So Who On Earth WAS Kate Warne?


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JPK Huson 1863

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And does it matter?

I don't mean to dismiss Kate or her various roles in Civil War cloak and dagger missions. It's just that Pinkerton, between believing his own hype and inventing more of it sure could cloud anyone else's ability to follow a story.

Alan Pinkerton is the legendary name ( at least ) of the man whose name is forever linked with spies, security, being photographed with Lincoln and let's face it, not having finished the war at the same level of importance as he began. The man hired by McClellan to do the job finished by Sharpe and his BMI ( in the most professional way possible ) finished the war investigating accounts of the numbers of missing soldiers. This did not stop Pinkerton from continuing to build his own legend. He had some high-profile cases post-war which helped maintain an extremely high profile. Being able to add females to his stable of spies, interesting characters and news-worthy people enhanced the Pinkerton name - even if his was the only name he allowed us to be sure of.

For anyone who has never heard the name Kate Warne, she the first female detective of Pinkerton's jolly gang, charged at one point with protecting Lincoln during his famous trip, on his inauguration journey to Washington.

http://www.janesinger.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/HOW-TO-CATCH-A-SPY-1.pdf
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1856 —
Kate Warne is hired by Pinkerton and becomes the first female detective in the U.S.
“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.” - ALLAN PINKERTON
http://www.pinkerton.com/history


Kate Warne, a young widow, with dark hair and a slight frame, convinced Pinkerton to hire her as an undercover detective in 1856. She had no experience in the field, but possessed a talent of ingratiating herself, surreptitiously into a suspects trust. She was also, a master of disguise and photos of the era may depict Kate Warne as a young Union cavalry trooper. Warne’s successful career convinced Pinkerton to hire other women agents and to promote Kate to Supervisor of Women Detectives..
http://www.civilwarbummer.com/lincolns-spy-that-never-slept-detective-allan-pinkerton/

This interest came about most recently from an old photo- 1864 ta Brandy Station. 3 recognized officers of the BMI, one unidentified. There's a largely discredited photo making the rounds on Pinterest, some suspect would be Kate Warne in one of her aliases as cavalry trooper. This ' unidentified' person in the Brandy Station photo caught me eye, so enlarged it.

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These would be Hooker's organization, not Pinkerton/Little Mac. Some in the first ended up working for the new ' Secret Service ' so it would not be surprising to see faces once connected with Alan Pinkerton in a group of BMI.

The ' Unidentified ' , larger then larger.
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OK yes, this could be a very pretty man. Poor guy, if he was this pretty. There's also Kate Warne out there and another woman ' Hattie Lawton aka Kate Brackett ', rumored to be quite beautiful. There's another photo floating around someone felt could be Kate Warne but since it's been pretty discredited, won't post it here. I'm not saying this will not be also, he/she is just awfully clean shaven and extremely pretty.

Back to who Kate Warne, ( Kate Warner, “Mrs. Barley,” “Mrs. Cherry,” “Mrs. Warren, Angie M. Warren )might have been. This site seems to have finally tracked her down with the help of a genealogist.

There's a Warn family, from Chemung, New York, moved to Wisconsin then Illinois ( in explicably but there had to be a reason for this. My family made the same migration, or part of it. ) Long story short, this person says she's been found in a census bearing the name Angie M Warn, in Illinois, June, 1860. When she was later buried in Pinkerton's section at Graceland Cemetery, she was buried under the name Angie M Warren. Pinkerton oddly kept a place in the cemetery for all his employees, Kate was one.
http://www.janesinger.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/HOW-TO-CATCH-A-SPY-1.pdf

Still, the numbers to not match up with this piece of sleuthing- a Pinkerton site says Kate was hired in 1856, 4 years previously. What makes more sense is a Mrs. Warren found later in the summer of 1860, living with
2 other females , Jane Smith and Mrs. Crawford, no occupations listed. There's conjecture she was teaching them the game, probably a little too much to assume that from just a census- if it's she, might be employees but may be merely sharing lodgings. IF it's Kate Warn at all? I think it assumes an awful lot, like every census taker spelling something simple incorrectly an awful, and 3 women living together always being spies! Widows in the same family frequently pooled resources, could simply be that circumstance. So- maybe she's still a mystery.

Kate Warn could easily have been someone who just did not wish to be found- a runaway wife or someone in a little trouble with the law. It's possible none of the names she offered are correct or if they are she lied about where she was born.

Kate is credited by Pinkerton with foiling one of the assassination plots against Lincoln-

" Perhaps Kate Warne’s most famous case was her role in helping foil an assassination attempt on President-elect Abraham Lincoln on his travels to Washington, D.C. for his inauguration. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s website article “Saving Mr. Lincoln,” Warne accompanied Pinkerton and four other operatives from his agency to Baltimore where Pinkerton had heard a plot to assassinate Lincoln would take place. According to other sources, she both helped to coordinate the operatives as well as to devise a strategy for getting Lincoln safely from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.

Different sources refer to Lincoln’s fervent opposition to the investigators’ strategy, which required him to go undercover, because he didn’t want people to view him as cowardly. But Pinkerton, Warne and others had enough evidence of a plot to convince Lincoln to go along with their plan. In it, he played Warne’s invalid brother, whom she was taking by street car to Washington, D.C. Warne must have had an appealing, charming personality because this was one of several incidences in which she cajoled people to do her bidding. In this particular case, she convinced the conductor to leave the back door of the street car open so her sickly brother could enter the compartment with privacy. "
http://thezenman.com/2012/12/the-first-u-s-female-private-eye-kate-warne-by-colleen-collins/

The last would be what so many consider important, no idea why, that Warne and Pinkerton were lovers. ' Evidence' includes the fact they posed as a married couple for various cases, which does not convince me. She is, however, buried next to him, little more suspect- he was married. Is his wife on the other side? Seems a little silly, someone with her capabilities throwing herself away on a married man. HOPE that would not be true. What a waste of a good woman. Whoever she was.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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That's what I thought? And her jaw line is very soft, not as hard as you would think for a man- eyebrow also pretty soft in line. Those are not definite indicators, but things which can be telling. People who get operations to be more feminine when they are not born of the gender concentrate on softening both of those. I don't know. I don't think it's imagination which feels there's a distinct challenge in that person's eyes too- kinda ' So, what do you think?
 

JPK Huson 1863

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She was tough to do a thread on, wonder if that would have pleased her? Between all her names and Pinkerton's love of the dramatic her trail is fuzzy- plus wherever she came from has been obfuscated because earlier researchers have come up with conflicting dates on Pinkerton and Warne. You'd have to go back, find the sources of all those dates, untangle those, ascertain why they were important in the first place, see if the source's source was accurate...... exhausting!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Thank you! ( am trying to write on a tablet- terrible at it) This photograph has been around forever just occurred to me the single unidentified person was kinda pretty.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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When I'm home will crop a photo of the feet- hate to keep agreeing with everyone but just got a look at all of them here. Was that E who pointed that out? Not just this unidentified person with small feet, the men's boots look like typical apartment buildings. Really more and more intrigued. This isn't Pinkerton' s bunch, BMI.

Thanks for your input too FF-Don't mean to sound snitty but maybe females have a little edge spotting each other? Fun too! :smile:
 

E_just_E

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Just found it at the library of congress. Here is the link. The full title is: Brandy Station, Va. Col. George H. Sharpe, John G. Babcock, unidentified, and Lt. Col. John McEntee, Secret Service officers at Army of the Potomac headquarters.

Downloaded the high resolution Tiff file and played a bit with photoshop. Here it is:

15698548727_4bc79eb148_b.jpg
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Thanks for the high- res version, how clear! Amazing, how those can make 150 years ago look like yesterday gee whiz!

This person looks fuller in the jaw in this version but still, also fuller across the area most telling on whether or not we'd be looking at a women. Have considered other aspects, how fabric falls when a person sits, how it hangs heavily when there's layers like they wore, the possibility there's something underneath creating that fullness ( on both sides? ) and what IS that object visible inside the vest? From neck to waist, the jacket just falls as it would if there was a certain anatomy underneath.

Also begs the question these other men knew perfectly well who it was they were sitting with.
 
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JPK, that's exactly what I thought also! The other men must have known who he/she was. And look at the pipe, seems as if this pipe isn't stuffed, much less lighted, it's a mere prop.
And that object under the vest ... no idea what that could be. But clever to wear it exactly there because then a slight bulge at the chest could be explained with it.
 

Northern Light

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JPK, that's exactly what I thought also! The other men must have known who he/she was. And look at the pipe, seems as if this pipe isn't stuffed, much less lighted, it's a mere prop.
And that object under the vest ... no idea what that could be. But clever to wear it exactly there because then a slight bulge at the chest could be explained with it.
It's her cellphone ...... or her walkie talkie. Seriously, I think it might be a tobacco pouch, almost as if the photographer caught her just as she had pulled out her pipe but hadn't got to the pouch yet. I'm probably wrong, just a guess.
 
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It's her cellphone ...... or her walkie talkie. Seriously, I think it might be a tobacco pouch, almost as if the photographer caught her just as she had pulled out her pipe but hadn't got to the pouch yet. I'm probably wrong, just a guess.
Brilliant! A very good guess, I think!
And that pouch hides very favourably a probably slim and rather feminine waistline.
 

Mike Serpa

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Maybe it's a mirror?
The last link in JPK's post had this October 1862 photo and says the unidentified person standing behind Pinkerton is Kate Warne. What say you?
01151v.jpg

Antietam, Maryland. Seated: R. William Moore and Allan Pinkerton. Standing: George H. Bangs, John C. Babcock, and Augustus K. Littlefield. LOC #01151. (Notice Sharpe shaved his mustache by the time February 1864 photo in the first post was taken.)

01151u.jpg
 

E_just_E

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Those 2 are not the same person. Here is the LoC link of that picture. Interestingly enough that person is identified as John C. Babcock who is the other clean shaved person in the original picture. Here is magnified:

15269407774_89e0a13742_b.jpg
 
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