Code used by RI founding father is finally cracked
Senior math major Lucas Mason-Brown, who has done the majority of the decoding, said his first instinct was to develop a statistical tool. The 21-year-old from Belmont, Mass., used frequency analysis, which looks at the nike outlet store frequency of letters or groups of letters in a text, but initially didn't get far.He picked up critical clues after learning Williams had been trained in shorthand as a court stenographer in London discount nike shoes, and built his own proprietary shorthand off an existing system. Mason-Brown refined his analysis and came up with a rough key.
Williams' system consisted of 28 symbols that stand for a combination of English letters or sounds. How they're arranged Moncler Outlet Store is key to their meaning; arrange them one way and you get one word, arrange them another, you get something laptop case different. One major complication, according to Mason-Brown: Williams often improvised.From there, Mason-Brown was able to translate scattered fragments, and the students determined there were three separate sections of notes. Two are Williams' bags store online writings on other books, a 17th century historical geography and a medical text. The third — and most intriguing — is 20 pages of Williams' original thoughts on one of the major theological issues of the day: infant baptism. Williams also weighed in on the conversion of Moncler jacket store Native Americans, implying it was being achieved through treachery and coercion, said Linford Fisher, a history professor at Brown who has been working with Mason-Brown.