Message from a lost colony

By Keeper Tom Hardiman   In 2011, the Portsmouth Athenaeum received a remarkable bequest from the estate of long-time Athenaeum Proprietor Dudley Stoddard (1915-2009). Dudley descended from Portsmouth’s Warner family, and he left to the Athenaeum a collection of...

Wentworth Cheswill Documents

By Archivist Susan Kindstedt   The Athenaeum has two documents signed by Wentworth Cheswill (or Cheswell), a biracial Revolutionary War veteran born in Newmarket, NH, in 1746. Wentworth Cheswill was the son of Hopestill Cheswill and his wife, Katherine Kennison....

The Portsmouth Bath House

By Photographic Collections Manager James Smith   Pictured here is the relic of the former Portsmouth Bath House in the North End, as identified in this c. 1898 photo album. [Small photograph collection, PS855] In the summer of 1804, the Portsmouth Bath House...

Statement from the Portsmouth Athenaeum

A plea for wisdom These are stormy days. Many of us mourn for friends and family lost to the Covid-19 pandemic. We mourn the cruel and senseless death of George Floyd. We also grieve for the deepening divides and ever-coarsening discourse in our society. We hope that...

The Perfume of Human Wisdom

By Proprietor Sherry Wood I miss (and worry about) my 7-month-old granddaughter Eleanor, who lives in Brooklyn with her RN mom and IT guru dad. But I also miss libraries, which closed in March when Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order was issued. I was smitten at 6...