Wilshire Book Company
200 William Street
Wilshire Book Co.,
IN placing before the reading public a work of such character as this, we feel that no special apology is needed at a time, when the system with which it deals is engaged in manipulating the prosecution of a case which promises to become a most noted landmark in the history of the United States.
Our object in publishing this work was neither to create a temporary "sensation" nor to warn the trades unions of the country against the insidious enemies in their midst. We recognize that to know every detail of the methods employed by the "secret operative" of the Pinkerton Agency in the union, is absolutely no defence against him, however interesting the knowledge may be. If there is a lesson for the trades unionist in this work, it is rather the indisputable conclusion that the emancipation of labor through purely economic effort is simply impossible.
Nor do we expect that this exposure will in the least degree tend to the elimination of the nefarious institution whose methods it uncovers. We recognize the Pinkerton Agency as an indispensable instrument to the capitalist class in the great and unceasing struggle with labor. Such institutions will of necessity last as long as our present industrial system.
We believe that the work will have its effect chiefly in opening the eyes of the public to the nature of the methods employed by the "Agency" in its efforts to convict Messrs. Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone, now awaiting trial in Boise for the murder of ex-Governor Steunenberg of Idaho, and who have been recently branded as undesirable citizens by no less a person than the president of the United States. On the other hand, we believe that something may be accomplished in exhibiting to the public gaze the presumably desirable citizens who are engaged in convicting them, and who inferentially are acting with the entire approval of the chief executive of the nation.
The utmost care has been taken to authenticate and verify the documents used in this work, the author having been for many years in a position to know the inside workings of the notorious institution which he so ably exposes. We may add also for the information of those whom it may concern, that the entire stock is not exposed in the store window. The documents used are but a small part of those available.
The passing away of the present system is certain, and one of the surest symptoms of its approaching end is the fact that it is increasingly dependent upon fraud and dissimulation for a prolongation of life. These contradictions become ever more glaring as time passes, and to see the industrial position of the great mining magnates of the west compelled to depend for its existence on an institution like the Pinkerton Detective Agency is surely one of the most portentous symptoms of coming economic change.
Whatever tends to uncover the character of the buttresses upon which modern capitalism depends for support, at the same time helps to undermine the present autocratic industrial regime, and prepare the ground for an industrial era founded upon economic justice, and which requires neither fraud, conspiracy nor force for its continuance.
ACTING on the principle that it is our sacred duty to right a wrong whenever possible—deeply concerned over a number of important events that have transpired in the Western part of our country during the past three years which tend, if unchecked, to undermine the foundations of our beloved national institutions—I have undertaken the task of writing this work, which is a true and authoritative description of the secret and inner workings of detective agencies in general, and Pinkerton's National Detective Agency in particular.
An institution which poses as a faithful and solicitous guardian of society from the aggressions of the criminal elements in order that it may the more secretly and effectively operate through cunning and intrigue against the moral and material welfare of the people is all the more dangerous because of its underhand mode of operation, the more treacherous by reason of its gross abuse of public trust and confidence, and the more infamous for seeking to cloak its shameful acts with the mantle of justice.
Pinkerton's National Detective Agency stands out pre-eminently as the dean of the many institutions of this character which infest our country. It is by far the biggest, the richest and the best organized. That it has existed and enjoyed an uninterrupted growth of prosperity and reputation for more than fifty-six years with the public kept in blissful ignorance as to the real nature of its business, is certainly a remarkable achievement of detective ingenuity.
To shed light on the inky darkness and secrecy so necessary to the success of this and kindred detective agencies, and to describe truthfully and fearlessly the workings of their governing or "Inner Circle," is the object of this work and its author.