Thursday, December 03, 2009

Lincoln Logs

The Chronicle of Higher Education has reported on a new initiative to make history more accessible in a granular form by using the microblogging site Twitter in "What Lincoln Would Have Tweeted." Of course, the idea of Lincoln as a user of digital media has been explored before, most humorously -- perhaps -- in Peter Norvig's "The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation."

The Abraham Lincoln Twitter feed on Twhistory reminds visitors that the Civil War president was an avid consumer of telegraph messages and other forms of abbreviated communication. A few sample messages can give one a sense of Lincoln's presumed style if his multitasking was tranlated into the present day.

@ Gen_Couch: I see that the enemy is not pressing up to the Susquehanna. Please tell me what you know of his movements.

@ Gen_Hunter: The recent change of commanders was made for no reasons which convey any imputation upon you.

I have replaced Gen_Hooker with Gen_Meade.

@ Gen_Burnside: There is nothing going on in Kentucky on the subject of which you telegraph, except an enrollment.

@ Gen_Slocum: Was William Gruvier, Forty-sixth, Pennsylvania, one of the men executed as a deserter last Friday?

Of course, the team who has created this contemporary Lincoln do rely on links to maps to tell much of the story of Gettysburg. They also sometimes fail to meet the 140 character constraint of Twitter itself.

As this slideshow indicates, the Cuban Missile Crisis has received similar treatment.



Post a Comment

<< Home