Lincoln's watch had a secret message

Unknown to Lincoln.


I’ll bet it leads to Lincoln’s Gold.

I saw that story. Straight out of National Treasure! :wink:

I thought that the secret message was going to say:

Drink more Ovaltine!

And I thought it was going to say:


While I thought it was going to say:

Fire McClellan already, would ya?

Though it could have said:

I’m standing behind you!

I heard a story on NPR about this, where they had a reporter on the scene when the back of the watch was opened and examined. A descendant of the watchmaker(who was doing a repair on the watch) said it was a family story that his ancestor had put the message in the watch and it was something like “the war has started, slavery will end, thank God we have a president” When the watch was opened, there was no mention of slavery. That was very interesting to me. Kind of like playing a game of “telephone” over five generations.

The descendant of the watchmaker who added the message was a hoot though. He said “It’s true! My great-great grandfather graffitied the President’s watch.”


They found a hidden safe in Endeavor and mad a big deal about opening it Halloween night. Most people would have had something better to do that night.

It had:

  1. A letter polling parents in the late 1950’s if they thought the children should be offered milk
  2. Receipts for milk
  3. Receipt for a text book.

Where or what is Endeavor?

According to the NMAH website, it was actually the watchmaker himself who gave the inaccurate account, in a 1906 interview to the New York Times.

The museum website also gives a full transcript of the secret message:

So, Lincoln’s watch was repaired by Jonathan Dillon, in Washington, then? Graffiti indeed. Way to use the Civil War as a stealth advertising opportunity for your watch repair business, Jon. Opps, looks like you’ve still got a lot of space left in there. Why not just sign your name as many different ways as possible.
ETA: Am I nuts or does that picture of the watch also show the name “Jeff. Davis” engraved in there? As in Jefferson Davis? The hell?

A very small town in Wisconsin founded as an academy.

Yes. The NYT speculates that it might’ve been done by another watchmaker of Confederate sympathies later, in reaction to the earlier pro-Union scratchings.

I thought that the secret message was going to say: You can’t win, Booth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

And here I thought the great secret was going to be 42.

**hotflungwok **, was that a Doctor Who reference, or just an assassination reference? 'Cause it works either way.