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Black Heroes and Heroines of Portsmouth Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Elizabeth Ann VirgilHISTORY MATTERS

As anyone who walks the streets of Portsmouth knows, this city has a rich and fascinating African American history. Over two dozen brass plaques tell us so. But don't go looking for much more detail in the three standard city histories. Until recently, like the graves in the African Burying Ground, our black history was buried, lost or forgotten. (Continued below)

How John Paul Became John Paul Jones Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

john paul aka jones top pictureHISTORY MATTERS

Some topics are born into trouble. You'll see what I mean in a moment. This week, for example, I got a letter from a reader in North Carolina who upbraided me for daring to suggest that the Portsmouth Powder Alarm of 1774 was the first armed conflict of the American Revolution. That's how this all got started. (Continued below)

My First 50 Years With Computers Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


On the brink of a new year my hard drive died. Ten times I rebooted the beast and all I got was the dreaded blue screen that makes PC owners weep and beat their chests while Apple owners laugh. A kinder man might have said a thankful prayer for a loyal computer that has served me for years, executing my every command without a single day or night of rest. Instead I cursed the wretched beast like a doomed farmer whose exhausted mule falls to its knees at the height of planting season. (Continued below)

Horrific Boon Island Wreck Has Portsmouth Link Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Boon_island_wreck_1710HISTORY MATTERS

Don’t ask what Captain John Deane and his shipwrecked crew of the Nottingham Galley ate for Christmas dinner in 1710. It’s a menu beyond imagining. And yet we cannot look away from the most horrifying tale in the annals of local maritime history.  (Continued below)

Reviving the Portsmouth Powder Alarm 1774 Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Raid_1774_by_Ralph_MorangHISTORY MATTERS

They’re plotting again. A small group of patriotic insurgents are meeting secretly to plan another raid on the king’s fort at New Castle. As any true Seacoast resident knows by now, a mob of some 400 locals stormed Fort William and Mary in New Castle on December 14, 1774. They attacked the royal militia, stole the king’s gunpowder, tore down the British flag, and generally thumbed their noses at authority. (Continued below)


More Articles...

  1. Finding the First House in New Hampshire
  2. Atlantic Heights WWI Shipbuilder Neighborhood Story Told in Book
  3. Why I Hate Fake Pirates
  4. Predicting the Future of Kittery and Portsmouth
  5. Presidents Who Visited Portsmouth
  6. Experts Say Exhibit Not Reconstruction is Best Use of First NH State House
  7. New Ways to See the Old Portsmouth Seaport
  8. What We are Learning about the Isles of Shoals
  9. Facing Up to Facebook
  10. Edward Warren Clark was Magic Lantern Man
  11. Newspapers and History are Siamese Twins
  12. The Second Death of John Greenleaf Whittier
  13. George Washington Slept Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  14. Did NH Governor John Langdon Own Slaves?
  15. How We Created the Isles of Shoals Exhibit
  16. Why George Wasson is Worth Remembering
  17. Recycling Old Portsmouth Tree Tales
  18. Recalling Portsmouth in the War of 1812
  19. Rare Photo of NH Revolutionary War Vet Featured in New Books
  20. Federal Fire Society Adds to Its Bucket List
  21. Teaching an Old Library New Tricks
  22. Discovering the History of Discover Portsmouth
  23. Mitt Romney and Poetry, UFOs and Trash
  24. Thomas Morton Abandoned at Isles of Shoals
  25. What Scrooge and the Grinch Learned and Santa Forgot
  26. American Revolution Began in New Hampshire
  27. NH Rejects Aristotle Onassis Oil Refinery in 1974
  28. State of the First NH State House Revealed
  29. Demystifying Witchcraft in Portsmouth and Salem
  30. The Lost Jaffreys Come Home at Last
  31. Who Needs Another Gundalow?
  32. Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date
  33. Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England
  34. Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure
  35. Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography
  36. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  37. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  38. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  39. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  40. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  41. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  42. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  43. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  44. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  45. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  46. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  47. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  48. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  49. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  50. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  51. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel
  52. Writing about History in 2011
  53. The Lost Christmas Classic of Celia Thaxter
  54. What Does Piscataqua Mean?
  55. Myles Standish Speaks Out on NH's First Settler
  56. Poet Foss Spoke for the Common Man
  57. Mark Twain Loved Aldrich but Hated Portsmouth
  58. Creepy Characters from History
  59. The Unsung Columbus of New Hampshire
  60. Portsmouth Goes Whaling
  61. The Lost WPA Murals of Gladys Brannigan
  62. Waging Peace in 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth
  63. Subversive Nathan Parker Founded Unitarian Church in NH
  64. What the Cushing Family Left Us
  65. Fannie Sprague Murder Still Unsolved
  66. A Dangerous Love Affair with Fireworks
  67. Pirate Gold Recovered at Isles of Shoals
  68. Spreading the Gospel of Historic Portsmouth
  69. The First Perilous Voyage of Privateer Lynx
  70. When Playwrights Play With History
  71. How Harvard Helped Portsmouth and Vice Versa
  72. Fishing Adventures at the Isles of Shoals
  73. Vampire Lincoln Vs the Texas School Board
  74. Rare Photo Shows NH Revolutionary
  75. In Search of Black Yankee Imagery
  76. The Fall and Rise of Max Maynard
  77. Turning Seacoast Fact into Historical Fiction
  78. Writing History in the 21st Century
  79. Top 10 Seacoast Natural Disasters
  80. The Truth about Vintage Christmas
  81. NH Merchants Mint Their Own Money
  82. Privateer Lynx Heads East
  83. Best Clam Chowder Recipe is Our Family Heirloom
  84. Shifting Street Names is Portsmouth Tradition
  85. Thomsons were First NH Settlers in 1623
  86. Captain of Ironsides Starts Navy Yard
  87. Inside the Media Morgue
  88. How the Coolidge Family of Boston Saved Wentworth Mansion
  89. The Perils of Privateer Andrew Sherburne
  90. The Agony and the Ecstasy of James Kennard Jr
  91. What Happened to Portsmouth North End?
  92. Prehistoric Artifacts Discovered at Isles of Shoals
  93. Little Girl Opens Big Bridge
  94. Memoir of a Clever New England Girl
  95. Lincoln Supporters Trash Copperhead Newspaper
  96. Stamp Act Agent Burned in Effigy
  97. The Many Homes of Daniel Webster
  98. Louis de Rochemont in Hollywood NH
  99. Black Man with Washington Crossing the Delaware
  100. Ruth Blay Hanged Here in 1768


  • 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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