The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Notes and Documents

Cryptograms if the eeral amd Office
of texas
JOHN FARMER
N Volume X of the English Field Notes of the Spanish
Archives of the General Land Office of the State of Texas
there are four sets of field notes which, at first glance, seem
like all the rest in that volume but which, on close inspection,
are found to be quite different-each carries a message in code.
A search of the records of the Land Office will fail to reveal any
reference to the code contained in these notes.
The message in the first set of notes is as follows:
this League 1/3 T37bhg
f49 J4h8 H4g2
Th471s B49d28
This message reveals no certain clue to the code-the numeral
4 appearing five times; the letters b, d, f, h, j, s, and t apparently
having no numerical values.
The second set contains the following message:
Th3s 621gu2 his th922
Sp938gs B918ch2s of g44d
wit29 18d 3S a g44d L2lg
One may take the first word in the second message and set
down the known letters; he then has Th-s. The numeral 3 must
represent the letter i or u; so one has This or Thus. Then take
the grouping Sp938gs. This looks like Springs; substitute the
letters for the numbers and one must assume that 9 represents r,
8, n, and 3 is further identified as i.
The grouping B918ch2s looks like Branches. If the suspected
letters are substituted for the numbers, the numerals i and 2 are
tentatively identified as the letters a and e, and 9 and 8 become
r and n. Then, the identity of the numerals 1 through 5 is just
a thought away-the vowels a, e, i, o, u have been replaced by
the numbers i through 5. The letter equivalents for 6, 7, 8, and

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed April 26, 2015.