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Museum reveals engraving hidden in Lincoln watch

  Abraham Lincoln's English gold watch is seen in a handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution Tuesday, March 10, 2009. On Tuesday, curator...
 This photo provided by the National Museum of American History shows words engraved inside Abraham Lincoln's English gold watch. For nearly 150 years...

CORRECTION Lincolns Watch

Abraham Lincoln's English gold watch is seen in a handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution Tuesday, March 10, 2009. On Tuesday, curator...

Lincoln Watch Engraving

This photo provided by the National Museum of American History shows words engraved inside Abraham Lincoln's English gold watch. For nearly 150 years...

For nearly 150 years, a story has circulated about a hidden Civil War message engraved inside one of Abraham Lincoln's pocket watches. Now we know what it says.
On Tuesday at the National Museum of American History, a watchmaker used tiny tools to open the pocket watch and reveal the message left during repairs in 1861.
The first line says: "April 13, 1861. Fort Sumter was attacked by the rebels on the above date. J. Dillon." A second line reads: "April 13, 1861. Thank God we have a government. Jonathan Dillon."
Dillon's story circulated among his family and friends, eventually reaching a New York Times reporter. In a 1906 article in the paper, Dillon said he was moved to engrave a message after the first shots of the Civil War were fired in South Carolina.


Updated : 2021-06-25 02:48 GMT+08:00