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SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson click here
The Making of an Unprecedented Edmund Tarbell Art Exhibit Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


While the rest of us hibernate by the fire, binge-watching Netflix, a small team of art lovers are frantically counting down to March 4. That’s when the doors fling open on the biggest collection of paintings by New Castle artist Edmund C. Tarbell.  (Click on title to read more)

NH-born Publisher Enticed Charles Dickens Back to America in 1867 Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


Charles Dickens was not impressed with the United States during his first tour. But much had changed in America, and in Dickens, by his second arrival soon after the Civil War in 1867. Portsmouth, NH-born publisher James T. Fields, Dickens exclusive American publisher, convinced the world's most famous writer to give us another chance. (Click title to read more)  

Three Lives of the Portsmouth Marine Society Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Portsmouth Marine Society 1808HISTORY MATTERS


December should be spelled with a dollar sign. We will spend a bundle on consumer goods this month, but we will also be very generous to people in need. That blend of commerce and charity defines the holiday season. That also describes the Portsmouth Marine Society, founded in 1808. Three groups have borne that name. Their stories are rarely told. (Click title to read more)

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) 



More Articles...

  1. The Man Who Dug Up John Paul Jones
  2. Miss Nancy Underhill Swept Off Star Island in 1848
  3. US WWII Ambassador John Winant Gets His Memorial at Last
  4. The Unexpected Portsmouth Art Gallery
  5. Inside the Wondrous Woodman Museum
  6. My Favorite Portsmouth History Books for Kids
  7. The Truth about Bricks and Mortar
  8. Understanding the Portsmouth African Burying Ground
  9. Saving the Old State Street Store
  10. George Orwell Taught Me to Write History
  11. New Monument for the Man Who Named New England
  12. Painting the First Picture of Portsmouth
  13. Tallest Tombstone in New Hampshire is 100 Years Old
  14. Portsmouth Builds Rare HMS America in 1749
  15. Unloved President Franklin Pierce Had Seacoast Connections
  16. Those Dangerous Daily Newspapers
  17. When Old Ironsides Was Ours
  18. Five Reasons to Skate at Puddle Dock Portsmouth
  19. Heavenly Days at the Hellish Portsmouth Naval Prison
  20. The Lost Interview with Dorothy Vaughan
  21. Tough Times for Tough Portsmouth Mayors
  22. Alemaker Frank Jones was Hero and Heel
  23. Repairing Sir Peter Warren
  24. The Brief Life of the First Oceanic Hotel
  25. Portsmouth 1814 Brick Act was Unpopular Law
  26. How Massachusetts Almost Ate New Hampshire
  27. 1847 Letter
  28. An 1847 Message from Hog Island
  29. Unraveling the 1694 Murder of Ursula Cutt
  30. The Day the Piscataqua River Exploded
  31. Gettysburg Concordance App Brings Battle to Life
  32. The Flags of John Paul Jones
  33. Rower Retraces Smuttynose Murder Route
  34. Reflecting on a Painted Wall
  35. The Fickle Fate of Tobias Lear
  36. Portsmouth and Dover Still Feuding Over 1623 NH Founding Date
  37. How Portsmouth Partied in 1923
  38. NH Governor Driven Out of Three Mansions
  39. New Book Will Fully Explore 1873 Smuttynose Island Ax Murders
  40. Black Heroes and Heroines of Portsmouth
  41. How John Paul Became John Paul Jones
  42. My First 50 Years With Computers
  43. Horrific Boon Island Wreck Has Portsmouth Link
  44. Reviving the Portsmouth Powder Alarm 1774
  45. Finding the First House in New Hampshire
  46. Atlantic Heights WWI Shipbuilder Neighborhood Story Told in Book
  47. Why I Hate Fake Pirates
  48. Predicting the Future of Kittery and Portsmouth
  49. Presidents Who Visited Portsmouth
  50. Experts Say Exhibit Not Reconstruction is Best Use of First NH State House
  51. New Ways to See the Old Portsmouth Seaport
  52. What We are Learning about the Isles of Shoals
  53. Facing Up to Facebook
  54. Edward Warren Clark was Magic Lantern Man
  55. Newspapers and History are Siamese Twins
  56. The Second Death of John Greenleaf Whittier
  57. George Washington Slept Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  58. Did NH Governor John Langdon Own Slaves?
  59. How We Created the Isles of Shoals Exhibit
  60. Why George Wasson is Worth Remembering
  61. Recycling Old Portsmouth Tree Tales
  62. Recalling Portsmouth in the War of 1812
  63. Rare Photo of NH Revolutionary War Vet Featured in New Books
  64. Federal Fire Society Adds to Its Bucket List
  65. Teaching an Old Library New Tricks
  66. Discovering the History of Discover Portsmouth
  67. Mitt Romney and Poetry, UFOs and Trash
  68. Thomas Morton Abandoned at Isles of Shoals
  69. What Scrooge and the Grinch Learned and Santa Forgot
  70. American Revolution Began in New Hampshire
  71. NH Rejects Aristotle Onassis Oil Refinery in 1974
  72. State of the First NH State House Revealed
  73. Demystifying Witchcraft in Portsmouth and Salem
  74. The Lost Jaffreys Come Home at Last
  75. Who Needs Another Gundalow?
  76. Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date
  77. Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England
  78. Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure
  79. Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography
  80. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  81. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  82. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  83. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  84. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  85. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  86. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  87. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  88. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  89. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  90. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  91. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  92. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  93. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  94. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  95. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel
  96. Writing about History in 2011
  97. The Lost Christmas Classic of Celia Thaxter
  98. What Does Piscataqua Mean?
  99. Myles Standish Speaks Out on NH's First Settler
  100. Poet Foss Spoke for the Common Man


  • 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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