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Newspapers and History are Siamese Twins Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


Leaders of the local history community were chewing nails recently over a couple of Portsmouth Herald editorials. One editorial implied that the city has “plenty of historic organizations with staff and myriad supporters” who should step up and help maintain the city’s ancient graveyards. Maybe not. (Continued below)

The Second Death of John Greenleaf Whittier Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Whittier_cemeteryHISTORY MATTERS

John Greenleaf Whittier is dying -- again. When he died the first time in 1892 Whittier was an American idol, one of the best-read most-loved poets in the nation. The author of “Snow-Bound” and “Barbara Fritchie” and “Maud Muller” and “The Barefoot Boy” was a household name. But that famous name, like the romantic poetry of his era, is fading fast.  (Continued below)


George Washington Slept Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Gullager paintnig of Washington on book cover by Elwin PageHISTORY MATTERS

Why did the first President of the new United States come all the way to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1789? And why did he stay four full days? Who did he see? What did he do? A new walking tour from the Gov. John Langdon Mansion clears up the details and traces the sites of these most historic days in the city’s history. (Continued below)


Did NH Governor John Langdon Own Slaves? Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


He led the 1774 raid against the king’s fort, built America’s first frigates, fought, financed the war, designed and signed the US Constitution, served as New Hampshire senator, “president,” and governor. So was this “founding father” also a slave owner? Signs point to NO.  (Complete article below)


How We Created the Isles of Shoals Exhibit Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

John Paul Jones as fishermanHISTORY MATTERS

John Paul Jones has gone fishing for the summer. The life-sized mannequin of the naval hero, the one with the foam body and the molded plastic face, has moved from his ancient bedroom in the John Paul Jones House museum to the Discover Portsmouth Center across the street. His Revolutionary War uniform has been temporarily replaced by the canvas smock and apron of an English fisherman from the 1600s. He now stands behind a crude wooden rack covered with dried codfish. On August 21, when the new exhibit ends, Jones will quit fishing and go back to fighting the Revolution. (Continued below)


More Articles...

  1. Why George Wasson is Worth Remembering
  2. Recycling Old Portsmouth Tree Tales
  3. Recalling Portsmouth in the War of 1812
  4. Rare Photo of NH Revolutionary War Vet Featured in New Books
  5. Federal Fire Society Adds to Its Bucket List
  6. Teaching an Old Library New Tricks
  7. Discovering the History of Discover Portsmouth
  8. Mitt Romney and Poetry, UFOs and Trash
  9. Thomas Morton Abandoned at Isles of Shoals
  10. What Scrooge and the Grinch Learned and Santa Forgot
  11. American Revolution Began in New Hampshire
  12. NH Rejects Aristotle Onassis Oil Refinery in 1974
  13. State of the First NH State House Revealed
  14. Demystifying Witchcraft in Portsmouth and Salem
  15. The Lost Jaffreys Come Home at Last
  16. Who Needs Another Gundalow?
  17. Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date
  18. Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England
  19. Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure
  20. Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography
  21. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  22. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  23. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  24. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  25. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  26. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  27. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  28. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  29. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  30. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  31. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  32. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  33. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  34. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  35. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  36. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel
  37. Writing about History in 2011
  38. The Lost Christmas Classic of Celia Thaxter
  39. What Does Piscataqua Mean?
  40. Myles Standish Speaks Out on NH's First Settler
  41. Poet Foss Spoke for the Common Man
  42. Mark Twain Loved Aldrich but Hated Portsmouth
  43. Creepy Characters from History
  44. The Unsung Columbus of New Hampshire
  45. Portsmouth Goes Whaling
  46. The Lost WPA Murals of Gladys Brannigan
  47. Waging Peace in 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth
  48. Subversive Nathan Parker Founded Unitarian Church in NH
  49. What the Cushing Family Left Us
  50. Fannie Sprague Murder Still Unsolved
  51. A Dangerous Love Affair with Fireworks
  52. Pirate Gold Recovered at Isles of Shoals
  53. Spreading the Gospel of Historic Portsmouth
  54. The First Perilous Voyage of Privateer Lynx
  55. When Playwrights Play With History
  56. How Harvard Helped Portsmouth and Vice Versa
  57. Fishing Adventures at the Isles of Shoals
  58. Vampire Lincoln Vs the Texas School Board
  59. Rare Photo Shows NH Revolutionary
  60. In Search of Black Yankee Imagery
  61. The Fall and Rise of Max Maynard
  62. Turning Seacoast Fact into Historical Fiction
  63. Writing History in the 21st Century
  64. Top 10 Seacoast Natural Disasters
  65. The Truth about Vintage Christmas
  66. NH Merchants Mint Their Own Money
  67. Privateer Lynx Heads East
  68. Best Clam Chowder Recipe is Our Family Heirloom
  69. Shifting Street Names is Portsmouth Tradition
  70. Thomsons were First NH Settlers in 1623
  71. Captain of Ironsides Starts Navy Yard
  72. Inside the Media Morgue
  73. How the Coolidge Family of Boston Saved Wentworth Mansion
  74. The Perils of Privateer Andrew Sherburne
  75. The Agony and the Ecstasy of James Kennard Jr
  76. What Happened to Portsmouth North End?
  77. Prehistoric Artifacts Discovered at Isles of Shoals
  78. Little Girl Opens Big Bridge
  79. Memoir of a Clever New England Girl
  80. Lincoln Supporters Trash Copperhead Newspaper
  81. Stamp Act Agent Burned in Effigy
  82. The Many Homes of Daniel Webster
  83. Louis de Rochemont in Hollywood NH
  84. Black Man with Washington Crossing the Delaware
  85. Ruth Blay Hanged Here in 1768
  86. Ice Storm Photos Frozen in Time
  87. Fire and Ice in Downtown Portsmouth
  88. York Indian Legend Might be Real
  89. White Men Invented Saint Aspinquid
  90. No Thanks Given to NH Founders
  91. The Fall and Rise of Portsmouth NH
  92. Tales of a Real Ghostbuster
  93. Letter to Portsmouth in 2123 AD
  94. Time Capsule Buried in 1998
  95. Love Letters of Dorothy Vaughan
  96. Maine Yankee Escapes Confederate South
  97. Bicycles on the Water
  98. The Elusive Trail of Lucy Hale
  99. Was 1981 NH Bomber Crash Pilot Error?
  100. The Stones of Monhegan


  • 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.

    Article Count:
  • 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.

    Article Count:

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