The Birth of a Nation: A Film Discussion

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 2-4pm, Elinor Hooker Williams Tea Talk – Join Us!

birthof a nation

Free and open to the public

Nate Parker’s film The Birth of a Nation, which tells a version of Nat Turner’s infamous 1831 slave revolt in Virginia, underperformance at the box office raising question of the profitability of telling Black history stories like Turner’s. Some of the film’s most ardent advocates have charged that its problems result from plots among black feminists to harpoon the work of a man, the film’s produce, acquitted of rape. Other reviewers and supporters have called the film necessary viewing in spite of its creator. Join in the discussion of the film, Nat Turner, Nate Parker and the movement to boycott and Blacklist a film.

UNH Professors Delia Konzett, Joe Onosko, Reginald A. Wilburn

The Winter Tea Talk Series is part of the Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks Program: [Read more…]

Portsmouth Historical Society Announces 2017 Exhibitions

at Discover Portsmouth and John Paul Jones House.

Back-to-back exhibitions feature Seacoast history, arts & culture

Portsmouth, New Hampshire…Following record-breaking attendance at last year’s acclaimed art exhibitions, Portsmouth Historical Society plans another blockbuster year at Discover Portsmouth and the John Paul Jones House.

four centuries of furniture“Four Centuries of Furniture in Portsmouth” kicks off the 2017 spring season (April 7-June 18) with 50 fascinating works from the colonial and federal periods. This classic exhibition will demonstrate why the fine craftsmanship of Portsmouth artisans is universally respected and sought after. Featured objects in the historic 1810-era Academy Gallery will be drawn from a wide range of private and public collections. Upstairs in the balcony, the exhibition includes unique contemporary works by members of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters. Participants include expert woodworkers Jon Brooks, Jeffrey Cooper, David Lamb, Richard Oedel, and many more. READ MORE…

“Seacoast Sculpture, from Material to Masterwork,” (July 7-October 1). The second major exhibition will focus on works by three renowned locals in three different media–ceramics by Jane Kaufmann, metal sculpture by Sumner Winebaum, and woodworks by Michael Stasiuk. The companion exhibition in the balcony will feature the works of two dozen ceramic sculptors, all members of the New Hampshire Potters Guild. [Read more…]

Four Centuries of Furniture in Portsmouth

—with the NH Furniture Masters

Friday, April 7 – Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Discover Portsmouth.

Opening Gala: Thursday April 6, 2017, 5-7:30pm

An accompanying exhibition catalogue has been generously underwritten by Craig & Alison Jewett, and the Jewett Family. For more information, please call 603-436-8433; online purchases will be available soon.

Organized by Gerald W.R. Ward and Lainey McCartney, with the NH Furniture Masters

Portsmouth Historical Society is preparing dual exhibitions for the spring of 2017 to celebrate and document the important history of furniture in Portsmouth during the past four centuries, and to present outstanding work by some of today’s premier woodworkers. [Read more…]

Discover Portsmouth Opens March 18th!

Discover Portsmouth, Portsmouth NHThe Welcome Center and Museum Shop will open Saturday, March 18; the exhibition – 400 Years of Portsmouth Furniture – will open Friday April 7.

The building is open now on selected dates for the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail 2017 Tea Talks in February and March.
2017 Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail Schedule [Read more…]

Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks and more in 2017

Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail

Happy New Year from Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail! And what a fantastic year it is going to be.

Dear Friends of The Trail:
Thank you all for journeying with us through 2016. We are so looking forward to 2017 … a year filled with promise …  as we celebrate and honor our African American history bursting with stories of resilience, innovation, courage and versatility that is indeed truly American.

Here is a list of what we have planned. Stay tuned for more!

With deep gratitude,

PS Thank you also for your gift of time and treasure. If you are still working on your charitable giving for 2016 we would welcome any addition gifts you would want to give. Thanks once again.
Donate Now
(Select PBHT in the Please Restrict All or Part of my Contribution drop down menu)

2017 Events Outline

[Read more…]

Four Centuries of Portsmouth Furniture Lecture Series

Portsmouth Historical Society presents this FREE lecture series open to the public. All lectures take place at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For information, call 603-436-8433

From Joiner to Cabinetmaker: Early Furniture from the Seacoast

Gerald W.R. Ward and Hollis Brodrick
Thursday April 20, 2017, 5:30-6:30pm
Doors open at 5pm; galleries open during the evening
Gerald W.R. Ward, curator of the exhibition, and noted Portsmouth antiques dealer Hollis Brodrick will present an overview of the show in a brief lecture followed by an informal gallery tour. The evening offers an opportunity for close and in-depth study of several key pieces in the exhibition, particularly those from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, from several perspectives.
[Read more…]

Never Caught: The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

Never Caught, Ona Judge

Sunday, March 5, 2017, Elinor Hooker Williams Tea Talk – Join Us!

Free and open to the public.


12:30 – 1:30 pm Optional Tour of Governor John Langdon Mansion (THE TOUR IS FULL! Sorry, no more space available)
Please join us for the following:
2: 00- 2:30 pm Living History Performance at Temple Israel Social Hall, 200 State St., Portsmouth NH
2:30 – 3:15 Author Presentation
3:15 – 4:00 Q&A

Author Presentation, Living History Performance, Book Signing & House Tour

During the Spring of 1796, George Washington’s final months in office, Ona Judge Staines, a dowager slave owned by the First Family, escaped the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia with the aid of that city’s free black community, and made her way to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. What followed was a drama that put some of early America’s most famous families, including the Langdons and Whipples, in direct conflict with the most powerful man in the country, the President. [Read more…]

On Being Muslim in the Deep North

Muslum Tea Talk

Sunday, March 12, 2017, 2-4pm, Elinor Hooker Williams Tea Talk – Join Us!

Free and open to the public

Many people usually think of Muslims as Arabs, where in reality one-third of the Muslims in the US are Black American, one-third are South Asians and one-third are Arabs, making them one of the most diverse religious groups in the country.

For this panel, presenters will explore areas where their identities intersect and what it means to be Male or Female, Black & Muslim living in a post 9/11 New England. Through their shared stories we will gain an understanding of what it means to be part of a religion that preaches the “Oneness of God, the Oneness of mankind and the Oneness of the Message” and what our towns could be if practitioners were honored in a country whose tenants include freedom of religion for all instead of faced with discrimination. [Read more…]

The Unreconstructed North: Assimilation, Apartheid & Reconciliation

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 2-4pm, Elinor Hooker Williams Tea Talk – Join Us!

Tea talks, Portsmouth nh

Free and open to the public

Historic stories of violence on Native Americans and African Americans have for years saturated the airwaves and newspapers. Wounded Knee. Standing Rock. Emmett Till. Trayvon Martin. These names and situations invoke memories of extreme racial division and distrust.

Like South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” campaign that began the yet progressing road to racial healing post-apartheid, this panel will present personal stories as steps to developing greater mutual understanding and promoting healing to create change in our own backyards.


Prof. Jason Sokol: Author, The Unreconstructed North
Eleanor Dunfey-Freiburger: Reflections on the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa
Penthea Burns: Stories from the Wabanaki-REACH program and their work with reconciliation in Maine
Sheila Finley: A personal journey to reconciliation with her slave holding family members
Woullard Lett: National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA). [Read more…]

Regional Landscapes and Local Scenes

Regional Landscapes Portsmouth

From the collection of Robert Chase and Richard Candee.

Through Friday April 20, 2017, Upstairs in the Special Events Room at Discover Portsmouth

Regional Landscapes PortsmouthThis winter exhibition is a rare opportunity to see a unique exhibition of nearly three dozen works by regional artists of Seacoast scenes from the private collection of Robert Chase and Richard Candee. The exhibition includes watercolor and oil paintings, lithographic prints, and photographs; streets scenes by painters Harry M. S. Harlow, Russell Cheney, and contemporary printmaker Don Gorvett. Local artist Susan Ricker Knox is represented by a landscape from her York Harbor studio. Other works depict the hotels of ale tycoon Frank Jones, and scenes from Portsmouth, New Castle, Kittery, York, and Ogunquit.