Did an Unseen Woman Really Witness the Signing of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty? New historical research unveiled. . . .
Join us to celebrate the anniversary of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty on Saturday, September 2nd with a short talk by author Anne Gordon Perry, whose new book Unseen Witness: Sarah Farmer & The Portsmouth Peace Treaty has just been released. Hear about how historical accounts and photographs contribute and add accuracy to a fictional story set on September 5, 1905—the day of the Treaty signing—centered around the true story of how Sarah Farmer became the only woman to witness the historic signing. New research has recently emerged, adding detailed authenticity to a story previously unproved.
In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt invited peace delegates from Japan and Russia to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to end the Russo-Japanese War—the longest war in modern history up to that time. The delegates met at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to settle their differences. In nearby Eliot, Maine, Sarah Farmer flew the first known peace flag at a place called Green Acre, where social reformers, thinkers, artists, scientists, and religious seekers met to discuss important questions of the day. Sarah was deeply concerned about the need for peace and international unity in the world.
After 30 days of peace talks, the Portsmouth Peace Treaty was signed, with only men in attendance. But hidden from view, Sarah Farmer was the only woman who observed the dramatic moment of the treaty signing, no doubt aware that she and other local citizens had helped in the peace process.
In this creative telling of a true story, fictional characters Rosie and Joshua learn about Sarah Farmer and why she was so passionate about peace.
Bio: Anne Gordon Perry holds a PhD in Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas and served as the primary researcher and author of Green Acre on the Piscataqua. In 2005 she performed as Sarah Farmer in the New Hampshire Chautauqua series and participated in many of the projects and programs celebrating the centenary of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. Her new book is written for children but has appeal for anyone interested in Portsmouth area history generally and the Peace Treaty specifically. The book will be available for purchase and can be signed by the author.
More personal: Anne Gordon Perry has loved Green Acre since reading about it in 1978. While she lives in Texas and teaches at the Art Institute of Dallas, she says that “my heart is always at Green Acre.” For this reason, she likes to be known as “Anne of Green Acre.