SeacoastNH Home

Seacoast New Hampshire
& South Coast Maine

facebook logo

facebook logo

SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson click here

Link Free or Die

John Paul Jones

Celia Thaxter

John Smith

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Link Free or Die


Celia Thaxter

John Smith

T B Aldrich

Tobias Lear

Framers of Freedom

Click on a special section or select an article from the list below.

Tobias Lear





The Forgotten Life of John Fisher Print Email
Written by Portsmouth Athenaeum   


The story of how a London squire's library ended up in Portsmouth has all the ingredients of an international thriller. Portsmouth Athenaeum Keeper Tom Hardiman tells this tale in the new exhibit, "Money, Revolution and Books.” The exhibit centers on the Athenaeum's Library of John Fisher of London. Tom says he’s “dumbfounded” that the story hasn’t been told before, (Continued below)


Celia Thaxter Attacks Heartless Women Wearing Birds as Fashion Print Email
Written by Celia Thaxter   

birdhat00It became fashionable in Victorian times to wear  the dead bodies of colorful birds attached to women’s hats. Isles of Shoals poet Celia THaxter abhorred this practice and fought among others to end this fashion statement. Her powerful 1886 essay on the topic is among the first heartfelt environmental statements on the topic published in America. “Women’s Heartlessness” is reprinted here in full. (See complete article below)


Piccola by Celia Thaxter Print Email
Written by Celia Thaxter   


The McGuffey Readers outsold the Bible and the dictionary in their day, providing texts for school kids and teachers. This sweet Christmas poem by Portsmouth-born Celia Thaxter first appeared in the Victorian era, but was still being used well into the 20th century as a holiday homework assignemtn. (See poem below)

The Unforgettable Poet Robert Dunn Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   



As Edward Stanton said on Lincoln’s demise" "Now he belongs to the angels." Or was that "ages"? That is exactly the kind of wordplay in which Robert Dunn reveled. His departure at age 65 has left Portsmouth sad, but his poetry will leave us forever amused. And wherever Robert is – he too, we know for sure – is as amused as ever.  




Thank You, Joe Sawtelle Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

sawtelle.jpgFAMOUS PEOPLE 

Only after his untimely death did the Seacoast recognize its debt to Joe. Known to the public as a businessman, landlord and developer, Joe was an unstoppable philanthropist. His hand, it turned out, was everywhere. But he did not just give away money. Joe taught people to multiply his gifts like the loaves and fishes.



Seeking the Frances in Francestown Print Email
Written by Deb McGrath   


Every town name tells a story. In New Hampshire there was a burst of naming in the heady days just before the American Revolution. Francestown and Deering were gifts of love from the Portsmouth-based governor, the origins of which reveal a most intriguing woman. Reporter Deb McGrath tracks the tale.



Touring the Bad Boy House Print Email
Written by Lilian Aldrich   


Opened in 1908, the Thomas Bailey Aldrich Memorial is New Hampshire’s longest-surviving museum. It is a literary  shrine to a single novel – The Story of a Bad Boy. This walking tour is presented by Aldrich’s widow Lilian who created the museum. A century after it opened, the tour is literally unchanged, at Strawbery Banke.


The Many Doors of Harry Harlow Print Email
Written by Richard M. Candee   

harlowdoor00.jpgSEACOAST ARTISTS

He was a man on a mission. After retiring to Portsmouth, artist Harry S. Harlow painted every major colonial doorway in the Piscataqua region – at least 200 all told. Today his highly accurate work has become an important tool for those studying the architecture of bygone days, and grand homes that are often lost to history. (see feature and photos below) 



Portsmouth is Bad Boy Book Birthplace Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   



Tom Bailey was a well known hell-raiser and American literary hero even before Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Yet "The Story of a Bad Boy" has never been dramatized – until now. Learn why the "bad boy" genre was born in post Civil War Portsmouth, NH




Biographical Sketch of Thomas Bailey Aldrich Print Email
Written by Riverside Literature Series   

medalcolorizedtba.jpgBAD BOY TOM 

In his day, Aldrich was best known for his lyrical and romantic poetry, but his verse is now considered only among the most minor of poets. His reputation stands almost entirely on one bold American novel. This bio comes from an early 20th century collection.




More Articles...

  1. Tour Celia Thaxter Island Garden
  2. Motoring in the Dust of George Washington
  3. Two Sandpipers by Celia
  4. More Bird Poems by Celia Thaxter
  5. Celia Thaxter Sells Typewriters
  6. Henry Shute Was Juvenile Delinquent Judge
  7. Why NH Went to Jamestown in 1907
  8. Norman Muscarello Recalls His UFO Incident at Exeter
  9. Sam Walter Foss was NH Poet Laureate for the Common Man
  10. He Saved The Scarlet Letter
  11. When Stephen King Was King
  12. Deceased Man Boosts Maine Economy
  13. George Washington in NH
  14. Don Murray Taught Writing By Writing
  15. The Flip Side of Tom Bergeron
  16. An Old Town by the Sea 7
  17. In Kittery Churchyard
  18. An Old Town by the Sea 6
  19. An Old Town by the Sea 5
  20. An Old Town by the Sea 4
  21. An Old Town by the Sea 3
  22. Old Town by the Sea 2
  23. An Old Town by the Sea 1
  24. FW Hartford Founded Portsmouth Herald
  25. First American Boy Books Born in NH
  26. Rose Labrie Found Primitive Success
  27. Poet Esther Buffler
  28. Gossip About Portsmouth Writers
  29. Sarah Orne Jewett of Maine
  30. Sally Wood was First Maine Novelist
  31. Rev Samuel Haven Fathered 17
  32. Anne Molloy, Adventure Author
  33. Goody Cole Accused as NH Witch
  34. William Dean Howells at Kittery
  35. Feisty Historian Raymond Brighton
  36. Freedom, Fireworks and Little Kids
  37. Daniel Fowle Prints First NH Paper
  38. Alexander Scammell
  39. James T Fields of Portsmouth
  40. The Day Mark Twain Wore Black
  41. Watching Tom Bailey Grow Up
  42. Enoch Poor
  43. Nutter House Postcard Tour
  44. Portrait of Harriet Livermore
  45. Mary Bartlett
  46. General George Reid
  47. The Gilmans of Exeter
  48. Senator Samuel Livermore
  49. John Smith Web Links
  50. Woodbury Langdon
  51. The Life of Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  52. Last Letter from Hog Island
  53. The Ugliest Monument in New England
  54. The Many Loves of Mr Lear
  55. John Smith Memorial Photo History
  56. Earliest Letter by Celia Thaxter
  57. Nathaniel Folsom
  58. Why John Smith Never Returned
  59. General John Sullivan
  60. NH Women in the Revolution
  61. President Meshech Weare
  62. Governor John Langdon
  63. Henry Dearborn
  64. Dr Matthew Thornton
  65. Joseph Cilley
  66. William Whipple
  67. Governor John Wentworth
  68. John Stark
  69. Kittery Annie’s Dream
  70. Doctor Josiah Bartlett
  71. Howells Meets Celia Thaxter
  72. Tobias Lear Helps Fire Victims
  73. The Simple Art of Uncle Oscar
  74. Whittier in New Hampshire
  75. Inside the Tobias Lear House
  76. Christmas by Celia
  77. The Rise and Fall of Tobias Lear
  78. Death of George Washington
  79. The Portsmouth Connection
  80. George Washington's Seacoast Tour
  81. Visit with Betty Hill
  82. Betty Hill Takes Flight
  83. First Balloon Over NH
  84. Josiah Bartlett
  85. Amy Marcy Cheney Beach
  86. Hannah Dustin
  87. Robert Frost
  88. Rene Gagnon
  89. Horace Greeley
  90. Isaac Hull
  91. Lotte Jacobi
  92. William Loeb
  93. S. Christa McAuliffe
  94. Ogden Nash
  95. President Franklin Pierce
  96. Richard Potter
  97. Marilla Ricker
  98. Gen. John Stark
  99. Gen. John Sullivan
  100. Matthew Thornton


  • Link Free or Die


    A work in progress, this section features online link to famous New Hampshire people. The problem with search engines is that they offer TOO much information. It can be hard to separate the good links from the bad. Our job is to both identifyinteresting figures from history and dig out the best online links. Feel free to send along new ones or remport dead links when you find them. Our goal is to feature 100 perople to inspire NH students to study fascinating local history.

    Article Count:
  • Celia Thaxter

    (1835 - 1894)

    The poet of the Isles of Shoals lived half her life on the barren islands 10 miles off the Maine and NH coasts. Raised in a lighthouse, her rocky life story is as compelling as her writing. Her father's hotel on Appledore Island became host to many of Boston's best known artists and writers. Her 1873 memoir Among the Isles of Shoals is still a popular guide among Shoalers today. Her writing, her poetry and her painting are the topics of continual intrigue. This site is the most complete coverage of her life and work available online.

    See all articles 

    Article Count:
  • John Smith

    (1580 - 1631)

    Besides his role in Jamestown, Virginia, John Smith is critical to the history of New England. He named the region in his 1614 map. And long after Pocahontas and other adventures, Smith intended to return and found a colony here, perhaps along the Piscataqua River. He named our Isles of Shoals "Smyth Isles" and attempted, in vain, to come back.  That story is the focus of our Smith section on SeacoastNH.

    See all articles 

    Article Count:
  • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    1836 - 1907

    Arguable Portsmouth's most famous writer, TB Aldrich is best known for his his mischievous youth. His "Story of a Bad Boy" (1869) is still in print and inspired Mark Twain's mischevious Tom Sawyer. As a poet and editor of The Atlantic Monthly, Aldrich mixed with the Boston lieterati. But he never forgot his childhood days at Grampa Nutter's house in Portsmouth, today a museum. His compact history of Portsmouth, An Old Town by the Sea, is still a readable guide to the old port. Both his classics are reprinted here in full on the most complete Aldrich homage available online.

    See all articles and 2 full books

    Article Count:
  • Tobias Lear

    (1762 - 1816)

    Welcome to the only web site dedicated to Tobias Lear, George Washington's secretary and friend. Born in Portsmouth, NH, Lear began work for Gen. Washington prior to his terms as President. Lear was accounant for Washington's farm at Mount Vernon and tutor to his step children. Lear recorded the details of Washngton's death and later fell in and out of luck, eventually committing suicide. His childhood home is a local museum.

    See all articles 

    Article Count:
  • Framers of Freedom

    John SullivanNH in the Revolution

    Each of the 13 original colonies has its Revolutionary war heroes and heroines. New Hampshire is especially proud of its important role in the founding of the United States. Our raid on Fort William and Mary was among the first armed conflicts, four months prior to Lexington and Concord. Three locals signed the Declaration. A Portsmouth leader built one of the first ships in the Continental Navy. Here they are, and other key players.
    See all articles

    Article Count:

Please visit these ad partners.

News about Portsmouth from

Monday, January 22, 2018 
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.

Copyright ® 1996-2016 All rights reserved. Privacy Statement
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Site maintained by ad-cetera graphics