The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

MHS Begins Its 4th Year Tweeting JQA's Line-a-day Diaries!

Three years ago, on 5 August 2009, MHS staff began posting JQA's line-a-day diary entries on Twitter, exactly 200 years after the day described. (Read about the projects launch in a post from July 2009.) JQA's followers on Twitter received daily updates about his long voyage to Russia (he arrived in St. Petersburg on 23 September 1809) and since then have been reading JQA's brief descriptions of his official duties, aspects of his family life and recreational activities such as frequent walks.  JQA's diplomatic duties included many meetings with Russia's Foreign Minister, Count Rumyantsev (JQA usually spelled his name, "Romanzoff"), diplomats from many European countries, and interactions with Levett Harris, the U. S. consul in St. Petersburg.  For example JQA's line-a-day entry from 6 August 1810:

Interview and Conversation with Romanzoff. Call on Harris. Dined at Blome's. Mrs Colombi here; and Jones.

Two hundred years ago (early August 1812), from his location in St. Petersburg, JQA monitored a war between France and Russia (Napoleon's Grand Army invaded Russia in June 1812) and JQA anticipated hearing about a war between the U. S. and Great Britain.  It took a long time for news to travel across the globe, but JQA received a note on 5 August 1812 officially confirming the war between the U. S. and Britain, even though the U. S. declared war on 18 June 1812.  JQA's line-a-day entry from 5 August 1812:

At the sale of de Bray's furniture. Claude Gabriel here. Note from Proud. War declared 18 June by U.S. against G.B.

MHS enjoys sharing JQA’s succinct diary via tweets, and we were thrilled to get some favorable replies to a recent post mentioning his recent anniversary on Twitter:

I signed up for a Twitter account just so I could follow JQA. Thought it was a wonderful idea - still follow, still do!  (from @JoanCiolino)

@JQAdams_MHS a must follow for history geeks! (from @kristinmachina)

@JQAdams_MHS keep it up, it's great! (@steveb7)

Those who have Twitter accounts can choose to follow (subscribe) to JQA's twitter posts although the tweets are also available to anyone who visits the following web page:

The MHS provides access to digital images of every single page of John Quincy Adams's diaries.  One benefit of the ongoing JQA Twitter Project is that MHS adds  transcriptions of the line-a-day diaries entries to the JQA diaries website after they are shared via JQA’s twitter account;  for example, please see the display of June 1812:

permalink | Published: Tuesday, 7 August, 2012, 8:00 AM


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