The nation's sixth president is tweeting from the beyond.
Well, sort of...
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Historical Society started posting President John Quincy Adams' diary entries on his own Twitter feed. The daily accounts, which were written on his journey from Massachusetts to St. Petersburg, Russia, starting August 5, 1809, are now being made public on the micro-blogging site 200 years later.
Though it's only been a day since he started tweeting, the president already has around 5,000 followers. (Fun fact: Apparently the president was quite a diary enthusiast – the society reports that he wrote 51 volumes over 69 years.)
The diary, which is written in short one-line sentences (perfect for tweeting), was discovered by a high school student, who thought the historic entries represented a series of modern Twitter updates.
Adams' diary entries give insight to his daily routine, detailing what he ate and read, for example, along with updates on the weather and his shipboard activities.
Today, he writes a concise 109-character entry on the weather and his current location: "Thick fog. Scanty Wind. On George's Bank. Lat: 42-34. Read Massillon's Careme Sermons 2 & 3. Ladies are Sick."
The Massachusetts Historical Society plans to continue tweeting diary entries through the end of the year in hopes that more people will become interested in President Adams' life. In addition to posting entries in 140 characters or fewer, the society plans to include his locations on digital maps as well as links to longer entries.
“We want to get it out there to the technophile generation,” Jeremy B. Dibbell, an assistant reference librarian at the society, told The New York Times. “We want a wider range and new audience to see the diaries.”
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