Bucholz and the Detectives [Autographed by Robert A. Pinkerton].

Written by detective and spy Allan Pinkerton, founder of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency—“The Pinkertons”


Bucholz and the Detectives is a novelized account of the murder of German immigrant John Henry Schulte. It was written by Allan Pinkerton (1819–1884), noted Scottish-American private detective and spy. This copy has a presentation inscription from Pinkerton’s son and successor, Robert Allan Pinkerton (1848–1907).

The inscription reads in full: “Com. Frank Stott, with compliments of Robt. A. Pinkerton.” Francis Horatio “Frank” Stott (1832–1900), the son of a woolen mill owner in Stottsville, Columbia County, New York, was for many years the “Commodore” of the Atlantic Yacht Club of Brooklyn.

After the death of his father, Robert A. Pinkerton and his twin brother, William, became co-directors of their father’s detective agency, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

In the Preface to Bucholz and the Detectives, Allan Pinkerton writes:

The history of the old man who, although in the possession of unlimited wealth, leaves the shores of his native land to escape the imagined dangers of assassination, and arrives in America, only to meet his death—violent and mysterious—at the hands of a trusted servant, is in all essential points a recital of actual events. While it is true that in describing the early career of this man, the mind may have roamed through the field of romance, yet the important events which are related of him are based entirely upon information authentically derived. (ppxi–xii)

Allan Pinkerton emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1842. Moving to Chicago in 1850, he investigated counterfeiting for the U.S. Treasury Department, mail theft at the Chicago post office, and railroad theft, the latter involving an elaborate spy system. At this time, Pinkerton set up a private police force which later became known as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency—popularly called “The Pinkertons.” Pinkerton’s motto, “We Never Sleep,” along with an image of an eye is stamped in gilt on both the upper cover and spine of of the book.

Pinkerton’s spying for the federal government continued during the Civil War. Notably, he foiled an assassination attempt against President-elect Abraham Lincoln. Pinkerton is also noted for his controversial work in infiltrating the secret Irish-American fraternity, The Molly Maguires, and for policing labor strikes. Pinkerton agents also helped to search for and kill such Wild West outlaws as Jesse James and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

According to American National Biography (ANB), “To tap into the popular ‘yellow book’ publications glamorizing the exploits of detectives, and at the same time correct many misrepresentations, [Allan] Pinkerton published sixteen detective books between 1874 and 1884. Some were matter-of-fact ‘true detective stories,’ which retold past cases, while others were not stories at all but descriptions of various crimes and criminals. Like Pinkerton’s detective activities, his literary efforts were a cooperative endeavor—different authors under his supervision put his memories on paper.”

Bucholz and the Detectives is the eleventh title in Allan Pinkerton’s series, Great Detective Books.


Description: Bucholz and the Detectives [Autographed by Robert A. Pinkerton].

New York: G.W. Carleton & Co., Publishers, MDCCCLXXXI [1881]. xv, [1 (blank)], [17]–341, [1 (blank)], 4 (publisher’s catalog), [2 (publisher’s ads.)]pp. + Illustration plates. Sm. 8vo. Publisher’s illustrated green cloth, stamped in gilt and blind. Inscribed on preliminary leaf by author’s son, Robert A. Pinkerton. Lacking frontispiece; spine rubbed, especially at tail; some separation at rear hinge, but binding tight; otherwise, good.

[3726641]

Price: $75.00