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SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson click here
Inside the Comic Carpet-Bag Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Carpet-Bag 1851
HISTORY OF AMERICAN HUMOR


Few people know that America's first humor magazine was created by a New Hampshire man. Portsmouth's BP Shillaber has been called the "torch-bearer" of the American humor movement in the mid-1800s. He was also, scholars tell us, the first editor to publish a comic sketch by a young Samuel Clemens who would become the amazing Mark Twain -- for the first time on the Internet.

 

 
The Shot Not Heard Round the World Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Re-enactors take New Castle Fort (c) Ralph Morang
230 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH

Did the American Revolution really start at Fort William and Mary in New Hampshire? Local historians like to think so. Historian J. Dennis Robinson takes one more shot at the story that just misses the major history texts, but looms large in the life of the Seacoast.

 

 

 
How Santa Stole Christmas Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Santa
SOMEWHERE IN HERE
THERE USED TO BE A HOLIDAY

It wasn't always this bad. Our Puritan ancestors thought Christmas was a pagan holiday. Based on the nonstop shopping ads, they may have been right. A quick look at some old Portsmouth newspapers tells the tale of a nation trapped by the rising fever of consumption.

 

 

 
The Three Fires of Christmas Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Fire

DOWNTOWN BURNS IN THE 1800s

Again and again Portsmouth burned, making hell of the holidays. The three devastating fires of Portsmouth each arrived near Christmas – 1802, 1806, 1813. Out of the ashes came a new city – one built of brick instead of wood – and a memory that still lives in the winter scent of smoke.

 

 

 
The Imaginary Saint Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Indian

The "praying Indian" of Maine is not buried on a York mountaintop

Saint Aspinquid of Maine was the perfect Indian for 19th century whites -- pious and peace-loving. He was also imaginary. The legend, so often connected with Passaconaway, tells us more about New Eng;and historians than it does about Native Americans.



 

Subcategories

  • 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.    

    Article Count:
    178
  • As I Please

     

    HISTORY MATTERS

    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.

    Article Count:
    88
  • 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.

    Article Count:
    2
  • 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.

    Article Count:
    25

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