PORTSMOUTH, a city of New Hampshire, U.S.A., the only seaport of the State ; on the Piscataqua river, near its entrance into the Atlantic ocean. It is on Federal highways 1 and 4, and is served by the Boston and Maine railroad and steamship lines. Pop. (1920) 13,569 (17% foreign-born white) ; in 1930 by Fed eral census 14,495. On Fernald's and Seavey's islands, opposite the city (but in the town of Kittery, Me.), is the Portsmouth navy yard (established 18o0), one of the largest in the country, and the principal yard for building, fitting out, and overhauling submarines. The treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War was ne gotiated here in 1905. During the Spanish-American War, Admiral Cervera and other Spanish officers and sailors were imprisoned on Seavey's island, where later a large naval prison was built. Portsmouth is the seat also of a naval hospital (1891).
At Newcastle (2 m. N.), guarding the entrance to Ports mouth harbour, is Ft. Constitution, on the site of Ft. William and Mary (1630) ; and across the river, on Kittery Point, is Ft. McClary, a colonial blockhouse. Portsmouth is rich in historic associations and in beautiful buildings of the 18th and early 19th centuries, many of which are open to the public. The two oldest houses in the city were built in 1664 and 1668. Among fine ex amples of colonial architecture are the Wentworth-Gardner house (1760), now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of New York; the Moffatt-Ladd house (1753) ; the mansion built by Governor Benning Wentworth in 1750; the house occupied by John Paul Jones in 1779 (built in 1758), now the home of the Portsmouth Historical Society; the William Pitt tavern (before 1767); and the Assembly house, a dance hall built in 1750 and described by Washington as one of the finest in the United States. The Athen
aeum, a valuable library established by a society organized in 1817, occupies a building erected in 1803. In the clubhouse of the Portsmouth Athletic club is some landscape wall-paper, depicting American scenes, which was made in Alsace in 1826. Portsmouth was tha birthplace of Governors Benning 'Wentworth, John Went worth and John Langdon; Thomas Bailey Aldrich (whose home is now a museum), Gen. Fitz John Porter and Celia Thaxter. Daniel Webster practised law here from 1807 to 1816.
In 1623 David Thomson, with a small company from Plymouth, England, established a fishing and trading station at Little Harbor (now Odiorne's Point in the town of Rye) ; and in 1630 another band, sent over by the Laconia Company, occupied Thomson's house and Great Island (Newcastle), and built the "Great House" on what is now Water street, in Portsmouth. The settlement was known as Strawberry Banke until 1653, when it was incorporated by Massachusetts under the name of Portsmouth. It was the capital of New Hampshire from 1679 (when the province was separately constituted) until 1775, and was chartered as a city in 1849. One of the first military exploits of the Revolution took place at Newcastle, when the Portsmouth committee of safety, on receiving from Boston (through Paul Revere) a copy of the order prohibiting the exportation of military supplies, organized militia companies and captured Ft. William and Mary (Dec. 14, During the Civil War the "Kearsarge" and several other war ves sels were built at the Portsmouth navy yard, and during the World War it was a centre for the construction of submarines.