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Hidden Message Found in Lincoln Pocket Watch (Abraham Lincoln)
Washington Post ^ | Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | Neely Tucker

Posted on 03/10/2009 3:15:49 PM PDT by nickcarraway

For nearly 150 years, Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch has been rumored to carry a secret message, supposedly written by an Irish immigrant and watchmaker named Jonathan Dillon.

Dillon, working in a D.C. watch repair shop in 1861, told family members that he -- by incredible happenstance -- had been repairing Lincoln's watch when news came that Fort Sumter had been attacked in South Carolina. It was the opening salvo of what became the Civil War.

Dillon told his children (and, half a century later, a reporter for the New York Times) that he opened the watch's inner workings and scrawled his name, the date and a message for the ages: "The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try."

He then closed it up and sent it back to the White House. Lincoln never knew of the message. Dillon died in 1907.

The watch, meanwhile, was handed down and eventually given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. It didn't run anymore. No one had pried open the inner workings in ages. The old watchmaker's tale was just that.

And then Douglas Stiles, Dillon's great-great grandson, alerted Smithsonian officials to the family legend last month. He was a real-estate attorney in Waukegan, Ill., he explained. He'd heard the legend around the dinner table as a kid, but had just discovered a New York Times article from 1906, quoting Dillon as telling the story himself.

Truth? Lore?

This morning, in a small conference room on the first floor of Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, officials decided to find out.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: abelincoln; civilwar; despot; dishonestabe; godsgravesglyphs; greatestpresident; lincoln; lowestpresident; presidents; tyrant; warcriminal; watches
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1 posted on 03/10/2009 3:15:49 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

ping-Thanks for posting.


2 posted on 03/10/2009 3:17:26 PM PDT by unkus
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To: nickcarraway

Quite a story. It also says a lot about how people remember things.


3 posted on 03/10/2009 3:19:46 PM PDT by x
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To: nickcarraway

Interesting.


4 posted on 03/10/2009 3:19:52 PM PDT by Dustbunny ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Margaret Thatch)
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To: nickcarraway

“dear 0bama:stop using my name in vain”


5 posted on 03/10/2009 3:20:09 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB (ACORN:American Corruption for Obama Right Now)
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To: SunkenCiv

ping-er-roo


6 posted on 03/10/2009 3:20:32 PM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: nickcarraway

Great post!

~ shoptalk


7 posted on 03/10/2009 3:20:36 PM PDT by shoptalk (Defend principles, not personalities. Personalities will always break your heart.)
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To: nickcarraway

That was really interesting. Thanks.


8 posted on 03/10/2009 3:20:51 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: nickcarraway

General Tojo was hanged by US authorities, but before that his USN dentist drilled into his dentures in Morse Code, “Remember Pearl Harbor”.

He got hanged with that in his MOUTH..!

True story..!!


9 posted on 03/10/2009 3:22:06 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: nickcarraway

If the latter day defenders of Confederate secession are to be believed, the watchmaker should have inscribed a message about tariffs instead. But the overriding issue sparking the conflict was the fate of slavery and even an immigrant watchmaker knew it.


10 posted on 03/10/2009 3:22:56 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: nickcarraway
The message makes me feel that things were more uncertain for some people than some of us realize.

"Jonathan Dillon April 13, 1861. Fort Sumter was attacked by the rebels on the above date. Thank God we have a government."

11 posted on 03/10/2009 3:23:34 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

You didn’t read the article did you?


12 posted on 03/10/2009 3:24:26 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: nickcarraway

Thanks for the interesting post! I’m going to print the article for my husband who always puts secret messages/photos in our walls, etc whenever we remodel (he thinks someone will be interested someday when they tear down our house!)


13 posted on 03/10/2009 3:24:52 PM PDT by keepitreal (Obama brings change: an international crisis (terrorism) within 6 months)
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To: onedoug; raven92876

ping


14 posted on 03/10/2009 3:25:34 PM PDT by stylecouncilor (The black man is keeping me down!)
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To: keepitreal

My husband was a carpenter/remodeller who loved to find old newspapers and other messages in walls.


15 posted on 03/10/2009 3:28:01 PM PDT by maica (Barack Obama is a Communist Party Project.)
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To: nickcarraway

What do you think a watchmaker would engrave inside Barry’s Jorg Gray 6500 Series Chronograph?


16 posted on 03/10/2009 3:28:03 PM PDT by bimboeruption (Clinging to my Bible and my HK.)
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To: nickcarraway

Even more remarkably, it was further determined that the stopped watch had been right exactly 100 more times than Obama has been right in the 50 days he has held the office of President. The stopped watch is right twice per day.


17 posted on 03/10/2009 3:28:34 PM PDT by San Jacinto (gorebull warming -- the Socialists' Shortcut.)
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To: keepitreal

I helped a friend strip wallpaper from a house that dated from the early 1920s.

One wall had “not sized” written on it in large cursive letters.

I commented that we were looking at something written by someone who had passed away...


18 posted on 03/10/2009 3:28:55 PM PDT by George Smiley (They're not drinking the Kool-Aid any more. They're eating it straight out of the packet.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

You didn’t read the article, did you?


19 posted on 03/10/2009 3:29:23 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: nickcarraway

One would have thought the Smithsonian would have opened it to clean it upon arrival in 1958.


20 posted on 03/10/2009 3:31:39 PM PDT by bgill
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To: ansel12

I didn’t read the whole thread before I posted either; hate when that happens.


21 posted on 03/10/2009 3:31:40 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: ansel12
No, I didn't read beyond the excerpt. Maybe the watchmaker did not know at the time, but the rebels knew that their secessions were entirely based on defending slavery as their own words show:

"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world."

22 posted on 03/10/2009 3:32:18 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: George Smiley; maica

Isn’t it interesting to have a little tie to the folks of the past?


23 posted on 03/10/2009 3:33:08 PM PDT by keepitreal (Obama brings change: an international crisis (terrorism) within 6 months)
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To: keepitreal

I have always tucked away something of ours and about us in the places we have lived.

I would love to see what has fallen in the cracks in our current home throughout the years. We live in a mid 19th century farmhouse, the upstairs flooring is from an older structure and has some cracks and gaps. There is a hollow space between the floor and the downstairs ceiling. I would love to know what is in there.


24 posted on 03/10/2009 3:33:17 PM PDT by kalee (01/20/13 The end of an error.... Obama even worse than Carter.)
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To: bimboeruption
What do you think a watchmaker would engrave inside Barry’s Jorg Gray 6500 Series Chronograph?


FUBO

25 posted on 03/10/2009 3:34:56 PM PDT by Knute
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To: kalee

When we remodelled our house, we ripped out a built-in desk. In the back of the drawer a child had written “I hate homework”. I met the woman who is now in her 50’s.


26 posted on 03/10/2009 3:36:15 PM PDT by keepitreal (Obama brings change: an international crisis (terrorism) within 6 months)
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To: keepitreal

Indeed.


27 posted on 03/10/2009 3:39:03 PM PDT by George Smiley (They're not drinking the Kool-Aid any more. They're eating it straight out of the packet.)
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To: nickcarraway

28 posted on 03/10/2009 3:39:41 PM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: gaijin
I looked up the story, and your partially correct. A dentist did drill that phrase onto Tojos dentures, but in morse code. The word got out about what he had done and the dentist knew he was in trouble, so he went back to the prison where Tojo was being held and took out the message.

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/Content?oid=10876

29 posted on 03/10/2009 3:39:51 PM PDT by lowbridge (It's not that liberals are ignorant, it's that they know so much that isn't so - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

None of that has anything to do with the thread, you didn’t read the article and made a stupid sounding post.


30 posted on 03/10/2009 3:43:43 PM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: lowbridge

“story, and your partially correct”

you’re


31 posted on 03/10/2009 3:45:25 PM PDT by lowbridge (It's not that liberals are ignorant, it's that they know so much that isn't so - Ronald Reagan)
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To: keepitreal
When we remodelled our house, we ripped out a built-in desk. In the back of the drawer a child had written “I hate homework”. I met the woman who is now in her 50’s.

I remember hearing a similar story, except that the child was named ODumbo and in the back of the drawer he had written, "I hate America". I hear that the guy is now President or something...

32 posted on 03/10/2009 3:45:36 PM PDT by Zeppo (Save the cheerleader, save the world...)
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To: ansel12
None of that has anything to do with the thread, you didn’t read the article and made a stupid sounding post.

Again I admit I did not read the whole article the first time. I merely engaged in preemptive thread hijacking. Sort of like the Austrian Empire's decision to invade Serbia in 1914.

33 posted on 03/10/2009 3:47:48 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: kalee
We live in a mid 19th century farmhouse... There is a hollow space between the floor and the downstairs ceiling. I would love to know what is in there.

We live in a 40 yr. old house on 10 acres. Until we had the various holes and cracks patched up, there were mice everywhere. Most likely you would find a graveyard of tiny skeletons.

34 posted on 03/10/2009 3:48:20 PM PDT by giotto
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To: nickcarraway

cool.

sometimes myths turn out to be more truth than fiction


35 posted on 03/10/2009 3:50:12 PM PDT by GeronL (Will bankrupting America lead to socialism?)
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To: nickcarraway
Cool story!


36 posted on 03/10/2009 3:52:42 PM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left!)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Feeling silly yet?


37 posted on 03/10/2009 3:54:10 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: nickcarraway
The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead.

I call BS. Lincoln may have had many things in mind at the beginning of the war, but even he stated that ending slavery was not one of them.

ML/NJ

38 posted on 03/10/2009 3:55:15 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: RegulatorCountry

Better for me to be the first injector of silliness here prior to a decent into denunciations of “Dishonest Abe” and “Tyrant Lincoln”.


39 posted on 03/10/2009 3:59:39 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: bimboeruption

Time to show your Birth Certificate??


40 posted on 03/10/2009 4:01:17 PM PDT by lakeman
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To: gaijin
General Tojo was hanged by US authorities, but before that his USN dentist drilled into his dentures in Morse Code, “Remember Pearl Harbor”.

Almost Yes BUT ... here is a link to an active article about it and the Dentist, Dr. Jack Mallory. General Tojo, IJA, was imprisoned until he was hung on December 22, 1948.

The pertinent facts are quoted below ...

The military procedure for dental appliances was to engrave the name, rank, and serial number of the individual on the dentures themselves, Mallory explains. His colleagues pressured him instead to put the phrase “Remember Pearl Harbor” on the dentures.

After thinking it over, Mallory decided to go through with the prank, but to do it in a way that was less obvious and thereby safer—by using Morse code to write the message. He carefully drilled the dots and dashes into the dentures, engraving them with an unforgettable slogan forever ingrained in the American people’s minds. Only his roommate, Foster, knew what he had done, however.

However the outcome was that when the story got out locally, upper command had Dr.Mallory grind the message off of the dentures. I do find it interesting that one of the most notorious and defamed leaders of Imperial Japan got dentures from the US Government for the last 6 months of his life. Thanks for bringing this piece of history to my attention.

41 posted on 03/10/2009 4:01:24 PM PDT by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
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To: ml/nj

In 1861, Lincoln only sought to preserve the Union and the secession was driven by a desire to protect and promote slavery. The evidence is clear on both counts.


42 posted on 03/10/2009 4:01:36 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
Better for me to be the first injector of silliness here

Yes, I've come to understand that you are a firm believer in pre-emptive silliness, over time. Particularly where the War Between The States is concerned.

Carry on.

43 posted on 03/10/2009 4:03:57 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: lowbridge

You beat me - I found the same story and got too deep in reading it! /smile


44 posted on 03/10/2009 4:04:44 PM PDT by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
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To: keepitreal
Thanks for the interesting post! I’m going to print the article for my husband who always puts secret messages/photos in our walls, etc whenever we remodel (he thinks someone will be interested someday when they tear down our house!)

I hope his wish comes true someday and someone finds his messages. That would be fun for everyone.

Whenever I hear about this sort of thing, I'm always reminded of the Warner Bros. cartoon titled One Froggy Evening. A construction working finds a frog (Michigan J Frog, for trivia buffs), which sings show tunes... but only when the man around to hear and for no one else. It soon drives him to ruin.

One Froggy Evening(^) at YouTube.

45 posted on 03/10/2009 4:06:28 PM PDT by mountainbunny
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

That’s an awesome picture of Lincoln.


46 posted on 03/10/2009 4:07:36 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater ("Get out of the boat and walk on the water with us!”--Sen. Joe Biden)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

But the hidden message didn’t mention slavery.

In fact, what he did write hardly seems worth the trouble.


47 posted on 03/10/2009 4:08:05 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: kalee
There is a hollow space between the floor and the downstairs ceiling. I would love to know what is in there.

Reminded me of this Gif I had in my collection


48 posted on 03/10/2009 4:09:09 PM PDT by IrishPennant
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To: nickcarraway

Pretty cool story,
Thanks.


49 posted on 03/10/2009 4:10:07 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: kalee
There is a hollow space between the floor and the downstairs ceiling. I would love to know what is in there.

If it were my boyhood home, you'd find (really) old Playboys, an Aurora slot car that pissed me off, and perhaps a fossilized doobie or two...

50 posted on 03/10/2009 4:13:26 PM PDT by lafroste (gravity is not a force. See my profile to read my novel absolutely free (I know, beyond shameless))
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