monument by James Edward Kelly to General Fitz John Porter; a cottage hospital (1886); a United States naval hospital (1891); a home for aged and indigent women (1877); and the Chase home for children (1877).
A United States navy yard, officially known as the Portsmouth Navy Yard, is on an island of the Piscataqua but within the township of Kittery, Maine. In 1800 Fernald’s Island was purchased by the Federal government for a navy yard; it was the scene of considerable activity during the War of 1812, but was of much greater importance during the Civil War, when the famous “Kearsarge” and several other war vessels were built here. In 1866 the yard was enlarged by connecting Seavey’s Island with Fernald’s; late in the 19th century it was equipped for building and repairing steel vessels. It now has a large stone dry dock. On Seavey’s Island Admiral Cervera and other Spanish officers and sailors captured during the Spanish-American War were held prisoners in July–September 1898. Subsequently a large naval prison was erected. In 1905 the treaty ending the war between Japan and Russia was negotiated in what is known as the Peace Building in this yard.
In 1905 the city’s factory products were valued at $2,602,056 During the summer season there is an important trade with the neighbouring watering-places; there is also a large transit trade in imported coal, but the foreign commerce, consisting wholly of imports, is small.
Portsmouth and Dover are the oldest permanent settlements in the state. David Thomson with a small company from Plymouth, England, in the spring or early summer of 1623 built and fortified a house at Little Harbor (now Odiorne’s Point in the township of Rye) as a fishing and trading station. In 1630 there arrived another band of settlers sent over by the Laconia Company. They occupied Thomson’s house and Great Island (New Castle) and built the “Great House” on what is now Water Street, Portsmouth. This settlement, with jurisdiction over all the territory now included in Portsmouth, New Castle and Greenland, and most of that in Rye, was known as “Strawberry Banke” until 1653, when it was incorporated (by the government of Massachusetts) under the name of Portsmouth. There was from the first much trouble between its Anglican settlers sent over by Mason and the Puritans from Massachusetts, and in 1641 Massachusetts extended her jurisdiction over this region. In 1679, however, New Hampshire was constituted a separate province, and Portsmouth was the capital until 1775. In 1693 New Castle (pop. 1900, 581), then including the greater part of the present township of Rye, was set apart from Portsmouth, and in 1703 Greenland (pop. 1900, 607) was likewise set apart. One of the first military exploits of the War of Independence occurred at New Castle, where there was then a fort called William and Mary. In December 1774 a copy of the order prohibiting the exportation of military stores to America was brought from Boston to Portsmouth by Paul Revere, whereupon the Portsmouth Committee of Safety organized militia companies, and captured the fort (Dec. 14). In 1849 Portsmouth was chartered as a city.
Portsmouth was the birthplace of Governor Benning Wentworth (1696–1770) and his nephew Governor John Wentworth (1737–1820); of Governor John Langdon (1739–1819); of Tobias Lear (1762–1816), the private secretary of General Washington from 1785 until Washington’s death, consul-general at Santo Domingo in 1802–1804, and negotiator of a treaty with Tripoli in 1805; of Benjamin Penhallow Shillaber (1814–1890), humorist, who is best known by his Life and Sayings of Mrs Partington (1854); of James T. Fields, of Thomas Bailey Aldrich and of General Fitz John Porter. From 1807 to 1816 Portsmouth was the home of Daniel Webster.
PORTSMOUTH, a city and the county-seat of Scioto county, Ohio, U.S.A., picturesquely situated at the confluence of the Scioto and Ohio rivers, 95 m. S. of Columbus. Pop. (1910 U.S. census) 23,481. Portsmouth is served by the Baltimore & Ohio South-Western, the Chesapeake & Ohio and the Norfolk & Western railways, also by passenger and freight boats to Pittsburg, Cincinnati and intermediate ports. The city has a Carnegie library, a municipal hospital, an aged women’s home and a children’s home. Extending along the Ohio for 8 m. and arranged in three groups are works of the “Mound Builders.” There are two small city parks, and a privately owned resort, Millbrook Park. The surrounding country is a fine farming region, which also abounds in coal, fire-clay and building stone. Natural gas is used for light, heat and power. In 1905 the city’s factory products were valued at $7,970,674, of which $4,258,855 was the value of boots and shoes. The Norfolk & Western has division terminals here.
The first permanent settlement in the immediate vicinity was made in 1796. In 1799 Thomas Parker, of Alexandria, Virginia, laid out a village (which was named Alexandria) below the mouth of the Scioto, but as the ground was frequently Hooded the village did not thrive, and about 1810 the inhabitants removed to Portsmouth. Portsmouth was laid out in 1803, incorporated as a town in 1815, and chartered as a city in 1851. The Ohio and Erie canal was opened from Cleveland to Portsmouth in 1832.
PORTSMOUTH, a city of Norfolk county, Virginia, U.S.A., on the Elizabeth river opposite Norfolk. Pop. (1910, census), 33,190. Portsmouth is served by the Atlantic Coast Line, the Seaboard Air Line, the Chesapeake & Ohio and the New York, Philadelphia & Norfolk (Pennsylvania system), the Southern, and the Norfolk & Western railways, by steamboat lines to Washington, Baltimore, New York, Providence and Boston, by ferries to Norfolk, and by electric lines to numerous suburbs. There is a 30-ft. channel to the ocean. Portsmouth is situated on level ground only a few feet above the sea; it has about 2½ m. of water-front, and adjoins one of the richest trucking districts in the Southern States. Among the principal buildings are the county court house, city hall, commercial building, United States naval hospital, post office building, high school and the Portsmouth orphan asylum, King’s Daughters' hospital and the old Trinity Church (1762). In the southern part of the city is a United States navy yard and station, officially the Norfolk Yard (the second largest in the country), of about 450 acres, with three immense dry docks, machine shops, warehouses, travelling and water cranes, a training station, torpedo boat headquarters, a powder plant (20 acres), a naval magazine, a naval hospital and the distribution headquarters of the United State Marine Corps. The total value of the city’s factory products in 1905 was only $145,439. The city is a centre of the Virginia oyster “fisheries.” Portsmouth and Norfolk form a customs district, Norfolk being the port of entry, whose exports in 1908 were valued at $11,326,817, and imports at $1,150,044.
Portsmouth was established by act of the Virginia assembly in 1752, incorporated as a town in 1852 and chartered as a city in 1858. Though situated in Norfolk county, the city has been since its incorporation administratively independent of it. Shortly before the War of Independence the British established a marine yard where the navy yard now is, but during the war it was confiscated by Virginia and in 1801 was sold to the United States. In April 1861 it was burned and abandoned by the Federals, and for a year afterwards was the chief navy yard of the Confederates. Here was constructed the iron-clad “Virginia” (the old “Merrimac”), which on the 9th of March 1862 fought in Hampton Roads (q.v.) the famous engagement with the “Monitor.” Two months later, on the 9th of May, the Confederates abandoned the navy yard and evacuated Norfolk and Portsmouth, and the “Virginia” was destroyed by her commander, josiah Tattnall.
PORT SUDAN, a town and harbour on the west coast of the Red Sea, in 19° 37′ N. 37° 12′ E., 700 m. by boat S. of Suez and 495 m. by rail N.E. of Khartum. Pop. (1906), 4289. It is the principal port of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the headquarters of the customs administration. The coral reefs fringing the coast are here broken by a straight channel with deep water giving access to the harbour, which consists of a series of natural
- See Captain G. H. Preble, “Vessels of War built at Portsmouth, N. H. 1690–1868,” in New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. xxii. (Boston, 1868); and W. E. Fentress, Centennial History of the U.S. Navy Yard at Portsmouth, N. H. (Portsmouth, 1876).