Calvert Vaux’s letter

The following is the text of the letter that Calvert Vaux left with the papers:

Sept 24 1895

Many years ago a friend came to me with a secret of great historical importance. Too volatile to reveal yet too important to destroy, we resolved to hide the secret until the proper time for revelation had come. It now appears unlikely such time will arrive within our lives.

Click to see Calvert Vaux’s full letter (pdf)

The secret, hidden securely in the Central Park, can be discovered by means of the papers accompanying this letter. I must trust that anyone with such affection for the park to be able to decipher the papers will have the wisdom and forbearance to heed these requests, that he not search for the secret until the year 1965, and that upon discovering the secret he not reveal it to anyone for ten years.

It is my fervent hope that the wisest men of your time will learn the secret. Therefore kindly allow all who wish access to these papers, binding them by their honour to the same limitations I have asked of you.

I fear for my life. There are men who wish the secret to remain hidden, and this is the best way I can devise to ensure it is not lost forever.

Calvert Vaux

If you would like to access the Central Park Papers, click here: