomenon, Spencer Penrose built a toll road, completed in 1915, for auto travel to the top of Pikes Peak. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, started in 1916 to commemorate the opening of the highway, continues to be a grueling challenge to race car enthusiasts.

Today, Pikes Peak is easy to access by trail, railroad, or car. Located in the southeastern corner of the Pike National Forest, it is one of more than 50 peaks in Colorado that are at least 14,000 feet high.

#AceHistoryDesk report …………….Published: Aug.05: 2020:

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#OnThisDayInHistory After its first bid for statehood was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, Colorado entered the Union on August 1, 1876, the year the United States celebrated its centennial. Thus, the thirty-eighth state is known as the Centennial State #AceHistoryDesk

After its first bid for statehood was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, Colorado entered the Union on August 1, 1876, the year the United States celebrated its centennial. Thus, the thirty-eighth state is known as the Centennial State.Ute Indian Camp, Garden of the Gods, Shan Kive, 1913. [Colorado]. Stewart Brothers, c1913. Panoramic Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division

Among the early inhabitants of the land encompassed by Colorado were the Anasazi cliff dwellers. They were forced by drought and other factors to abandon their Mesa Verde homes in the late 1200s. At the time of European exploration and settlement Colorado’s population was made up of Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute peoples. Their territory was explored by the Spanish who, after Napoleon’s conquest of Spain, turned over its title to the French.

The United States acquired the eastern part of Colorado in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase and the western portion in 1848 through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In 1850, the federal government also purchased a Texas claim in Colorado. This combined property eventually became the Colorado Territory in 1861.

Rocks and stream along the Million Dollar Highway, Ouray County, Colorado. Russell Lee, photographer, Oct., 1940. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs. Prints & Photographs Division

The 1858 discovery of gold caused a population influx in Colorado, just as it had in California in 1849. After Horace Greeley notified readers of the New-York Tribune of this news, as many as 5,000 miners per week poured into the territory. By 1900 gold production had reached over $20,000,000 annually at Cripple Creek, one of the world’s richest gold camps.

Colorado proved rich in other minerals as well, and smelting ores to separate gold and other valuable metals became commercially profitable. As late as the 1940s, mountain streams in Ouray County, Colorado, ran yellow because of the tailings from the gold mills, as documented by Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee.

Railroad lines with names such as the Denver, Cripple Creek and Southwestern Railroad brought even more travelers and settlers to Colorado. Railroad traveler Sue A. Pike Sanders recorded the following impressions in her journal of an overnight stay in Denver in the summer of 1886:

Denver is a beautiful city of some 75,000 inhabitants, built mostly of stone and brick. It contains the usual amount of fine buildings. One in particular we are lead to observe, and that, Tabor’s Opera House, the largest in the world, excepting one in Paris, France. This building cost $850,000. The County Court House occupies an entire block, with buildings and ground. There are two large smelting works here…

A Journey to, on and from the “Golden Shore,” by Sue A. Sanders. Delavan, Ill.: Times Printing Office, 1887. “California as I Saw It”: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849 to 1900. General Collections

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#AceHistoryDesk report …………Published: Aug.01: 2020: Loc.Gov/

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