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Monday, November 24, 2014

Manuscript Monday—"Idiom tudor," "I am afraid"

The Asbury Harpending papers (see last week's post) contain scores of ciphered telegrams and letters. While a key exists to help decipher the correspondence of the early 1870s, later telegrams are encoded according to a different system (and represent Harpending's continuing speculation on the mining stock market after the Diamond Hoax fiasco). The only clue to this system is the two-sided telegram reproduced below. On the reverse, Harpending decoded his associate's ominous words—"Idiom tudor," "I am afraid."

Castings telegram to Asbury Harpending, 1881, Asbury Harpending papers, MS 950, California Historical Society

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian

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