Vandal Watchmaker's Secret Message Found In Lincoln's Pocket Watch

Illustration for article titled Vandal Watchmakers Secret Message Found In Lincolns Pocket Watch

Aww, but he was a nice vandal!

Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked by the rebels...thank God we have a government.

After hearing the news, Watchmaker Jonathan Dillon scrawled this, along with his name, the date and a short account of the attack at Fort Sumter, the event that sparked the American Civil War, behind the watch's face. The inscription has been a thing of legend since it was mentioned in a 1905 New York Times interview with Dillon himself, but has only now been revealed by the National Museum of American History. They've had the watch for years, but finally cracked it open to check for the inscription after the watchmaker's great-great-grandson was all like, "dude, it's there." It was.

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I guess the modern equivalent would be a hidden text file in Obama's BlackBerry. What would it say?

"January 20th, 2009: Barack Obama has been inaugurated as the—OH MY GOD LOOK AT ARETHA'S HAT!"

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End. [Daily Mail]

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The actual inscription is ""Jonathan Dillon April 13- 1861 Fort Sumpter was attacked by the rebels on the above date. J Dillon. April 13- 1861 Washington thank God we have a government Jonth Dillon." from [www.nytimes.com]

The inscription above "The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try." was the rumored inscription which turned out to be untrue yesterday.