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 CONFERENCE HOSTS

Portsmouth Hosts the Conference

Hosts, Part Three: The Russian and Japanese Delegations Leave the Shipyard

 
 

The New York Times reported that "the Russians and the Japanese got on famously at luncheon," and following a short period of conversation, the civilians left the building and the yard.

Protocol was again observed as the Russians left the building first, smiling broadly and smoking long cigars. Komura and Takahira waited while Witte and Rosen boarded a carriage for the trip to Portsmouth. As their carriage left, the Russians turned and lifted their silk hats to the Japanese who responded in the same way. Smoking even longer cigars and smiling more broadly, Komura and Takahira boarded their carriage.

Escorted by the marines to the gate, the carriages moved slowly through the yard, and then speeded up as they passed along the streets of Kittery to the ferry. Many "country" people watched the procession but no one cheered.

On the Portsmouth side of the river, the New Hampshire officials were waiting along with the National Guard regiment and its band. Here Colonel Tetley officially informed Secretary Peirce, who had preceded the envoys across the river, that he was to escort the visitors through Portsmouth to the courthouse. Peirce, in an automobile, led the way through Portsmouth's crowded streets followed by Witte and Rosen in a landau and Komura and Takahira right behind in another carriage.

The procession traveled up Market Street to Market Square, down Congress Street to Middle Street then on to State Street to the courthouse, which was located on the site of the present Piscataqua Savings Bank parking lot. (See Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail Map.)

The New York Times reported, "The sidewalks were altogether too narrow to accommodate the crowds and the main streets were jammed from curb to curb. City women in beautiful gowns hurried through the mud in the streets and farmers rubbed elbows with spruce Bostonians." Women in charming costumes, the Times said, were very much in the majority.

 
Both delegations boarded carriages for the ride to Portsmouth for the reception. Portsmouth Athenaeum collection. View larger image.
  en route
En route from the shipyard to Portsmouth. Portsmouth Athenaeum collection. View larger image.

Witte, left, and Rosen riding through the streets of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Athenaeum collection. View larger image.
 

Local people in their Sunday best lined the streets of Portsmouth watch the parade of dignitaries. Portsmouth Athenaeum collection. View larger image.
 
Komura, left, and Takahira in their landau en route to the reception. Portsmouth Athenaeum collection. View larger image.
 

Hosts, Part 4 »