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Beale Ciphers Analyses by Ron Gervais

Created: February 25, 2003  - Last Update: March 2023

    Freeware, analyses, and links to websites presenting hypotheses of the Beale Ciphers, including a summary of their arguments.

   If you are not familiar with this story, you should start by reading The Beale Papers booklet. It is here in text form, and here as a photographic reproduction.

    If this is not your first visit, see the list of latest updates.

The full story is right here:

     The Beale Papers booklet was a dime novel written by John William Sherman, then editor of the Lynchburg Virginian newspaper. In his spare time he wrote plays and dime novels. The owner of the paper also owned Virginian Book and Job Print, the publisher of the booklet. Both businesses were located in the same building. Why Sherman did it, how he created the codes, and why it remained a secret is all detailed in these pages:

Page 20 :    The Lynchburg fire of 1883 and The Beale Papers personalities genealogy

Page 24 :    The author of The Beale Papers

Page 27 :    How Sherman created C1

Page 28 :    The smoking gun

Page 29 :    C3: More typesetting wizardry?

Page 33 :    The signed confession

Page 30 :     Epilogue

Other important information:

Page 7:    Main proofs that The Beale Papers is fiction

Page 9 :   James Beverly Ward's application for copyright

Page 23 : The genuine booklet: The Beale Papers

Page 10 : The discovery of the source for The Beale Papers version of The Declaration of Independence




   An amateur cryptanalyst, retired from the computer and telecom industries, with a background in math, I am intrigued by this story. The objective of this website is to fill a void: a repository of serious efforts to study and analyse the ciphers. Also included are some personal observations, and free text-analysis software.

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Copyright / Permission to Reproduce Notice

   This website contains articles reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. These items are specifically identified as copyright.

    Otherwise all material is public domain and may be reproduced. In such cases a reference to this site would be appreciated.

Background information


Page 2 :  Dr. Carl Hammer


Page 4 :  The Last Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe

Page 5 :   Free text analysis software - A cryptanalysis tool for the Beale enthusiast

Page 6 :   An interesting crypto observation on the codes

Page 8 :   Notes on the Beale Ciphers

Page 11 :   The Hart Papers

Page 12 :   Suggestion for attacking C3

Page 13 :   C3 and the signatures of the Declaration of Independence

Page 14:    Special Acknowledgements

Page 15 :   Links between The Beale Papers and The Declaration of Independence

Page 16 :   The Freemasons and The Confederate Treasury

Page 17 :   TREASURE magazine claims codes solved, treasure found

Page 18 :    The Beale Cypher Association

Page 19 :    What if... ? A collection of Beale code ideas

Page 21 :    Benford's Law - A clue to the Beale ciphers?

Page 22 :    Beale as Bamboozlement

Page 25 :   Jean Laffite, Privateer, and the Beale treasure

Page 26 :   Solutions! We have cipher solutions!

Page 31 :   A treasure hunter's discoveries

Page 34 :   A persuasive new Beale explanation

Page 36 : The Knights of the Golden Circle


Questions? Comments? Suggestions? : Ron Gervais