Young Women by the Sea
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Written by Seacoast NH Archives

Woman at the Beach from Portsmouth Presents
Historic Portsmouth #296

This city has become known around the world for the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, largely the work of historian Valerie Cunningham. Tracking down four centuries of African Americans here has been a daunting and lifelong task. (Continued below)


Harder still is finding images to illustrate those stories. Paintings, engravings, even photographs of early black residents are rare. A simple candid photograph like this of two women at the beach would likely never have been printed in this very newspaper in the early 20th century. We’ll explore that topic – the search for black imagery – in next Monday’s "History Matters" column. This picture of two unidentified young women is part of the Elizabeth Ann Virgil Collection at the Portsmouth Athenaeum. Virgil (1903 – 1991) was the first African American graduate from the University of New Hampshire.

Two women on the beach from Elizabeth Virgial Collection (c) Portsmouth Athenaeum

VISIT OUR black history section