From the archives: Reading Stimson's mail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Henry L. Stimson is best known to readers of this journal for his quote, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail," and his shutting down of Herbert O. Yardley's black chamber. The present piece reveals a second cryptologic episode from his life. During WWII, Stimson made a request of hundreds of libraries that they withdraw all material on explosives, secret inks, and ciphers from circulation and report the names of anyone requesting these materials to the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). A pair of original documents is reproduced for the first time along with some references. A list of libraries contacted is also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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