History News: Roger Williams’s Secret Code Cracked

“It’s like something out of Harry Potter, but Harry Potter set in Rhode Island”, according to Ted Wilmer, director of the library at Brown University. Wilmer was referring to a book owned by religious dissident Roger Williams, the man who founded Rhode Island Colony in the 1600’s. The library possesses a book, entitled An Essay Towards the Reconciling of Differences Among Christians, in which Williams painstakingly transcribed the text of two other books, but in code.  He also added personal notes having to do with his theological philosophy. Last spring, a group of Brown undergrads under took a project to crack this code, and Eureka!,  the Providence Journal now reports that they’ve done it. Exciting news indeed: “To have a major new source, a major new document, from Roger Williams is a big deal.” For further details, refer to the article here.

Congratulations to the intrepid team of students who accomplished this daunting task. History never was and never will be set in stone!


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