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Finding the First House in New Hampshire Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Great_House_bad_sketch by J. Dennis RobinsonHISTORY MATTERS

Every year at this time I ask my readers to pause, solemnly bow your heads, and stop thinking about those dang Pilgrims from Massachusetts.Their funny hats and fat turkeys and pious ways and Plymouth Rock are largely fictional.  Yet New Hampshire never gives a cranberry for its own unique founders. There are no decent monuments to the 1623 settlers at Rye or the 1630 founders of Strawberry Bank that later became Portsmouth. (Yes, We focus on our role in the American Revolution as if the first 150 years of the province of New Hampshire never happened. (Continued below)

Atlantic Heights WWI Shipbuilder Neighborhood Story Told in Book Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Atlatnci_Heights from 1925 posterHISTORY MATTERS

Not many low-rent neighborhoods are designed by high-minded architects. And few get to be the topic of an entire book. But back in 1985 Prof. Richard Candee of Boston University saw something special about “The Heights” of Portsmouth. So did many others and the book was soon out of print. Last week the only two used copies of Candee’s book on were being offered to collectors for $305.52 and $450.70 respectively. (Continued below)

Why I Hate Fake Pirates Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Jack_Sparrow, the most famous fake pirate (c) Disney CorpHISTORY MATTERS

In my taxonomy of Halloween monsters there are three categories. First are the imaginary monsters like vampires, trolls, devils, dragons, ghosts, and zombies. I like these monsters a lot. They are not real; although I’m afraid we’ll get a letter from someone who believes otherwise. If that person shows up with one of the above in a box, I’ll happily eat this article. (Continued below)

Predicting the Future of Kittery and Portsmouth Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Freighter to Kittery

When Ben Frisbee gazed into his crystal ball in 1895 he saw his rural hometown of Kittery, Maine radically altered by progress. By 1955, Frisbee predicted, the wetlands would be dredged into lakes and steel wharves would accommodate massive cruise ships. Gerrish Island would be ringed with wide tarred roads lit by bright electric bulbs. (Continue below)

Presidents Who Visited Portsmouth Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Prez_in_PortsmouthHISTORY MATTERS

Barack Obama’s historic visit to Portsmouth in September 2012 adds one more president to the city’s scorecard. But how many does that make? Let’s tally them up. The local newspaper reported that Obama is the first president to visit the “Banke” since George Washington stopped by in 1789. That's sort of true. But the headline neglects to mention 20 other presidents who visited in-between. (continued below)


More Articles...

  1. Experts Say Exhibit Not Reconstruction is Best Use of First NH State House
  2. New Ways to See the Old Portsmouth Seaport
  3. What We are Learning about the Isles of Shoals
  4. Facing Up to Facebook
  5. Edward Warren Clark was Magic Lantern Man
  6. Newspapers and History are Siamese Twins
  7. The Second Death of John Greenleaf Whittier
  8. George Washington Slept Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  9. Did NH Governor John Langdon Own Slaves?
  10. How We Created the Isles of Shoals Exhibit
  11. Why George Wasson is Worth Remembering
  12. Recycling Old Portsmouth Tree Tales
  13. Recalling Portsmouth in the War of 1812
  14. Rare Photo of NH Revolutionary War Vet Featured in New Books
  15. Federal Fire Society Adds to Its Bucket List
  16. Teaching an Old Library New Tricks
  17. Discovering the History of Discover Portsmouth
  18. Mitt Romney and Poetry, UFOs and Trash
  19. Thomas Morton Abandoned at Isles of Shoals
  20. What Scrooge and the Grinch Learned and Santa Forgot
  21. American Revolution Began in New Hampshire
  22. NH Rejects Aristotle Onassis Oil Refinery in 1974
  23. State of the First NH State House Revealed
  24. Demystifying Witchcraft in Portsmouth and Salem
  25. The Lost Jaffreys Come Home at Last
  26. Who Needs Another Gundalow?
  27. Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date
  28. Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England
  29. Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure
  30. Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography
  31. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  32. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  33. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  34. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  35. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  36. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  37. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  38. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  39. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  40. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  41. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  42. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  43. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  44. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  45. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  46. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel
  47. Writing about History in 2011
  48. The Lost Christmas Classic of Celia Thaxter
  49. What Does Piscataqua Mean?
  50. Myles Standish Speaks Out on NH's First Settler
  51. Poet Foss Spoke for the Common Man
  52. Mark Twain Loved Aldrich but Hated Portsmouth
  53. Creepy Characters from History
  54. The Unsung Columbus of New Hampshire
  55. Portsmouth Goes Whaling
  56. The Lost WPA Murals of Gladys Brannigan
  57. Waging Peace in 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth
  58. Subversive Nathan Parker Founded Unitarian Church in NH
  59. What the Cushing Family Left Us
  60. Fannie Sprague Murder Still Unsolved
  61. A Dangerous Love Affair with Fireworks
  62. Pirate Gold Recovered at Isles of Shoals
  63. Spreading the Gospel of Historic Portsmouth
  64. The First Perilous Voyage of Privateer Lynx
  65. When Playwrights Play With History
  66. How Harvard Helped Portsmouth and Vice Versa
  67. Fishing Adventures at the Isles of Shoals
  68. Vampire Lincoln Vs the Texas School Board
  69. Rare Photo Shows NH Revolutionary
  70. In Search of Black Yankee Imagery
  71. The Fall and Rise of Max Maynard
  72. Turning Seacoast Fact into Historical Fiction
  73. Writing History in the 21st Century
  74. Top 10 Seacoast Natural Disasters
  75. The Truth about Vintage Christmas
  76. NH Merchants Mint Their Own Money
  77. Privateer Lynx Heads East
  78. Best Clam Chowder Recipe is Our Family Heirloom
  79. Shifting Street Names is Portsmouth Tradition
  80. Thomsons were First NH Settlers in 1623
  81. Captain of Ironsides Starts Navy Yard
  82. Inside the Media Morgue
  83. How the Coolidge Family of Boston Saved Wentworth Mansion
  84. The Perils of Privateer Andrew Sherburne
  85. The Agony and the Ecstasy of James Kennard Jr
  86. What Happened to Portsmouth North End?
  87. Prehistoric Artifacts Discovered at Isles of Shoals
  88. Little Girl Opens Big Bridge
  89. Memoir of a Clever New England Girl
  90. Lincoln Supporters Trash Copperhead Newspaper
  91. Stamp Act Agent Burned in Effigy
  92. The Many Homes of Daniel Webster
  93. Louis de Rochemont in Hollywood NH
  94. Black Man with Washington Crossing the Delaware
  95. Ruth Blay Hanged Here in 1768
  96. Ice Storm Photos Frozen in Time
  97. Fire and Ice in Downtown Portsmouth
  98. York Indian Legend Might be Real
  99. White Men Invented Saint Aspinquid
  100. No Thanks Given to NH Founders


  • 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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