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Who Needs Another Gundalow? Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Gundalow AdamsHistory Matters

This was going to be a solid unromantic assessment of the as-yet-unnamed wooden gundalow that is nearing completion on the front lawn of Strawbery Banke Museum. It has turned out to be nothing of the sort. My reaction to the upcoming launch, now set for early December, is thick with emotion. I am amazed. I am impressed. I am proud. (Continued bleow)


Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


The metaphorical party hats were on and the imaginary cake all decorated for the 125th birthday of the Portsmouth Herald. According to newspaper records, the Herald was born on September 23, 1886. Then the editor asked the darned historian to check the date. Sorry to spoil the party, folks. You got your own birth date wrong. (Continued below)

Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

John_Smith_00HISTORY MATTERS : We owe everything to Captain John Smith, but he rarely gets his due around here. You probably think he’s just the guy from Jamestown who played around with the Indian princess Pocahontas in 1607. But he was also the guy who toured the Atlantic Coast in 1614, created our first decent map, and coined the phrase “New England.”  Smith’s map and his thrilling tales enticed adventurers (including the Pilgrims) and investors who founded our region.


Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Residences_at_Portwalk_Portsmouth_NHSPECIAL HISTORY REPORT:

Portsmouth’s North End is best remembered as the city’s “Little Italy” neighborhood razed by renewal in the 1970s. But 200 years earlier it was a vital colonial neighborhood. Portsmouth welcomed the modern Portwalk development there (hotel, shops, residences) but historians balked when developers told the EPA the land had no historic significance. Turns out it did – big time. Read our special investigative coverage. (Continued below)


Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


Henry Tufts was no common criminal. The 50 homes he robbed and 50 horses he stole barely scratch the surface. He was jailed regularly from Maine to Virginia, and he frequently escaped. He was nearly hanged in 1794 for stealing six silver spoons. A crowd of 3,000 reportedly gathered to watch him die, but Tufts was saved from the gallows by the intervention of his mistress Nabby. (Continued below)



More Articles...

  1. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  2. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  3. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  4. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  5. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  6. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  7. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  8. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  9. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  10. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  11. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  12. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  13. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  14. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  15. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  16. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel
  17. Writing about History in 2011
  18. The Lost Christmas Classic of Celia Thaxter
  19. What Does Piscataqua Mean?
  20. Myles Standish Speaks Out on NH's First Settler
  21. Poet Foss Spoke for the Common Man
  22. Mark Twain Loved Aldrich but Hated Portsmouth
  23. Creepy Characters from History
  24. The Unsung Columbus of New Hampshire
  25. Portsmouth Goes Whaling
  26. The Lost WPA Murals of Gladys Brannigan
  27. Waging Peace in 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth
  28. Subversive Nathan Parker Founded Unitarian Church in NH
  29. What the Cushing Family Left Us
  30. Fannie Sprague Murder Still Unsolved
  31. A Dangerous Love Affair with Fireworks
  32. Pirate Gold Recovered at Isles of Shoals
  33. Spreading the Gospel of Historic Portsmouth
  34. The First Perilous Voyage of Privateer Lynx
  35. When Playwrights Play With History
  36. How Harvard Helped Portsmouth and Vice Versa
  37. Fishing Adventures at the Isles of Shoals
  38. Vampire Lincoln Vs the Texas School Board
  39. Rare Photo Shows NH Revolutionary
  40. In Search of Black Yankee Imagery
  41. The Fall and Rise of Max Maynard
  42. Turning Seacoast Fact into Historical Fiction
  43. Writing History in the 21st Century
  44. Top 10 Seacoast Natural Disasters
  45. The Truth about Vintage Christmas
  46. NH Merchants Mint Their Own Money
  47. Privateer Lynx Heads East
  48. Best Clam Chowder Recipe is Our Family Heirloom
  49. Shifting Street Names is Portsmouth Tradition
  50. Thomsons were First NH Settlers in 1623
  51. Captain of Ironsides Starts Navy Yard
  52. Inside the Media Morgue
  53. How the Coolidge Family of Boston Saved Wentworth Mansion
  54. The Perils of Privateer Andrew Sherburne
  55. The Agony and the Ecstasy of James Kennard Jr
  56. What Happened to Portsmouth North End?
  57. Prehistoric Artifacts Discovered at Isles of Shoals
  58. Little Girl Opens Big Bridge
  59. Memoir of a Clever New England Girl
  60. Lincoln Supporters Trash Copperhead Newspaper
  61. Stamp Act Agent Burned in Effigy
  62. The Many Homes of Daniel Webster
  63. Louis de Rochemont in Hollywood NH
  64. Black Man with Washington Crossing the Delaware
  65. Ruth Blay Hanged Here in 1768
  66. Ice Storm Photos Frozen in Time
  67. Fire and Ice in Downtown Portsmouth
  68. York Indian Legend Might be Real
  69. White Men Invented Saint Aspinquid
  70. No Thanks Given to NH Founders
  71. The Fall and Rise of Portsmouth NH
  72. Tales of a Real Ghostbuster
  73. Letter to Portsmouth in 2123 AD
  74. Time Capsule Buried in 1998
  75. Love Letters of Dorothy Vaughan
  76. Maine Yankee Escapes Confederate South
  77. Bicycles on the Water
  78. The Elusive Trail of Lucy Hale
  79. Was 1981 NH Bomber Crash Pilot Error?
  80. The Stones of Monhegan
  81. The Day the FB111A Crashed
  82. Like Father, Unlike Son
  83. Dartmouth Conceived as Indian School
  84. Eccentric Pilgrim Stranger Preached to Congress
  85. The UFO Romance of Betty and Barney Hill
  86. Almost Famous in a 1969 Cover Band
  87. Bad Boy Book Genre Born in NH
  88. Collecting John Paul Jones
  89. Why Old NH State House Should Not Be Restored
  90. Why Louis Wagner Was Smuttynose Slayer
  91. Black Heroes and White Voices
  92. Robinson History Added to Portsmouth Herald
  93. Lafayette was the First American Idol
  94. Things You Never Knew About Old Portsmouth Library
  95. NH Woman Meets Mormon Founder Joseph Smith
  96. Battle Cry of the eBay Warrior
  97. Maryellen’s Magic Wedding Dress
  98. Jesse James Women
  99. The Outlaw Josey Wales
  100. Why Bob Ford Could Not Kill Jesse James


  • 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.

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