Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Timotheus Whackemwell (J. N. McJilton) — August 11, 1841 (LTR-121)


Philadelphia, August 11./ 41.

Dr Sir,

Your letter of yesterday is this moment received. A glance at the cipher which you suppose the more difficult of the two sent, assures me that its translation must run thus —

“This specimen of secret writing is sent you for explanation. If you succeed in divining its meaning, I will believe that you are some kin to Old Nick.”

As my solution in this case will fully convince you of my ability to decipher the longer but i[n]f[ini]tely more simple cryptograph, you will perhaps exc[use] me from attempting it — as I am exceedingly occupied with business.

Very truly yours,
Edgar A Poe.

Timotheus Whackemwell Esqr



Although Poe thought McJilton was the person who sent him the cryptogram under the pseudonym of “Timotheus Whackemwell,” McJilton denied the assigned identity.


[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to T. Whackemwell (J. N. McJilton) (LTR121/RCL317)