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Say WHAT?

621. 1410. 327. 251. 569. 1402. 640. 146. 1486. 1445. 956. 530. 43. 954. 1399. 1006. 1436. 1379 1576. 1372. 1501. 1436. 981. 167. 996. 548. 604. 805. 809. 1046. 377. 1401. 1513. 1274. 1067. 1440. 569. 663. 981. 818. 1443. 270. 1315. 1440. 627. 1310. 219. 179. 1337. 520. 1440. 1225. 271. 569. 1549. 925. 1153. 569. 341. 801. 1501. 126. 1550. 94. 352. 879. 569. 177. 1507. 1042. 1102. 439. 271. 1440. 1513. 1410. 451.
To James Monroe, June 5, 1803

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders loathe leaks!
Jefferson hated having his correspondence made public. That may have been why he loved ciphers, devices or schemes that would allow him to send coded messages. This is his entire letter to his new ambassador to France. This code was one Secretary of State James Madison had given Monroe for diplomatic communication while the latter was still in the United States. I cannot tell if the code is the same one Jefferson developed and gave to Meriwether Lewis.

Why the President felt the need to encode this letter is unclear, unless he was just practicing. The letter explained a canister of tea he was sending to a friend, Madame de Corny, in France. The link for that letter includes the full text, but their deciphering the first part of it yielded this:
“tho mas je fer son to ja mes mon ro june 5 eighteen hundred three this can is ter of te a is for my fri end mad dam de cor ny I ad dre s it to you for del iv ery …”

This seven year old post will tell you more about Jefferson and his ciphers. (The Wall Street Journal link works only if you have a subscription.)

“It was heartening to see our members and guests so engaged during your portrayal
as well as in the many individual conversations they had with you during the day.”
Executive Director, Nevada Association of Counties
Mr. Jefferson delights to engage your audience!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739

Thomas Jefferson on using a secret code

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