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SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson click here

Click on a special section to the right or select an article from the list below.

Portsmouth Shipyard

Old Ironsides

John Paul Jones



Old Ironsides


Nazi U-Boats Surrender at Portsmouth Print Email
Written by Charlie Gray   

Surrendering Uboat Crew 1945/

Here is the complete story of the only German subs that entered Portsmouth Harbor in World War II. Four U-boats chose to surrender at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Here is the complete story day-by-day from radio news accounts in May 1945.



Humphrey Bogart and Portsmouth Prison Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Shipyard Stories


Yes, Humprhey Bogart was involved in a serious incident while on his way to Portsmouth Prison following World War I. And yes, Bogie did serve a little time in jail. But you won’t know what really happened unless you click and read the facts. Truth is stranger than fiction.


Rare Portsmouth Whaling Diary Print Email
Written by Leander Huntress   

Portsmouth NH Whaling Diary Excpert


It isn’t often you get to read a read whaler’s journal. That is especially true in Portsmouth where the whaling industry was short-lived and the whalers few and far between. Following is a rare 1840s excerpt from the writing of Leander Huntress aboard the NH ship Ann Parry.


Portsmouth Fails at Whaling Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Whaling engraving /


Captain Ahab wasn’t the only one who went under in the whale oil business. Portsmouth, New Hampshire tried and failed to be like New Boston. Well known local businessmen invested. There was some success, and then the venture sank like a stone.


John Paul Jones Film Summary Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Marissa Pavan as Aimee de Tellison and Robert Stack as John Paul JOnes in 1959 Colimbia film/


The 1959 film John Paul Jones is the only major Hollywood movie about the naval hero. Portsmouth, NH is the only American site of a John Paul Jones house museum. The film premiered here as a fundraiser for the founding of Strawbery Banke Museum. Click to read ourr abridged version of the film plot.


Defending Our First Sea Warrior Print Email
Written by Joseph Callo   

John Paul JOnes by Joe Callo book cover art
Rear Admiral Joeseph Callo says John Paul Jones was a true American hero worthy of honor and respect. Callo goes so far as to suggest that his honorary title "Father of the American Navy" is not enough. Jones, he says, should be considered a full-fledged "founding father" like Washington, Jefferson and Franklin. And he says so in a new book designed to rebutt recent criticism.


Inside Paul Jones Cottage Birthplace Print Email
Written by Emily and John Lusher   

Window of JPJ Cottage / John Lusher

Through this window the young John Paul Jones first saw the world. Even though he returned in a Portsmouth-built ship to raid his own home territory, John Paul Jones is remembered kindly in his hometown on Solway Bay in Scotland. JPJ’s father was a gardener and the preserved 1747 cottage remains on the estate grounds.


The Day the Shipyard Burned Print Email
Written by Ray Brighton   

Franklin shiphouse from early postcard/ Digital art by

The Franklin Shiphouse went up in a mighty orgy of flame and smoke. That was March 10, 1936. A local man, then a boy of 10, recalled the fiery scene as the most awesome event of its kind that he has ever seen. He watched the destructive flames from the safety of Pierce Island in a chilly dawn.


Mine Planter Richard Arnold Sinks Print Email
Written by Seacoast Shipyard Stories   

January 1942

During the 20th century deadly mines were planted along the floor of the Piscataqua connecting NH and Maine. Although none were detonated, ten men died when a mine-planter sank off the Isles of Shoals. This is the story of the Richard Arnold by reader request.


John Paul Jones Sued in NH Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

JPJ Lawsuit

Captain Jones’ second visit to Portsmouth, NH ended badly. After a year of waiting to gain command of the AMERICA, largest ship built to date in North America, he lost the ship to the French. Then Ebenezer Hogg's lawsuit added insult to injury. Jones had to rely on Durham, NH lawyer John Sullivan, who offered him some good advice – duck out of town!




  • John Paul Jones

    (1747 - 1792)

    Scottish born naval captain John Paul Jones visited New Hampshire twice. In 1777 he took Portsmouth-built RANGER with a Piscataqua crew to France. There he worried the British in a series of guerilla raids before his famous battle in the BON HOMME RICHARD. Later, a hero decorated by the king of France, he returned to Portsmouth to fit out the AMERICA, largest ship of war ever built in the nation to that day.  Jones stayed at the Purcell House, today the Paul Jones Museum. This site offers those stories and many more.

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  • The Shipyard


    Skilled boatbuilders were producing fine wooden ships from the dense local forests  by the late 1600s. The Raleigh, first of the ships in the Contientnal Navy was built here before the Revolution. Shipyards flourished all along the Piscataqua and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine is over 200 years old. This section is dedicated to those ships, the men and women who built and sailed them, and their families.

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  • Old Ironsides


    Among the oldest pictures in the US Navy archives is an iamge of :Old Ironsides" under repair in Portsmouth Harbor. Though built and berthed still in Charleston, Mass, the USS CONSTITUTION has deep ties to the Piscataqua. The oldest US naval ship was here for nearly two decades during a strange era in her history -- told here.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018 
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