Message from Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee
The lithographs in this catalogue depict battles of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 in a11 their modernity and intensity. Artists crafted the images in dramatic form, employing vivid colors to arouse the spirit of patriotism in their countrymen as well as to win sympathy of the worldwide community. The lithographs alerted the world to the brutality of war and the necessity of peace. The astute diplomacy of President Theodore Roosevelt convinced the Japanese and Russians to enter into peace negotiations at a neutral location, thereby averting the spread of the conflict into a world war.
President Roosevelt chose Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with its secure US Naval Shipyard, eager state and local government officials and hospitable local community, to host the peace negotiations. For 30 days in August and September 1905, President Roosevelt's back channel diplomacy and the hosting u.s. Navy and local communities fostered good will among the Russian and Japanese negotiators in a process now known as multi-track diplomacy, which culminated in the end of the war, and the signing of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty
For his successful intervention, Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first American president to receive this honor.
The Portsmouth Peace Treaty continues to present to the world an example of an enlightened foreign policy for peace that Japan, Russia and the United States pursued 100 years ago. The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee (PPTAC) commemorates the centennial of this historic occasion. In 1905, Portsmouth demonstrated to the world that a community, however small, can be a catalyst for peace. It is entirely fitting that the exhibition of these 1ithographs takes place in Portsmouth.
Charles B. Doleac