A Spy for the Union:
The Life and Execution of Timothy Webster

Timothy Webster, best known for his work as a spy for the Union during the Civil War, began his career as a New York City policeman. In the mid-1850s he left the police department and took a job for Allan Pinkerton with his newly formed detective agency. As an operative for Pinkerton’s agency, Webster excelled. His cases included tracking a world famous forger, investigating grave robberies in a Chicago cemetery, and seeking to uncover a plot to destroy the Rock Island Bridge. It was also as a Pinkerton detective that Webster made his greatest contribution to his country when he was part of a small group of operatives that uncovered a plot to assassinate then President-elect Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Webster went on to serve the United States as a spy in the Civil War. He traveled to the Confederate Capital multiple times and made many connections high up in the Confederate military and government. For a time he was the Union’s top spy, but his career came to an abrupt end when, in 1862, he was betrayed by fellow spies and became the first spy executed in the Civil War.

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Related pages:

Timothy Webster Reports

Hattie Lewis

Pinkerton's National Detective Agency Sources
Murder on the White Sands:
The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain

It was the end of January 1896 when the Grand Jury adjourned in the town of Lincoln, territory of New Mexico. Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain had just worked to bring indictments against several men in order to combat the cattle rustling that ran rampant in the territory. His work finished, Fountain, with his eight-year-old son Henry, left Lincoln. The pair headed southwest, towards their Mesilla home. The journey, some 150 miles, would take three days. It was a journey the father and son would not complete, for on the third day they disappeared near the White Sands, an area known for mysterious disappearances. What became of them remains New Mexico's greatest murder mystery.

"This book recounts the mystery in apt detail, with most of the prevalent theories presented. The story moves along like detective fiction, with chapters on the various aspects of the murders, investigation and trial.” New Mexico Magazine

“This is the ultimate Pat Garrett/A.J. Fountain, West Texas/Southern New Mexico manuscript. I have never seen such a beautifully researched piece. Nobody is going to excel it, although you will always find folks who want to argue with portions. After this book, it will be a century before anyone approaches the subject again. In short, this is the kind of book I wish I had written." - Leon Metz, author of Pat Garrett and John Wesley Hardin

“The first book to deal exclusively with the Fountain murders, this account of the disappearance, investigation and trial is for anyone who enjoys murder mysteries, outlaws and the American West, criminal investigations and the criminal justice system." Ruidoso News

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