Kate Warne

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Kate Warne (1833- January 28, 1868) was the first female detective in the United States.

Early career

Described by Allan Pinkerton as a slender, brown haired woman, there is not much else known about Kate Warne prior to when she walked into the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1856. Born in New York, Warne became a widow shortly after she married. Kate Warne was left as a young childless widow in search of work. In answer to an ad in a local newspaper, Kate Warne walked into Allan Pinkerton’s Chicago office in search of a job. There is still debate whether or not she walked in with intentions to become a detective or just a secretary. Women were not detectives until well after the Civil War. Allan Pinkerton himself claimed that Kate Warne came into his agency and demanded to become a detective. According to Pinkerton's records, he <blockquote>"was surprised to learn Kate was not looking for clerical work, but was actually answering an advertisement for detectives he had placed in a Chicago newspaper. At the time, such a concept was almost unheard of. Pinkerton said " It is not the custom to employ women detectives!" Kate argued her point of view eloquently - pointing out that women could be "most useful in worming out secrets in many places which would be impossible for a male detective." A Woman would be able to befriend the wives and girlfriends of suspected criminals and gain their confidence. Men become braggarts when they are around......
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