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Abe Lincoln's Watch

Abraham Lincoln’s Pocket Watch Discovered to be Engraved

Since the mid 1850’s, a rumor has circulated that the sixteenth President of the United States and Civil Rights leader, Abraham Lincoln’s personal pocket watch was engraved with a secret message. Apparantly, Jonathan Dillon, and Irish immigrant watchmaker, was working on the watch as the Civil War broke out in South Carolina. Well, last week, this was proven to be true as the museum’s volunteer watchmaker George Thomas , and Doug Styles, who happens to be the great-great grandson of Jonathan Dillon, carefully opened the pocket watch in front of media and fellow museum workers. The inscription read:


Jonathan Dillon
April 13-1861
Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked
by the rebels on the above
date J Dillon
April 13-1861
thank God we have a government
Jonth Dillon


Here is a picture released by the National Museum of American History:


Amazingly, Brent D. Glass, Director of the National Museum of American History claims that Lincoln was not aware of the message on the pocket watch at all. The watch is said to be purchased by Lincoln from a Springfiled, Illinois jeweler, George Chatterton, and was originally manufactured in Liverpool, England. The watch is back on display as part of the exhibit: