“Leaving Winter Quarters with 6 of my teams,” tweets Heber C. Kimball — a man most LDS know only as a faded, 1800s-era daguerreotype staring out from the pages of a church history manual.
Another well-known (but long-dead) pioneer tweets a couple hours later to report some horse trouble.
It’s not a joke. It’s the latest trend in historical re-enactment.
The article also describes the basic idea of TwHistory, which is worth sharing:
The pioneers’ posts are near-direct quotes from journals kept during the 1847 journey. Jensen and Caswell rewrote the entries in present tense and, at times, condensed the wording to better fit Twitter’s 140-character limit. They estimate, according to the activity, what time to broadcast each tweet.
“If you were just following one of the threads it would be very boring,” Caswell said. “But when you listen to them all in concert it really does paint a picture. I feel like there’s this group out there experiencing something historic, and I get to be a fly on the wall.”
We hope you’ll join us on this 4-month adventure. If you don’t already have a Twitter account, it’s quick and free to sign up for one (see our FAQ page for more info). We also have a section that explains how to get updates from the Pioneers via Twitter. Even if you don’t “get” Twitter, we hope you’ll give it a try. The pioneers are on the move, so jump in and join them!
Note: We have set up a Media Mentions page to track and acknowledge news organizations. We are excited to see so much interest in TwHistory!