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November 1999 Mailbag

November 29
Could you tell me what time the Portsmouth Christmas Parade begins on Saturday the 4th of December? I also would like to know where it begins and ends. I believe there is an outdoor concert afterwards and would appreciate any information on that as well.
Karen Gilbert

EDITOR'S REPLY: This is a Prescott Park Arts Festival event, so the parade ends there. It starts at 6pm coming up Islington Street to Market Square and then over to the Park where there will be 25 decorated tress and a 50 member choir. The parade is being billed as "The Illuminated History of the Seacoast". For more info call PPAF at 436-2848. Starts 6pm up Islington, heading into MS, down Daniel to Prescott Aprk, 25 Speaking of Illuminated history, try this link where we now have EIGHTEEN history theme secions!

November 29
Hello. I am writing a paper on Martha Hilton Wentworth Wentworth and I would like any other information on her and her life. Thank You

EDITOR'S REPLY: All the info we have is online, and a quick check of the search engines tells us we are the only web site in the world that seems interested in poor, make that "rich", Martha who married NH Royal Governor Benning Wentworth in a scandalous May-December union back in 1760. For more info call Molly Bolster at the Wentworth Coolidge Mansion on Little Harbor Road in Portsmouth, NH (603-436-6607). And stay tuned for our historic house page on that stately mansion in the near future.

November 28
We are the Princess Pocahontas Foundation located in Gloucester County, Virginia where Pocahontas was born and where she saved the life of Capt. John Smith. Capt' John Smith was a remarkable man. It disturbs me to see writers today call him a liar. He may have exaggerated - most of us do on occasion - but he was able to communicate and make friends with the Indians here in Virginia. Without him and Pocahontas the colonist would not have survived. We are in the process of receiving 10 acres of land and hope to get another 16 acres next year. We have a small Pocahontas museum her and hope to build a larger one and a children's park.
Betty DeHardit, treasurer

EDITOR'S REPLY: Your model is a good one for those of us hoping to rehabilitate the John Smith monument and legend in New Hampshire. A statue is not forever and needs to be constantly maintained. Ours hasn't had a facelift in 85 years and is not looking too healthy.

November 28
I have a John Paul children's book. I was wondering if this is something of value to collectors as I am considering selling it.
A. Yates

EDITOR'S REPLY: It may be. There are probably 100 or more books for children written about JPJ. Your best bet is to go to and check the pricing, then sell it on one of the many online auction sites. We're purchased about a dozen in the last year which we hope will end up in the John Paul Jones House Museum eventually. We are waiting, even now, for the arrival of an 1850's "penny dreadful" called "Paul Jones the Pirate" which we'll certainly display online if it turns out to be interesting. We'd be happy to add JPJ contributions from our readers to the planned display at the museum. We hope to have it in shape by 2001, assuming we can raise the required funds. Click below to see a 1902 JPJ kids book:

November 27
Help!!! I am looking for any information that I can get my hands on regarding getting married in the Hampton, Rye area. I need a church or alternative wedding site and a reception area for next September. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your help- sorry for the broad plea for help!
Sarah F

EDITOR'S REPLY: One of the features of our upcoming Seacoastsearch database will be a "Wedding Guide" with links to local function halls, photographers, etc. in the region - but only if they are online. We sent Sarah an advance copy of the database info. Meanwhile, here is a local link with matrimonial info. Readers feel free to send Sarah your best bet locations.

November 27
In the late 40's a submarine got loose from the tugs moving it from berth to berth. It headed upstream and plowed into the Memorial Bridge shearing of some of the superstructure and running aground on Badger's Island. What was the name of the sub?
Jerry MacNeil

EDITOR'S REPLY: Congratulations, you have stumped the expert! Our primary resource, author of two books on the Navy Yard and subs could find no "official" record of your incident. That does not mean it didn't happen, it simply leaves us at the mercy of local newspapers. That's a lot of time at the microfiche machine we haven't got, but your request is on the back burner and we'll talk it up as we work on 200th anniversary features for the Navy yard in the year 2000. Stay tuned. We'll track this loose sub down someday.

November 22
You guys put out the best darn little magazine I've seen online. One correction - please forgive me, I can hear Sister Mary Florentine right now - regarding the word "receive" in a recent article -- the spelling rule is "i before e except after c" -- Otherwise, couldn't get any better. Keep up the good work.
Deborah L. Peck

November 21
Thank you for your great WebPage, My great great grandfather was a black American born in New Haven in 1764 he was transported to Australia as a first fleeter in 1788, your page opened my eyes & gave me a real insight of how life was for my ancestors, once again deep thanks.
Robyn from Australia.

November 20
Am searching for information on crew of the U.S. ship "Ranger" captained by John Paul Jones. Specifically, on one Solomon Hopkins, of Maine, who by family accounts served under Jones aboard the "Ranger." Might you have any details re names of the crew, particularly old Solomon Hopkins? If so, I'd appreciate receiving them.
John H. Frye

EDITOR'S REPLY: Sorry, we could not find Mr. Hopkins in the Ranger Roster as researched by Joseph Sawtelle in his book "John Paul Jones and the Ranger" (Portsmouth Marine Society, 1994). Mr. Sawtelle told us he assembled the log of the 140-odd crew and officers from years of research visiting archives all over the world. There was, however, a Solomon Hutchins listed among the crew, who reportedly came down with smallpox, but recovered. Precious little detail, if any, is available on any but the officers on board. It is possible, of course, that your family legend is correct, and the transcription of the log in error. Your best bet is to do some genealogical research at the Maine Historical Society in Portland. See if the dates of your ancestor jive with the departure of the Ranger. The Ranger sailed from Portsmouth Harbor in 1777 and, if all goes well, will sail again from Portsmouth Harbor in the 21st century.

November 20
Why are the stripes on the flag inconsistent? What is the meaning behind the stripes?? PLEASE HELP FAST... THIS INFO IS FOR A COUNCILMAN IN TEMPE ARIZONA.
Shannon Lanyi

EDITOR'S REPLY: The stripes, as in other US flags, relate to the 13 original colonies. The so-called "Serapis Flag" which will become the symbol of the reconstructed tall ship Ranger in Portsmouth, NH, is simply an interpretation of the early flag made from a written description in the US Congressional Record. We could be wrong, but that's what we've read. The flag was John Paul Jones' interpretation and used on the Bonhomme Richard and perhaps on the Ranger, and was sketched by a Dutch artist which the Serapis was in port captured at Texel.

November 17
Hi SeacoastNH...I was born in So. Groveland, Mass, and lived half my life in various NH towns, including recently in Seabrook, then Hampton, then Kingston, and Raymond. I now live in Colorado Springs, and really miss the NH and the ocean. I also love the White Mountains, esp. Kancamagus Hwy area. If anyone should read this and stop in at Phantom Fireworks on Rte. 1 in Seabrook (just South of the entrance to the Nuke plant)...say hello to the manager, my niece, April Walton. Enjoy the winter on the ocean. It's always an interesting time of year there. Oh yeah, I just telephoned Calef's in Barrington to order some of their wonderful cheese for our Colorado Thanksgiving. (A little taste of home!)
Barbara (Bobbie) Martin of Colorado Springs

November 16
if I click onto some of the sponsor links on your newsletter, and they are commercial sites, will they be sending ads and notices back to me? This is what I am trying to avoid because of my WebTV'sv's limited mail space. Right now I have avoided clicking onto them for fear this will get me even more unsolicited mail coming in. Will wait for your answer before I click to look at those types of sites.

EDITOR'S REPLY: Good question. In a word, "no." But this is a common misconception that we online publishers should be sensitive to. First, commercial sites or "dot-coms" are really no different from any other sites. The "dot-orgs" want your money too. is, essentially, a commercial site like all the rest, in that we plan someday to make a living online providing information to our readers. The fact that any site is accessed via a banner ad does not change its nature, any more than an ad in a magazine for the United Way makes it any less interested in your money. Banners are simply a means to draw reader traffic from one site to another. When you click on a banner, you are simply transported to that site. That site then has no more information about you than any other site -- and no more ability to reach backwards and send you information than we do.

We all get limited information from our host about your visits. We know, for example, how many of you visited today, what pages you looked at. We know roughly where you came from (eg. AOL. WebTV, Ultranet) including what country - but we still don't have your full email address, at least not unless you give it to us. That's why many sites offer newsletters, contests, free items, free advice, letters columns like this, online stores, guest books - anything to entice you to voluntarily leave your email address behind. SeacoastNH gets a ton of this information every day. Right now over 6,300 of your emails are on file from those of you who voluntarily signed up for our newsletter. The irony is that, while many nonprofit agencies, including Public Radio, Public TV and charitable organizations routinely sell your address - many commercial sites like us do not. You are in more risk of being spammed by entering a chat room on AOL, than by going to any of our commercial advertisers.

If you have the "cookie" on your browser turned on, it is possible for sites to recognize you when you return. If you go to our Shoaler BBs, for example, then return later, it will let you know how many new messages have arrived since your last visit. It recognized you, if your cookie is ON. Many web users are thrilled at the convenience of these features when ordering online from big sites like, but then fear that little sites are going to harass them with junk mail. We have never found this to be the case. If anything, we small sites need to remain squeaky clean, because our livelihood depends totally on your frequent visitors. Totaling up your "hits" allows us to attract advertisers, but they will invest in us only of they see a direct response in "click throughs", that is, people clicking on their banner ads and coming from our site to theirs. That's what this whole game is about. You click - we survive. You click and buy, we thrive. If an advertiser of ours was harassing our readers with junk mail, we'd lose readers. Better that we dump the offender, than reduce traffic flow. It is actually a pretty neat self-regulating system when, like in public radio, you do your part. The difference here is, when you spend money with our clients, you keep what you buy. We don't ask for donations, but make our living by leading you to high quality advertisers. Everyone wins and, though it supports our efforts, no one can make you click on an ad. But we're sure going to try! Thanks for asking.

November 16
We are proud to announce the birth of our new American Independence Museum web site. We give a nod to SeacoastNH. Check out the happy links.
Carol Aten

EDITOR'S REPLY: This is a great addition to local history online. We've been long awaiting more material from historic Exeter. Now the Folsom Tavern and the Ladd-Gilman House also have an online presence. We predict that by the close of the year 2000, all Seacoast area historic houses and museums will be online at last.

November 15
Hello, I'm trying to find out about a motel there called the "Royal Crest Motel", on Ashworth Blvd. I've searched the internet, I called information, and no one seems to know anything about this hotel. Could you please email me any info you may have, thank you very much.
Kim P

EDITOR'S REPLY: We called the number for the Royal Crest listed on our Hampton Beach Motel Directory and the operator told us the number has been disconnected. We checked the phone book and the number is the same. We called the Hampton Beach Chamber of Commerce (603-926-8717) and they said the motel is not listed as a member there, so they have no info. The chamber said that some of the seasonal businesses simply disconnect their lines in the off-season and there is no way to reach them until the spring. Guess that's all she wrote. Stay tuned for our Lodging Quick Guide coming up in a few short weeks which will provide updated listings of over 150 lodging locations in the region that all HAVE WEB SITES. We will no longer be listing places that do not, bur our listings will remain FREE so we'll have just about every link there is. That way, you will be able to do all your checking online.

November 13
Do you have some information on the Durham, NH, schools?

EDITOR'S REPLY: We get a lot of mail from people looking for info on local schools. We think it is best to go right to the source, so we have been putting local school web site addresses into Seacoastsearch. This resources will list over 50 school web sites in this region when it opens early in 2000. The link you are looking for in Durham is posted below, part of a new array of online services soon to be offered by SeacoastNH for our growing readership.

November 12
Hi, To read your web page referenced in the subject line, one might be led to believe that you-all must be from South Carolina. Your references (I count at least 6) to Old Ironsides being towed and languishing in Charleston ought rightly to read Charlestown. I'm sure that our fine friends from Charleston (SC) are enjoying the publicity. Looking forward to an update. (PS. I was born on the hill overlooking our beloved old frigate, 1943).
Ed Hanson of Charlestown, MA

EDITOR'S REPLY: Funny thing the Internet. We've had a couple of readers notice that typo, but when we went back to that page today, just could not find any trace of the error. Didn't John Smith name them after his patron Prince Charles? considering Smith's terrible spelling in the early 1600s, maybe he made the error.

November 10
I'm from Massachusetts, and I HATE TURKEY! I would MUCH rather have a nice plate of haddock with lemon-bread crumbs and a salad ANY day! In fact, I think instead of being dragged to the obligatory turkey-o-rama this year, I'm going to take myself and a few friends out to the local seafood place for ANYTHING BUT TURKEY! How is this for ironic: My grandfather worked at a fish market for 30 years, and I'm allergic to seafood! I can eat haddock and cod, but anything else, including pollack, makes me xtremely ill. I thought, given the inflammatory first few lines of the Turkeygate article, that I would be ticked off with the writer, but it turns out that I agree wholeheartedly! Thanks for making me laugh and slyly injecting some education when I wasn't looking!
Darlene M. Caban of Mass

November 10

I have to admit I'm no big fan of turkey, but the smell of sage dressing and cranberry sauce, along with the smell of sweet potatoes almost makes up for the taste of the bird... The one problem I can see is a big fish on the middle of my table resting on autumn leaves and being surrounded by pilgrims with muskets. I much prefer the taste of bouillabaisse. .. but I would need a course in Thanksgiving decorating. Good article! ... maybe a giant lobster would work on the leaves.... or a graceful little squid. The possibilities are emerging
Carol Smith

EDITOR'S REPLY: The real scandal here is that we typed this article (pre-Internet, pre-computer)back in 1975 for then NH Profiles Editor Peter Randall. It seems to have survived the test of time. Later this month we hope to offer an equally outrageous suggestion regarding our upcoming latest hero Captain John Smith and Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, feel free to keep chewing on this tough old bird:

November 09
Where are Mary Bartlett's letters housed, and are they available to be read?
Liz Ward

EDITOR'S REPLY: We talked to Bill Copeley (603-225-3381, ext. 11) in Special Collections at the NH Historical Society Tuck Library in Concord, NH. That is definitely the place to go for genealogical and historical research about any of the NH signers of the Declaration. He says Mary's letters are widely dispersed - at the state library, the Library of Congress, etc.. Any collection of Mary's letters in print will have to be found with those of her famous Revolutionary War era husband Dr. Josiah Bartlett of Kingston, NH here in the Seacoast. Try the museum bookstore at the NH Historical Society (link below) and Special Collections. A search on will show you that "The Papers of Josiah Bartlett" (1979) is listed as out of print. You'll find quite a few copies on The letters are also on microfilm and there is a published guide to the microfilm archives.

November 09
Would anyone be interested in building a replica of an historic small schooner in Portsmouth or vicinity?
Mark Wilkins

EDITOR'S REPLY: We're already knee deep in the project to reconstruct the JPJ 1777 tall ship Ranger. We're serving on the new nonprofit board Ranger Foundation and getting ready to hit the tar looking for $10 million in funds to return Portsmouth to her tall ship building days. After than, maybe the Kearsage or a clipper ship. For the next few years, though, we're all Ranger. You can be too.

November 08
Is it true that the way for escaping slaves to tell that a house was all right to go in to was looking for a house was a white chimney with a black stripe across the top?
Julie Evans

BLACK HISTORY EXPERT VALERIE CUNNINGHAM REPLIES: I am not familiar with the stripe-on-the-chimney clue for the Underground Railroad. That conjures up visions of runaway slaves wondering around the countryside looking for houses with striped chimneys. If that were true, not only would the fugitives see it, so would everybody else, including the slave catchers and police. Stealing oneself away from an owner, or assisting the enslaved to run away, was a very dangerous and criminal activity. That's why it was "underground." And it was not a haphazard operation. Details of escape plans were worked out weeks and months ahead of time. The routes typically followed a line of free black settlements, with black churches or homes of black community leaders as safe houses. These local "conductors" would lead the runaways to the next "station." Some white abolitionists also participated in this activity, especially where black communities were very few and very far apart (such as in northern New England). The politics of the local conductors may have been well known to their neighbors but I don't think they would risk blatantly advertising that they were assisting enslaved African-Americans to leave the country.

November 07
I have never been to New England but I love the ocean and history--so I "subscribed" to your newsletter after finding your site through a sweepstakes "mill" on the Internet. It is wonderful! Well-written, varied in content, suberbly interesting and more and more! Thank you for making this available online. We have a timeshare option and I definitely am coming to New England!
Heather in Sterling Virginia

November 07
Honestly, your newsletter just gets better and better. Even when I am dashing through my mail, too busy even really to be doing it, how can I resist your newsletter. Thank you!
Christy Day

November 07
All I can say is, "Keep up the good work!" Your enthusiasm and great attitude come through loud and clear. I'm impressed! And I can't believe that it will be very long before someone is going to offer you guys a very well-paid job to do the same kind of good work for them. Thanks for SeacoastNH! It keeps a landlocked Shoaler closer to "home".

EDITOR'S REPLY: Thank you, we accept. We'll move our web site offices to your house tomorrow. Please have regular weekly paychecks ready.

November 07
Dennis, Dennis, Dennis! Court marshaled?? (See "Making the Goodwin Monument Sing") I know that you know it's "courts-martialed". Otherwise a great article. I spent a lot of hours trying to climb those statues in Goodwin and Haven Parks in the '50's

EDITOR'S REPLY: Those darned spell-checkers! Inhuman error, but as soon as the web master fixes it, no one else will known. George Orwell would be proud of the way we can reshape the past. Thanks to the Internet, Big brother is us! Is we?

November 06
Your recent article on the surrender of the German U-Boats, brought back many memories. In '42, I was a young lad of 10, and my family vacationed at Rye, North Rye, and Jenness Beaches every year. I have many unforgettable memories of those years, including the raising of the SQUALAS, (through a tripod mounted telescope from the Jenness Beach waterfront); discovery of much flotsam & jetsam, (jettisoned from the Nazi Subs), which washed up on beaches at No. Rye and Jenness Beaches after some high seas; working as a caddy at the Abenaqui golf course; occasional working trips on lobster boats out of Rye Harbor (the old one); and last but by no means least, the last surfacing,(as far as I know), of the Jenness Beach "Petrified Forest", (circa '50 -'60's). I have greatly enjoyed your site since first discovery, and I look forward to many more enjoyable minutes/hours in your company. Keep up the GREAT work !
Frank J. Carolan

November 05
I'm on your mailing list and enjoy the site. I noticed on your "Music Shop" the recordings of some local musicians. I know Harvey Reid and John Perrault well, and have performed with both of them from time to time. As a local seacoast artist what does it cost me to have my own CD's listed on your site?
Ryan from Newmarket

EDITOR'S REPLY: Did we ever tell you about our attempt to create the Arts Pages Seacoast artist directory back in 1987? We had this brilliant idea of publishing a catalog of the area's many creative people and distributing it to people who would hire the artists. It cost $17,000 to produce 10,000 copies which we distributed free. Unfortunately, we only collected $10,000 from advertisers and it took 7 years to pay off the $7,000 debt. What did we learn? Not a darn thing, and so in the year 2000 we will release the online Seacoast Artist Directory. This time the links to artist web sites are free, so there is no chance we can get stuck holding the check on this one - unless you count all the hours we've spent designing the database, creating graphics, entering info, advertising, promotion, hosting, web maintenance, administration… Hey, wait a darn minute! We did it again! And you can see the results in just a few months. The Captain Fiddle listing and all others will be included free. Just remember us kindly when we die.

November 04
In what NH town was Daniel Webster born?
Devin Clark

EDITOR'S REPLY: Finally, an easy one. Although DW cut his teeth as a lawyer while living in Portsmouth, we cannot lay claim to his true NH roots. The DW birthplace is in Franklin, NH and is under the administration of the state of NH, which is probably why you have seen absolutely no publicity or educational information. NH runs its historic sites on a bare bones budget. (The phone number is 603-434-5057, but it is currently closed for the winter season.) Webster eventually cut himself loose from NH anyway and made his fame as a legislator from Massachusetts.

November 02
A couple of years ago we told you how Swedish antiques dealer Karl Eric Svardskog found an old figurehead that he believes portrays 19th century singer Jenny Lind. She was the "Swedish Nightingale" and the figurehead, Karl believes, once adorned the from of the Portsmouth-built clipper ship Nightingale. Lind was touring this area with her manager PT Barnum around the time the ship was launched. Now Karl is putting his theory in writing with a new book, translated from Swedish, to be published in 2000 by Peter Randall press. Anyway, to make a long story longer, informed Karl last week that one of our avid readers believe she can document the veracity of his theory. (See READ OUR MAIL Archive, July 9, 1999). We received photos of a painting of the Nightingale in the possession of a Florida reader who is the great granddaughter of Christian Ingebretsen, the last skipper of the Nightingale. The other day the author and book publisher visited our SeacoastNH offices to study digital photos of the painting sent by our reader. The jury is still out, but author Svardskog believes there is a possibility that this painting may indeed prove that he has discovered the authentic Jenny Lind figure. Looks like another chapter may be in order for this ongoing saga of the sea. Stay tuned.
Your Humble Editor

November 01
In your History Diary of July 23, 1998 (375th Anniversary Journal) you state ". I get a letter every few weeks from people who swear they are related to John Paul Jones. Each, of course, is a Jones, and none is related to JPJ who was, himself, not a Jones by blood. It was an assumed name he took, possibly to avoid a sticky murder trial. He had no kids. What I have noticed, however, is that no one wants to know the truth. "

You are of course right; John Paul was not a Jones. H e did however take the name and any issue he may have had, could have taken the Jones name as well. Jones was well known lover, and unless he had better access to birth control than most of his contemporaries (eg. Jefferson, Washington, Franklin) one might expect, he could have fathered more than one child. He did indeed sire at least one. Born by a lady named Townsend ( may not have the spelling right on that ) in Paris. He even mentioned the child in in a letter when the child was about 3 years old.

The reference to Madame T even appears in the JPJ biography by Samuel Elliot Morison, which you guys swear by. It starts on page 346 and continues to 349.. in about 1787 Jones writes to Thomas Jefferson asking for aid for Madame T. In a letter to her Jones refers to a sister-in-law and asks her to "cover him all over with kisses for me." Morison draws this conclusion: " One can hardly doubt that this sweet child was Madame T's by John Paul Jones". Sure would be nice to get a look at the same letters that he used to make his assumptions from, wouldn't it.?

What happened to the boy child and his mother remains speculation but there is record of a child by the name "James Edward Jones" who left Paris at the age of 14 and came to North Carolina and settled in to start a family from whom I am descended. The dates are interesting and just exactly right for the boys to have been one and the same. It might be wise then not to make definite statements. After all, enough DNA in the JPJ crypt exists to prove one way or the other -- and who knows?

As to the James Edward White bit. My Great Great Grandfather was one Joel D Jones. He was a well known writer and surveyor in southern Alabama. Using family records, he traced his Great Grand father's life from the time he came to the US from Paris France in the late 1700s ( I think it was 1794; I have the exact dates written down at home and will check them as soon as I get a chance). The boy was 14 at the time and traveled alone. He settled in NC and married a Jones girl ( not related! ). My Great Grand Grandfather made no claim to being descended from John Paul Jones; he was simply writing down his family history.

The only reasons I have for believing that there could be a small chance of relation are because the dates match from JPJ's stay and death in France, the letters, and the known relationship around this time with Madame T. Also seems kind of strange that a James Edward Jones would be traveling from Paris, not England to the US, in the middle of the French Revolution. I hope this at least lets you know that I am not totally without evidence in my claim. Also, keep in mind that this quest of mine is more for history and curiosity than anything else. As to what happened to the child, I will send you some further docs on that subject as soon as I dig them up. Lots of good mysteries out there in the past -- and this is surely one of them.
John Dodd

EDITOR'S RESPONSE: Thanks very much John. We look forward to your documents and, if we can locate another spare lifetime, we'll try in the year 2000 to collect all the Jones ancestry data we have accumulated from research and readers into a unique web page. We've gone ahead and purchased the URL and, on the side, have been trying to riase start-up funds through a local nonprofit agency. We believe Jones embodies American History -- a mixture of myth, misinformation, valor, humanity, accident and genius, public relations, red tape, triumph and tragedy. We'd love to get all this -- and our expanding JPJ files -- online for the world to see. But is America ready for the real John Paul Jones? Send your contributions and we'll see.

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