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The Lost Interview with Dorothy Vaughan Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Audio tape 1969HISTORY MATTERS

A recently uncovered tape transcript with a late Portsmouth historian recorded in 1969 reveals much about the preserving of houses in the city in the 20th century and includes some fascinating background details. Part one of two 

Tough Times for Tough Portsmouth Mayors Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


With another exciting election looming, I thought it was a simple question. When, I asked a few knowledgeable Portsmouth people, did we start letting the city councilor with the most votes become mayor? "I do not know," one former Portsmouth mayor posted on my Facebook page, "but I certainly would support changing it."  (Click title to read full article) 

Alemaker Frank Jones was Hero and Heel Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Frank Jones beer logoHISTORY MATTERS

Fall equals beer, and here in Portsmouth, beer equals Frank Jones. One hundred and eleven years after his death, the "ale tycoon" still looms large in his adopted hometown. Jones built Portsmouth's West End into the biggest brewery in New England, in America, or in the world, depending on whom you ask. But was he a guy we should look up to?  (Click headline to read full article) 

Repairing Sir Peter Warren Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Sir Peter Warren by Thomas HudsonHISTORY MATTERS

The life-sized portraits of two war heroes dominate the wall of the Portsmouth Atheneum. But the first major American war has been forgotten, as has the British naval hero who ensured the victory. Today the painting of Sir Peter Warren is fading and, with his restoration, comes the restoration of  great story and an ancient friendship. (Full story below) 

The Brief Life of the First Oceanic Hotel Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Oceanic Hotel 1873HISTORY MATTERS

The annual sailboat race to the Isles of Shoals is awash with history trivia. The original Gosport Regatta drew competitors from up and down the New England coast. After the race those yachtsmen celebrated at a grand new hotel called the Oceanic. It was the height of Victorian luxury, but it no longer exists. What's that you say? The Oceanic Hotel still stands on Star Island? Read on. (continued below) 


More Articles...

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


  • 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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