Portsmouth Peace Treaty Exhibit Opens at NH State Archives


Comprehensive Look at Events that Earned

1906 Nobel Peace Prize for President Teddy Roosevelt



Portsmouth NH --  The exhibit, “An Uncommon Commitment to Peace: Portsmouth Peace Treaty 1905” is the premiere exhibit hosted by the New Hampshire Division of Archives & Records Management at its newly-expanded headquarters in Concord. Located at 71 South Fruit Street, the exhibit is displayed in the new lobby (in a wing designed to the plans of the original State House) and open to the public 8:30 am -4 pm daily, Monday through Friday. The exhibit is free.


In 1905, the Governor, US Navy and people of New Hampshire hosted Russian and Japanese diplomats on behalf of President Theodore Roosevelt for the peace conference to end the Russo-Japanese War. The result was the Treaty of Portsmouth, for which Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize, presented on December 10, 1906. The exhibit offers a complete retelling of the story of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. Stories that have never been told before, images assembled from public and private collections, and illuminating original research bring the story of the resolution of the Russo-Japanese War into dramatic focus. Indeed, before the assembly of this particular presentation, the events of the Summer of 1905 were not clearly understood for what they were: one of the earliest demonstrations of how ordinary citizens can have extraordinary influence on world events. Portsmouth's “uncommon commitment to peace” that played out on a multitude of stages is today recognized as multi-track diplomacy, the preferred model for 21st century negotiations. This exhibit demonstrates how day by day, for the thirty days Sergius Witte, Jutaro Komura and their delegations were in Portsmouth, the threads of formal diplomacy, informal diplomacy and back-channel negotiations gradually intertwined in a mesh that held the peace process together until all the issues were resolved and the Treaty was signed.

The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, under the auspices of the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire was founded in 1994 to explore the diplomatic themes of the Treaty through annual events, programs and ongoing research. The exhibit opened as focal point for the Centennial celebration of the Treaty in 2005 and is now the centerpiece for explaining the Treaty to visitors. A permanent installation of the same exhibit is displayed at the Portsmouth Historical Society (open daily May 31-October 31 and by appointment the balance of the year) and is the starting point for the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail guided or self-guided walking tour. New information continues to be added to the exhibit and its companion website, www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.com

“This exhibit is a significant addition to the scholarship on the subject of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty and a touchstone for the vast amount of information now assembled in the libraries and permanent collections of the region,” said Charles Doleac, Founder of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum.  ”The information contained in the exhibit and on the permanent website, www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.com is so detailed that The Library of Congress and the Internet encyclopedia (Wikipedia.com)  have recognized us as the central resource on the topic. The history of the Treaty is an important piece of the history of New Hampshire and as such is a perfect choice for display at the central historical archive of the state, in Concord.” For more information, visit www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.com. ###

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