Kate Warne


Kate Warne Famous memorial

Erin, Chemung County, New York, USA
Death 28 Jan 1868 (aged 34–35)
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Plot Section: Section C Lot: 554 Space: 8
Memorial ID 6425 View Source

Private Detective. She received notoriety, in an era when women did not usually work outside the home, as America's first woman detective. Born in New York City, almost nothing is known of her prior to 1856 when, as a twenty-three-year-old, she answered an employment advertisement placed by Alan Pinkerton for his famous Pinkerton Detective Agency. Although she had to plead her case for employment, she was one of four new agents the Pinkerton Detective Agency hired that year and proved to be a natural, taking to undercover work easily. She had taken part in embezzlement and railroad security cases when in 1861, the Pinkertons developed the first lead about an anti-Lincoln conspiracy. She was one of several operative sent to Baltimore to uncover the plot, going undercover as a Southern belle and infiltrating the Barnum Hotel's social circle, allowing her to confirm a plot wand offer key details. She then coordinated the operatives and devised a scheme to get United States President Abraham Lincoln safely to Washington, D.C. by transferring to a different train and being disguised as an invalid. When General McClellan requested Pinkerton's for his own security, she was among the operatives assigned. Over her career she assisted in breaking the Rose O'Neal Greenhow spy ring in Washington, D.C, trapped a murderer and bank robber in Mississippi, thwarted a poisoner, and became supervisor of Pinkerton's Female Detective Bureau. Pinkerton wrote that she had never disappointed him, never let him down, and was one of the top operatives his agency ever produced. In December of 1867, she fell ill, and Pinkerton stayed by her side until she succumbed at about age 35 to pneumonia. She was buried in the Pinkerton family plot, with her tombstone misspelled. All documents from the Pinkerton archive spelled her name Warne, but throughout her career she was also called Kay Warne, Kay Waren, Kay Warren, Kate Warne, Kate Waren, Kate Warren, Kitty Warne, Kitty Waren, Kitty Warren, Kittie Warren, Kittie Warne, Kittie Warren.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 18 Sep 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 6425
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Kate Warne (c.1833–28 Jan 1868), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6425, citing Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .