The Masked Letter

Written by a frustrated Lt. General Sir Henry Clinton during theRevolutionary War in 1777, this beautifully crafted Masked Letter is a perfect example of early coded correspondence. The letter reads perfectly well on its own, however only when you place a mask over the paper does the true meaning appear. Incredibly clever, and surprisingly successful as both the letter and mask were sent to the recipient (in this case John Burgoyne) along different routes. Below is the original letter, a picture of the mask itself, and the letter when read using the mask.

Transcript

Without Mask

You will have heard, Dr Sir I doubt not long before this can have reached you that Sir W. Howe is gone from hence. The Rebels imagine that he is gone to the Eastward. By this time however he has filled Chesapeak bay with surprize and terror.

Washington marched the greater part of the Rebels to Philadelphia in order to oppose Sir Wm’s. army. I hear he is now returned upon finding none of our troops landed but am not sure of this, great part of his troops are returned for certain. I am sure this countermarching must be ruin to them. I am left to command here, half of my force may I am sure defend everything here with much safety. I shall therefore send Sir W. 4 or 5 Bat [talio] ns. I have too small a force to invade the New England provinces; they are too weak to make any effectual efforts against me and you do not want any diversion in your favour. I can, therefore very well spare him 1500 men. I shall try some thing certainly towards the close of the year, not till then at any rate. It may be of use to inform you that report says all yields to you. I own to you that I think the business will quickly be over now. Sr. W’s move just at this time has been capital. Wahingtons have been the worst he could take in every respect. sincerely give you much joy on your success and am with great Sincerity your (?)

(Signed, HC)

With Mask

Sir. W. Howe is gone to the Chesapeak bay with the greatest part of the army. I hear he is landed but am not certain. I am left to command here with too small a force to make any effectual diversion in your favour. I shall try something at any rate. It may be of use to you. I own to you I think Sr W’s move just at this time the worst he could take. Much joy on your success.

Advertisements

About mountiangirl

" Remembering the Past, celebrating the Present and believing in the Future. ∞ The scribbled notes,poems,poetry of our lives." I am a FREE SPIRIT, Mostly known as Mombo " The Mystery Woman " and a rare few call me " Mountian Girl " which they say is an honor and royality. Jerry Garcia - The Greatful Dead - I am a Fiber Artist - Spinning, Weaving and knitting. I am shy and speak little - this is where my PC talks for me. I love music but not rap. But my true love's are humor, old letters,poetry and history of all things forgotten. But also so that the younger generation can read of it too ( gain knowledge ) be it never known or just forgot. There is so much even I don't remember at my ripe young age of 51.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s