J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hey, Kids! Here’s a Puzzle for You!

E. J. Witek posted this version of the letter from Dr. Benjamin Church that the Newport baker Godfrey Wenwood (or Wainwood) brought to Gen. George Washington’s headquarters at the end of September 1775. For clarity, each handwritten character has been replaced with a typographic equivalent.

Can you break the code?

(Highlight this line if you want a hint: It’s a simple substitution cipher, so every symbol stands for one letter of the alphabet. But you could have figured that out, right?)

TOMORROW: The minister who deciphered the message.

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