Chapter 11. A Classic American Diplomatic Code

Familiar with the insecurity of written communications, especially during the American Revolution, imaginative Founding Fathers continued the practice of encoded writing in the closing months of that war and in the hectic postwar years when the enemy might be within the union as well as outside U.S. borders. Keenly aware of the weak American union, nervous about future threats from abroad, and anxious about jealousies among the states, certain significant diplomats such as Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, together with James Madison and Edmund Randolph, all from Virginia, carried on an extensive correspondence, heavily sprinkled with encoded sentences and paragraphs, treating domestic and foreign ...

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