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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)

The Unexpected Portsmouth Art Gallery Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

library ceramic dragonHISTORY MATTERS


Hidden in plain sight, a fascinating collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and photographs are on display at the Portsmouth Public Library. (click title ro read more)

Inside the Wondrous Woodman Museum Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


The closest you will ever get to a ten-foot tall polar bear is on Central Avenue in Dover, New Hampshire. He’s waiting inside the front door of Annie Woodman’s house. Annie Woodman died almost 100 years ago, but it wasn’t the polar bear’s fault. He’s dead too, stuffed and standing upright in a huge glass case. (Click title to read more) 


My Favorite Portsmouth History Books for Kids Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

boy reading book

A New Hampshire historian shares his fears and favorite local history books for children. Includes a list at the end of two dozen vintage-to-modern books for parents and kids. (Click title to read more)


More Articles...

  1. The Truth about Bricks and Mortar
  2. Understanding the Portsmouth African Burying Ground
  3. Saving the Old State Street Store
  4. George Orwell Taught Me to Write History
  5. New Monument for the Man Who Named New England
  6. Painting the First Picture of Portsmouth
  7. Tallest Tombstone in New Hampshire is 100 Years Old
  8. Portsmouth Builds Rare HMS America in 1749
  9. Unloved President Franklin Pierce Had Seacoast Connections
  10. Those Dangerous Daily Newspapers
  11. When Old Ironsides Was Ours
  12. Five Reasons to Skate at Puddle Dock Portsmouth
  13. Heavenly Days at the Hellish Portsmouth Naval Prison
  14. The Lost Interview with Dorothy Vaughan
  15. Tough Times for Tough Portsmouth Mayors
  16. Alemaker Frank Jones was Hero and Heel
  17. Repairing Sir Peter Warren
  18. The Brief Life of the First Oceanic Hotel
  19. Portsmouth 1814 Brick Act was Unpopular Law
  20. How Massachusetts Almost Ate New Hampshire
  21. 1847 Letter
  22. An 1847 Message from Hog Island
  23. Unraveling the 1694 Murder of Ursula Cutt
  24. The Day the Piscataqua River Exploded
  25. Gettysburg Concordance App Brings Battle to Life
  26. The Flags of John Paul Jones
  27. Rower Retraces Smuttynose Murder Route
  28. Reflecting on a Painted Wall
  29. The Fickle Fate of Tobias Lear
  30. Portsmouth and Dover Still Feuding Over 1623 NH Founding Date
  31. How Portsmouth Partied in 1923
  32. NH Governor Driven Out of Three Mansions
  33. New Book Will Fully Explore 1873 Smuttynose Island Ax Murders
  34. Black Heroes and Heroines of Portsmouth
  35. How John Paul Became John Paul Jones
  36. My First 50 Years With Computers
  37. Horrific Boon Island Wreck Has Portsmouth Link
  38. Reviving the Portsmouth Powder Alarm 1774
  39. Finding the First House in New Hampshire
  40. Atlantic Heights WWI Shipbuilder Neighborhood Story Told in Book
  41. Why I Hate Fake Pirates
  42. Predicting the Future of Kittery and Portsmouth
  43. Presidents Who Visited Portsmouth
  44. Experts Say Exhibit Not Reconstruction is Best Use of First NH State House
  45. New Ways to See the Old Portsmouth Seaport
  46. What We are Learning about the Isles of Shoals
  47. Facing Up to Facebook
  48. Edward Warren Clark was Magic Lantern Man
  49. Newspapers and History are Siamese Twins
  50. The Second Death of John Greenleaf Whittier
  51. George Washington Slept Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  52. Did NH Governor John Langdon Own Slaves?
  53. How We Created the Isles of Shoals Exhibit
  54. Why George Wasson is Worth Remembering
  55. Recycling Old Portsmouth Tree Tales
  56. Recalling Portsmouth in the War of 1812
  57. Rare Photo of NH Revolutionary War Vet Featured in New Books
  58. Federal Fire Society Adds to Its Bucket List
  59. Teaching an Old Library New Tricks
  60. Discovering the History of Discover Portsmouth
  61. Mitt Romney and Poetry, UFOs and Trash
  62. Thomas Morton Abandoned at Isles of Shoals
  63. What Scrooge and the Grinch Learned and Santa Forgot
  64. American Revolution Began in New Hampshire
  65. NH Rejects Aristotle Onassis Oil Refinery in 1974
  66. State of the First NH State House Revealed
  67. Demystifying Witchcraft in Portsmouth and Salem
  68. The Lost Jaffreys Come Home at Last
  69. Who Needs Another Gundalow?
  70. Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date
  71. Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England
  72. Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure
  73. Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography
  74. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  75. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  76. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  77. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  78. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  79. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  80. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  81. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  82. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  83. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  84. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  85. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  86. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  87. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  88. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  89. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel
  90. Writing about History in 2011
  91. The Lost Christmas Classic of Celia Thaxter
  92. What Does Piscataqua Mean?
  93. Myles Standish Speaks Out on NH's First Settler
  94. Poet Foss Spoke for the Common Man
  95. Mark Twain Loved Aldrich but Hated Portsmouth
  96. Creepy Characters from History
  97. The Unsung Columbus of New Hampshire
  98. Portsmouth Goes Whaling
  99. The Lost WPA Murals of Gladys Brannigan
  100. Waging Peace in 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth


  • 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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