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Ben Franklin Installed New Hampshire Lightning Rod in 1763 Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

1763 Warner House lightning Rod still in use todayHISTORY MATTERS


Did Benjamin Franklin conduct lightning rod installation at the ancient Warner House in Portsmouth, NH while serving as Deputy Postmaster to King George III in 1763? Signs point to YES. But will Portsmouth restore damaged painting that honors the event? The jury is still out. (click title to read more) 


Kittery Little Red Schoolhouse on Life Support Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Students at Safford School courtesy Portsmouth AthenaeumHISTORY MATTERS

"I thought of moving it to John Paul Jones' Park, and maybe have a little seasonal visitor center," says Jeffrey Thomson. The chairman of Kittery's Town Council is once again brainstorming ideas for the forgotten old one-room SaffordSchool. Now that the town owns the small oval-shaped park at the entrance to the new MemorialBridge, his idea seems almost feasible. (Click title to read more) 


The Man Who Dug Up John Paul Jones Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Horace Porter in Civil War by Matthew Brady on SeacoastNHHISTORY MATTERS

110 years ago, deep in a forgotten Paris cemetery, Gen. Horace Porter came face-to-face with the corpse of a lost naval hero. The full story is dramatically and accurately told in a new book entitled The Admiral and the Ambassador. (click title to read more)


Miss Nancy Underhill Swept Off Star Island in 1848 Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Man standing on Cliff at Star IslandHISTORY MATTERS


We'll never know exactly what happened to 34-year old teacher Miss Nancy Underhill on Star Island at the Isles of Shoals in September 1848. But a closer look at the facts of this legend, like others, may offer added clues. (Click title to read more) 


US WWII Ambassador John Winant Gets His Memorial at Last Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   



He was a teacher, a fighter pilot, and the hugely popular ambassador to Britain in World War II. More than any individual, according to England's King George VI, he forged the alliance between the United States and Britain that led to an Allied victory against Hitler's Nazi aggression. Both Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt trusted him implicitly. (Click title to read more)


More Articles...

  1. The Unexpected Portsmouth Art Gallery
  2. Inside the Wondrous Woodman Museum
  3. My Favorite Portsmouth History Books for Kids
  4. The Truth about Bricks and Mortar
  5. Understanding the Portsmouth African Burying Ground
  6. Saving the Old State Street Store
  7. George Orwell Taught Me to Write History
  8. New Monument for the Man Who Named New England
  9. Painting the First Picture of Portsmouth
  10. Tallest Tombstone in New Hampshire is 100 Years Old
  11. Portsmouth Builds Rare HMS America in 1749
  12. Unloved President Franklin Pierce Had Seacoast Connections
  13. Those Dangerous Daily Newspapers
  14. When Old Ironsides Was Ours
  15. Five Reasons to Skate at Puddle Dock Portsmouth
  16. Heavenly Days at the Hellish Portsmouth Naval Prison
  17. The Lost Interview with Dorothy Vaughan
  18. Tough Times for Tough Portsmouth Mayors
  19. Alemaker Frank Jones was Hero and Heel
  20. Repairing Sir Peter Warren
  21. The Brief Life of the First Oceanic Hotel
  22. Portsmouth 1814 Brick Act was Unpopular Law
  23. How Massachusetts Almost Ate New Hampshire
  24. 1847 Letter
  25. An 1847 Message from Hog Island
  26. Unraveling the 1694 Murder of Ursula Cutt
  27. The Day the Piscataqua River Exploded
  28. Gettysburg Concordance App Brings Battle to Life
  29. The Flags of John Paul Jones
  30. Rower Retraces Smuttynose Murder Route
  31. Reflecting on a Painted Wall
  32. The Fickle Fate of Tobias Lear
  33. Portsmouth and Dover Still Feuding Over 1623 NH Founding Date
  34. How Portsmouth Partied in 1923
  35. NH Governor Driven Out of Three Mansions
  36. New Book Will Fully Explore 1873 Smuttynose Island Ax Murders
  37. Black Heroes and Heroines of Portsmouth
  38. How John Paul Became John Paul Jones
  39. My First 50 Years With Computers
  40. Horrific Boon Island Wreck Has Portsmouth Link
  41. Reviving the Portsmouth Powder Alarm 1774
  42. Finding the First House in New Hampshire
  43. Atlantic Heights WWI Shipbuilder Neighborhood Story Told in Book
  44. Why I Hate Fake Pirates
  45. Predicting the Future of Kittery and Portsmouth
  46. Presidents Who Visited Portsmouth
  47. Experts Say Exhibit Not Reconstruction is Best Use of First NH State House
  48. New Ways to See the Old Portsmouth Seaport
  49. What We are Learning about the Isles of Shoals
  50. Facing Up to Facebook
  51. Edward Warren Clark was Magic Lantern Man
  52. Newspapers and History are Siamese Twins
  53. The Second Death of John Greenleaf Whittier
  54. George Washington Slept Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  55. Did NH Governor John Langdon Own Slaves?
  56. How We Created the Isles of Shoals Exhibit
  57. Why George Wasson is Worth Remembering
  58. Recycling Old Portsmouth Tree Tales
  59. Recalling Portsmouth in the War of 1812
  60. Rare Photo of NH Revolutionary War Vet Featured in New Books
  61. Federal Fire Society Adds to Its Bucket List
  62. Teaching an Old Library New Tricks
  63. Discovering the History of Discover Portsmouth
  64. Mitt Romney and Poetry, UFOs and Trash
  65. Thomas Morton Abandoned at Isles of Shoals
  66. What Scrooge and the Grinch Learned and Santa Forgot
  67. American Revolution Began in New Hampshire
  68. NH Rejects Aristotle Onassis Oil Refinery in 1974
  69. State of the First NH State House Revealed
  70. Demystifying Witchcraft in Portsmouth and Salem
  71. The Lost Jaffreys Come Home at Last
  72. Who Needs Another Gundalow?
  73. Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date
  74. Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England
  75. Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure
  76. Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography
  77. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  78. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  79. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  80. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  81. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  82. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  83. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  84. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  85. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  86. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  87. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  88. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  89. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  90. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  91. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  92. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel
  93. Writing about History in 2011
  94. The Lost Christmas Classic of Celia Thaxter
  95. What Does Piscataqua Mean?
  96. Myles Standish Speaks Out on NH's First Settler
  97. Poet Foss Spoke for the Common Man
  98. Mark Twain Loved Aldrich but Hated Portsmouth
  99. Creepy Characters from History
  100. The Unsung Columbus of New Hampshire


  • History Matters

    J. Dennis Robinson writer logo by Reggin LoganHISTORY MATTERS

    Seacoast History by author / editor J. Dennis Robinson, presented biweekly in collaboration with The Portsmouth Herald. (check the Monday Herald every other week for printed version). In "History Matters" Robinson explores regional history and its connection to modern issues in a dramatic and highly readable style. The author has been writing about the "America\'s Smallest Seacaost" (sm) for over two decades.For up to 100 original aritlces by JDR also click here to visit AS I PLEASE. For the latest news see the Portsmouth Herald online web site just click here.    

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  • As I Please



    The editor ponders history, mostly, in this popular Seacoast column. This index contains over 100 original columns by J. Dennis Robinson. The author has been writing about the "America's Smallest Seacaost" (sm) for over two decades.

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  • Historical Societies

    You will find a small historical society building in almost every town in the Seacoast region. Each is unique, run by its own cluster of local history fans and filled with curios. Most are in great need of funds and volunteer help. If you have more updated links, please send them along, and please -- help preserver your town history before it is too late.

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  • Jesse James Films

    Jesse James by J. Dennis RobinsonTHE DINGUS PROJECT
    Jesse James in the Movies

    At least 50 American films and documentaries include the character of outlaw Jesse James. The Dingus Project is one man\'s attempt to view ALL of those films. Writer J. Dennis Robinson began this project after writing a biography of Jesse James for children -- Jesse James, Legendary Outlaw, published in hardcover and paperback by Compass Point Books.The goal, besides watching a lot of movies, is to provide a quick databse that shows how few of these films are based on fact, and how widespread the "imaginary" view of Jesse James has grown. Thanks to Hollywood, the historic Jesse James has all but disappeared. So far we\'ve obtained copies of over 30 films and documentaries related to Mr/ James and we\'re posting them like crazy in anticipation of the Brad Pitt film to be released in 2007. Sure, it\'s crazy, but so was Jesse.

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