Unknown [Printed secret codes, nomenclator]
High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.
The document is printed and handwritten on both sides. One side is typeset with various words beginning with each letter of the alphabet and the other side is printed with numbers 1-1700 in chronological order. The handwritten notes next to each word or number corresponds as a coded translation of the word or number. Accompanied by a note written by Elizabeth Steele of England's National Army Museum Department of Books and Archives. Steele writes "These documents were on loan to the National Army Museum and have now been returned to their owner Mrs F. J. E. Britnell. They were stamped while in our possession." The note is written on National Army Museum stationery, dated 30 October 1968. The document matches exactly to a nomenclator sheet designed and commissioned for printing by Robert A. Livingston, US Secretary of Foreign Affairs between the years of 1781 and 1783. The code sheet would be used for encrypting letters containing sensitive political information. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were all known to have used the same print of this code sheet, albeit with a different assignment of numbers to words. Thomas Jefferson's copy is found in the Library of Congress. Unknown author of the handwriting.
The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.