This foot note contained in document PJA11d339
4. In May 1780, when Lovell first sent his cipher to JA, he explained that “the key Letters are the two first of the Surname of the Family [Cranch]
where you and I spent the Evening together before we sat out from your House on our Way to Baltimore” (vol. 9:270–273
). Lovell's explanations of his cipher were confusing for someone, like JA, who was unaccustomed to using one. Compounding that confusion was Lovell's frequent failure to follow his own rules when encrypting letters. Compare Lovell's explanation in his 1780 letter with that given here. See also The Lovell Cipher and Its Derivatives,
Adams Family Correspondence
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2007.