Given that it's his 200th birthday this year, here are some interesting non-numismatic items relating to Lincoln and his images. Click on the image of the watch to see a larger version on Flickr. -Editor
Len Augsburger writes:
I found this interesting. It is a safe bet that the New York Times citation was located via digital search. A long-hidden message has been discovered inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch, the Smithsonian's Museum of American History announced Tuesday.
Watchmaker Jonathan Dillon was repairing Lincoln's watch in April 1861 when he heard about the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and wrote a short message on the metal inside the watch, the Smithsonian said.
There it remained, unseen for almost 150 years, it said.
In a 1906 interview with The New York Times, Dillon reported that as soon as he heard the news about the first shots of the Civil War, he unscrewed the dial of the watch and wrote on the metal, "The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try."
The actual message that the museum found differs from the watchmaker's recollection. It says, "Jonathan Dillon, April 13-1861, Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked by the rebels on the above date J Dillon, April 13-1861, Washington, thank God we have a government, Jonth Dillon."
To read the complete article, see: War message found inside Lincoln's watch (http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/10/lincoln.watch/index.html)
Lincoln himself never knew of the message he carried in his pocket. In fact, museum curators had been unaware of the possibility of any such inscription until Doug Stiles, great-great-grandson of watchmaker Jonathan Dillon, phoned to corroborate a story that had been passed down for generations in the Dillon family.
George Thomas deftly lifted the watch face and peeked inside. He was about to help solve a centuries-old mystery. A smile lit up his face and there was an audible gasp from the room as he motioned for the watchmaker’s great-great-grandsons to come up and read the inscription inside the timepiece aloud. Doug Stiles, visibly moved by the revelation, borrowed Mr. Thomas’s magnifying glasses and took a moment to inspect the inner workings of the watch. After an expectant pause, he gleefully shared the message with the rest of the room.
To read the complete article, see: A secret message inside Lincoln's watch? (http://blog.americanhistory.si.edu/osaycanyousee/2009/03
Len submitted the following Lincoln item as well. -Editor An expert on Lincoln photography thinks a photograph found in Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's family-owned album showing President Abraham Lincoln in front of the White House could be one of the last photos taken of the 16th president before he was assassinated in 1865.
Grant's great-great grandson Ulysses S. Grant VI had seen the previously unpublished image in the general's personal photo album, but didn't think much of it until he scrutinized it earlier this year.
"I started to think that it might be the White House," said Grant, a construction business owner from Springfield, Missouri. "Then I started to look at the height difference between the people in the photo."
To read the complete article, see: Photo emerges that might be last taken of Lincoln (http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/11/lincoln.photograph/index.html)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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