Contract Between the Illinois Central Railroad Company and Pinkerton & Company, February 1, 1855

In this February 1, 1855 contract between the Illinois Central Railroad and Allan Pinkerton's Detective Agency, Pinkerton & Company agree to establish a "Police Agency" in Chicago to assist the Railroad in the "prompt and efficient performance of their business."

Illinois Central R.R. Company
Pinkerton & Co.
Dated Febr 1st 1855

Articles of Agreement, made this first day of February 18755, between Allan Pinkerton & Co of the one part; and the Michigan Central Railroad Company, the Michigan Southern Railroad & Northern Indiana Railroad Companies, the Illinois Central Railroad Company, the Chicago and Galena Union Railroad Company, the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad Company, the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company,

Witnessith; whereas, the said Pinkerton and Company propose to establish a Police Agency, the office of which is to be at Chicago , but which is to operate in the neighbouring states; and whereas it is to be primarily and principally devoted to the service and business of the above named companies, (even to the exclusion of all other business if necessary to the prompt and efficient performance of their business); and whereas, in consideration thereof the said companies have severally agreed to guarantee and pay to said Pinkerton & Co, the several teams hereinafter specified for the first year, to aid them in organizing and putting in effective operation the said agency;

Now therefore, it is hereby agreed on the part of said Pinkerton & Co that they will establish and maintain a Police office or agency, the head office of which shall be located at Chicago, at which shall be carried on and kept all the correspondence and information necessary to the proper and prompt performance of the business of said office and agency for and with said companies; and they will hold all business communications from said companies in strict confidence except with the representative agents of said companies as hereinafter provided for; They will also keep on hand and under their central a sufficient number of reliable, active and experienced assistants, to enable them to respond to the call of any or either of said companies without delay; and in case the business of either of them shall be of an unusually emergent character and meeting either more assistants or those having different qualifications than those then in their employ, they shall as soon as practicable procure such and so many as may be needed for such service. In all cases of importance they are to give their personal attention to the preliminary investigation of the facts, and maturing and adapting the plan of action, preference in all cases to be given to those companies whose buildings trains or tracks are then in jeopardy. The said Pinkerton & Co shall at all times, communicate to said companies any information they may have concerning the habits or associations of the employees of said companies.

In case the Postoffice department shall continue to commission said Pinkerton as a special mail agent, the calls of the Department are to stand of the same class as to priority or preference as those of said companies; with the special preference above stated.

The said Pinkerton & Co (and such of their assistants as they shall designate) are to be furnished with season passes on each of said roads; and they are all to be furnished with blank passes, which in cases of necessity may be used in the service of said companies and in no other.

Each of said companies shall designate a person who shall in all communications with said Pinkerton & Co and their men, as well as with the other companies, be the organ of his company; and all directions to said Pinkerton & Co shall be serviced through him, and all reports and correspondence made to him, no expense shall be charged to any of said companies unless the services were rendered pursuant to the direction of such agent. Each company, as well as said Pinkerton K& Co shall be informed who are so selected and of any change which may be made; and the agents of each company shall keep those of the others fully advised of all matters which may in any way affect the interests or safety of the others such communications however, to be strictly secret and confidential, until divulged by the company promoting the investigation. The said companies agree that in all things properly within the scope of the said agency, to do all in their power for their mutual safety and advantage. The said agents of said Companies may have meetings from time to time for mutual consultation, and all differences or disputes between said Pinkerton & Co and any of said companies, shall be settled by the award of the agents of the other companies or a majority of them, whose decision shall be final. Two or more of said companies may combine in a call on said agency, when it appears probable they are suffering from the depredations of the same gang. Nothing herein contained shall prevent any of said agents calling in any of the officers of his company to a confedential [sic] interview with said Pinkerton & Co, or the agents of the other companies, for the purpose of advising in the premises. Each of said agents shall be furnished with a pass over each of the other Roads.

And for the purpose of enabling said Pinkerton & Co to make the necessary preparatory arrangements, and procure the necessary men, said companies do each agree to pay to said Pinkerton and Co, the amounts severally mentioned, payable quarterly from the fifteenth day of February, 1855 for one year from that date, that is to say: The Michigan Central Railroad Company two thousand dollars; the Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad Companies two thousand dollars; the Chicago and Galena Union Railroad Company two thousand dollars; the Illinois Central Railroad Company two thousand dollars; the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad Company one thousand dollars, the Chicago Burlington and Quincy Railroad Company thousand dollars;

The above named sums are to be credited to the several companies respecilvely [sic] and each are to be charged for the services rendered and expenses incurred in its business; and should such services and expenses amount to more than the amount above agreed to be paid, such excess is to be paid to said Pinkerton & Co, but should they be less that shall not affect the payment of said amount but the overplus shall stand to its credit to apply on any future services to be rendered to it by said Pinkerton & Co.

The services of said Pinkerton and Co. and their employees shall be divided into three classes according to their skill and ability, having in view also the personal risk of the employment; and the charges for the first class, besides necessary expenses and disbursements shall not exceed ten dollars per day; the second class not to exceed seven dollars per day, and the third not over three and a half dollars per day, and for such special assistants as sudden or special exigencies may render necessary, there shall be charged what they have to pay therefore, and a reasonable sum for their personal supervision of them when necessary.

R. N. Rice Supt for M.C. R. R. Co
A. M. Baker Atty for M. S & N. I. R R Co's
John B. Turner " G. & C. U. R R Co
R. B. Mason Supt I. C. R. R. Co
John E. Henry " for C & R. I. R. R. Co.

C. B & Q. R. R. Co. became a party to this contract as also the Chicago and Milwaukee R. R. Co. during the year 1855.

Renewed for one year from 15th February 1856.

About this Document

  • Source: Contract Between multiple Chicago Railroads including the Illinois Central Railroad Company and Pinkerton & Company, February 1, 1855
  • Extent: 9 pages
  • Citation: The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, Illnois Central, Box 12, Folder 193
  • Date: February 1, 1855