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Unloved President Franklin Pierce Had Seacoast Connections Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Franklin Pierce  medal smallHISTORY MATTERS

If he visited no other place, the departing President Franklin Pierce told a local crowd in 1856, he must come to Portsmouth. It was here that he spent some of the most agreeable years of his life, he said. Fresh out of BowdoinCollege, the athletic and strikingly handsome dark-haired Pierce had studied law in Portsmouth three decades earlier with the enormously popular Judge Levi Woodbury. (Click headline for full article) 

Those Dangerous Daily Newspapers Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Dailynews runningmanHISTORY MATTERS

George Lunt is nervous about the latest high-tech media. The news is coming out way too fast for anyone to keep pace, he says. Besides, most of what passes for news these days is trivial and irrelevant. Editors can't edit. Writers can't write. Worse yet, the media is creeping into our bedrooms, destroying our privacy, sucking up our valuable time, and focusing on lewd and violent topics.

When Old Ironsides Was Ours Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Old Ironsides in Portsmouth HarborHISTORY MATTERS  

A photograph discovered by a reader at a flea market sparks memories of the years when the USS Constitution was the hottest tourist site in Portsmouth Harbor. Was it the lowest ebb for the historic ship, or the end of a patriotic love affair? 

Five Reasons to Skate at Puddle Dock Portsmouth Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


I have a brilliant new idea. Let's build a skating rink in the middle of  Strawbery Banke Museum. What say? Someone already thought of it? And you say a few people don't approve? Hmmm. I'm not much for politics, but I can tell you why this idea makes sense, a lot of sense, from an historian's point of view. (Click headline for full article) 

Heavenly Days at the Hellish Portsmouth Naval Prison Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Thomas Mott Osborne demonstrating head restraintHISTORY MATTERS

Secrets breed rumors and no seacoast spot is more enigmatic than the towering cement prison at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Shuttered now for 40 years, it is off-limits to all visitors on a secured island inside a guarded federal facility. There it crumbles and rusts, unlikely ever to be used again.  (Click title for entire article.) 


More Articles...

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


  • 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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