Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Infamous Cipher Letter

 At my younger brother's request, here is the infamous cipher letter that Dr Church attempted to smuggle through the Patriot Lines to have delivered to John Fleeming, his brother-in-law. The original of the letter is in the George Washington Papers held in the Library of Congress. Thirty years ago I was able to view the actual letter and hold it in my hands; but that was before Washington DC became a fortified city and every American citizen came to be treated as a nutjob or a terrorist. I used to be able to walk into the Madison Building and ask to see specific items in the Washington Papers and be accomodated. Now, you can't even get into the main reading room of the Jefferson building without a Library of Congress card and a security screening worthy of a TSA groping of a six year old girl. But this is a different America.