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James Lovell Taught Ben Franklin His Cipher

James Lovell, Secretary of Foreign Affairs during the Revolution, knew that top secret information had to be transmitted securely. What better way to do that than with cipher? He knew and understood a form of cipher that used a keyword. In his letters to Ben Franklin, representative of the new United States at the all important French court, he gave the older diplomat a cipher key and instructions to use it. His success was mixed, to be sure. Find out more in Congress's Cryptographer: A Novel of James Lovell and the American Revolution.

(This image from Fold3, Historical Military Records.)

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