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Portsmouth: One of history's great peace negotiations

New research reveals how the State of New Hampshire, people of Portsmouth and US Navy acted as hosts. Theodore Roosevelt never came to Portsmouth.  

The Treaty of Portsmouth of 1905 stands today as one of history's great peace negotiations. It ended the Russo-Japanese War and marked the emergence of a new era of diplomatic negotiations, multi-track diplomacy.

Click here to learn the history of the War and the Peace and view archival 1905 newsreel footage.

To listen to the story, click here for links to New Hampshire Public Radio interviews about the history, music and newspaper accounts of the Treaty summer of 1905.

This official website for the study of the Treaty -- made possible by the Japan-America Society of NH funded by the Center for Global Partnership of the Japan Foundation -- provides the context for celebrating the Treaty anniversary each year: the history of the war and the treaty, its impact on diplomatic history, and its future implications for international peace negotiations. The Library of Congress has selected this website to expand on its own "Meeting of the Frontiers" focus on the Russo-Japanese War and the Treaty, noting this site's "educational content and accessibility."

Click here for details on the 2015 commemoration of Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day, the 110th anniversary of the Treaty signing and a special gift from the Russian Federation.

Portsmouth Cherry Trees Celebrate Sister City of Nichinan, Japan & Gift of Cherry Trees from Japan to the US in Thanks for Assistance Ending Russo-Japanese War

Research shows that the Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, who facilitated the cherry tree gift, described in his autobiography a desire to thank the US for its role in ending the War. That conclusion resulted in a 2012 op-ed in the Washington Post by the Ambassador of Japan to the US and Portsmouth’s addition to a list of 32 cities nationwide who received cherry trees descended from the Washington trees in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic gift.

In 2012, the Japan America Society of New Hampshire began planting those trees at key sites related to the Treaty history, as a living memorial to the Portsmouth Peace Treaty and the citizen diplomacy involved in reaching the successful conclusion.  Read more...


Charles Doleac Receives Imperial Order of the Rising Sun; Japan-America Society of NH Receives Foreign Minister's Commendation  for Portsmouth Peace Treaty Commemorations

The Government of Japan announced the award to Charles Doleac as one of the 2011 Spring Decorations (above left). Click here for the official announcement and here for media coverage.

The Foreign Minister's Commendation was presented to the Japan-America Society of NH in 2014 (above right) by Consul General Tsutomu Himeno. Click here for the announcement.



1906 Nobel Peace Prize:

TR was born in 1858 and in 1906 won the Prize as President for negotiating the peace between Russia and Japan that produced the Treaty in 1905. For more on Roosevelt's diplomacy, and on the annual commemoration of the  anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize,
click here. Click here for Theodore Roosevelt Association details on TR's prize and click here to read the acceptance delivered on his behalf December 10, 1906; and here for the lecture he delivered in Norway himself in 1910. For the 2013 announcement, click here.

President Barack Obama was the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Click here to watch the award ceremony in Oslo.

Companion catalogue to the exhibit, "An Uncommon Commitment to Peace," available here, includes the newly-documented timeline of events during the 30 days the negotiators were in Portsmouth. It also contains images by noted photographer Richard Haynes, of the exhibit artifacts from 1905.

The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail

Members of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee spent months researching details on the sites that played important roles in the events of August and September 1905. For the first time, scholars and visitors can follow a day-by-day account of the formal/informal diplomacy and both public and private events to learn how "an uncommon commitment to peace became a common virtue" in Portsmouth in 1905. Click on the maps pages to explore the key sites of The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail -- from venues for formal conference sessions to informal social settings, identified through original newspaper reports, diaries and letters from event participants -- to bring the 30 days in 1905 to life.

The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum and Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day

NH Gov John Lynch signs the bill making Sep 5 "Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day" statewide. The little girl is 5 yr old Madison Roscoe, grandaughter of Rep. Valerie Hardy, bill supporter, who brought her "To teach Madison that you have to get involved."

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day in New Hampshire
Commemorated September 5th

On August 17, 2010 NH Governor John Lynch signed a bill making September 5th "Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day" throughout New Hampshire in perpetuity. Each year, an official proclamation by the NH Governor will "call on the citizens of New Hampshire to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and acticitives commemorating this important piece of New Hampshire history." In the press release (click here) Japanese Consul General in Boston Tsuji said "Even today, the spirit of the people of Portsmouth still contributes to the pursuit of peace in the world. I am delighted to learn that on August 17th, Governor Lynch will sign into law a bill making Sept. 5 of every year "Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day, and calling on the citizens of New Hampshire to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities." And in an op-ed in the Union Leader, Forum chairman Charles Doleac emphasized the role of citizen diplomacy (click here).

NH State Senator Martha Fuller Clark with co-sponsors Senators Bob Odell, John Barnes and Maggie Hassan and NH State Representative Robin Read and House co-sponsors Representatives Jacqueline Cali-Pitts, Laura Pantelakos, David Watters and James Splaine introduced a bill (Senate 379) proclaim  September 5th of each year as Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day. For the full text, click here. 

The NH Senate passed the bill unanimously on January 13, 2010 and the NH House passed it Wednesday, April 21, 2010. Testifying in favor at the House Committee hearing were Secretary of State Bill Gardner, co-sponsors Senator Fuller-Clark and Representative Read; Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Nancy Clayburgh on behalf of Mayor Tom Ferrini; Charles Doleac, chairman of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum; Steve Upton from the Japan-America Society of NH and Russia Society of NH;  Sawako Gardner, member of the JASNH Board (by letter); and Don Alusic creator of a documentary about the Treaty.

The Portsmouth Peace Treaty endures in the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, established in 1994 as an organization committed to exploring diplomatic themes "in the spirit of the Treaty of Portsmouth." The Forum hosts this website, presents lectures and a traveling exhibit (under the auspices of the NH Humanities Council), sponsors special annual events (see Calendar) and presents the Theodore Roosevelt Nobel Peace Prize Commemoration each December. Past guests have included Samantha Power (on citizen engagement in 2008), Dennis Ross (on Statecraft in 2007), Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato (who in 2005 on the 100th anniversary said "Diplomats love Portsmouth because here diplomacy actually worked") and Graham Allison, who joined Dr. Kimura and Dr. Sarkisov to present a follow-up to their Beyond Cold War to Trilateral Cooperation report. Click here for transcripts of past Forums.The Forum also supports a Curriculum Guide now in use in schools, an archival record of the 100th anniversary, a bibliography on the topic, and continued research. For details about commemorative events, click here. 

For a month's view Calendar, click here.

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Exhibit OPEN DAILY - July 29, 2012

The central exhibit on the Portsmouth Peace Treaty and the formal, informal, back channel and citizen diplomacy that led to the Treaty of Portsmouth. Created for the 100th anniversary of the Treaty in 2005 by the Japan-America Society of NH and made possible by the Center for Global Partnership of the Japan Foundation. Hosted by the Portsmouth Historical Society in the John Paul Jones House Museum, 43 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH. Open 7 days 11-5. Admission $6. Children 12 and under free. 603-436-8420.

© Richard Haynes
Haynes Images

For information about ordering fine art prints of this Treaty Centennial symbol, and other commemorative items, click here.

Twitter.com: @PortsmthTreaty

To learn more about the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire

To join the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire online, click here.

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For information about the Russia Society of New Hampshire, write to
PO Box 177
Concord NH 03302-0177

Telephone: 603-226-2312 

For a Russian-language description of the Treaty exhibit click here.

For the Russian-language Library of Congress description of the Treaty of Portsmouth, click here.

 News and Links

To learn nore, the following books are available, click here to order:

Heroes & Friends: Behind the Scenes of the Treaty of Portsmouth by Michiko Nakanishi

There Are No Victors Here: A Local Perspective on the Treaty of Portsmouth by Peter E. Randall

Also available, click here for ordering:


An Uncommon Commitment to Peace Exhibit Catalogue published by the Japan-America Society of NH

Blessed Are the Peacemakers: The Service of Thanksgiving for the Portsmouth Treaty, September 5, 1905 by Marina Grot Turkevich Naumann

Original 1905 newsreel footage on DVD

Treaty of Portsmouth 1905-2005 book of reproduction historical postcards.

The Portsmouth Peace Process: Guide for Teachers
by Northeast Cultural Coop

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail

For hours, directions, details on the Portsmouth Historical Society museum where the Portsmouth Peace Treaty exhibit is displayed, click here.

For hours, directions, details on Strawbery Banke Museum and the Shapiro House, owned by one of the founders of Temple Israel who figured in the Treaty citizen diplomacy, click here.

For information about Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Building 86 where the formal negotiations were held. click here.

For more information about Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, where both delegations stayed, click here.

For more information about Green Acre Bahai School and Sarah Farmer's commitment to the peace process, click here.

The Portsmouth Public Library maintains an micorfilm archive of local newspapers and an index of the relevant Treaty reporting and other related materials. The archive of original newspapers, photographs and other documents is maintained by the Portsmouth Athenaeum.



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