“Teddy Roosevelt’s Nobel Prize: New Hampshire on the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail” August 9 at Discover Portsmouth Center
Portsmouth, New Hampshire (July 17, 2009) – In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt chose Portsmouth, New Hampshire to be the site of negotiations between Russian and Japanese delegations to end the Russo-Japanese War (now known as “World War Zero”). The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail, created for the Treaty 100th anniversary in 2005, links the sites that figured in the drama of the 30 days of talks.
On Sunday, August 9 at 2 pm, the Portsmouth Historical Society hosts a free NH Humanities Council talk by Charles B. Doleac, chairman of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum, explaining the role of greater-Portsmouth residents and institutions along the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail. In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize for orchestrating the multi-track diplomacy that ended the Russo-Japanese War. The presentation explains how the Russian and Japanese delegations, the US Navy and the people of New Hampshire, as the official hosts, figured in the negotiations by detailing the key sites of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Trail:
- Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the Navy and the civilian workforce
- Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, The Rockingham and Portsmouth’s Judge Calvin Page
- The Music Hall, publisher Hartford and Portsmouth postmaster Bartlett
- The churches of Portsmouth and the YMCA
- Green Acre School in Eliot and Sarah Farmer
- Temple Israel and the 1905 Jewish community
- Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion and the Carey family
The program takes place on the second floor of the Discover Portsmouth Center (corner of Middle and Islington Streets). A question and answer session will follow the illustrated talk. For more information on the talk or the Treaty, annual commemorative events, or to schedule a program or exhibit visit www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.org or call 603-772-1835.
Mr. Doleac, Portsmouth attorney with Boynton, Waldron Doleac Woodman & Scott PA, is the author of An Uncommon Commitment to Peace: Portsmouth Peace Treaty 1905, the exhibit and illustrated book on the 30 days of the peace conference deliberations in Portsmouth. Co-founder in 1988 of the Japan-America Society of NH, Atty. Doleac received the Foreign Minister of Japan’s Citation in 2005 for his “outstanding contributions to international understanding” in recognition of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum seminars.
The Library of Congress cites the Portsmouth Peace Treaty website for providing a unique, accessible perspective on the topic thanks to the research done locally to explain the community’s role in the history. The point of this NH Humanities Council lecture is to draw out new local information about how different New Hampshire citizens and community groups were involved in the Treaty proceedings of 1905. In previous lectures, Mr. Doleac has presented new research on:
- Lancaster, NH and native son Henry Willard Denison, representative of the Japanese Foreign Ministry from 1870 to 1914, who accompanied the Japanese delegation to Portsmouth for the Treaty negotiations and then worked with his Russian counterpart DeMartens to prepare the formal language of the conference protocols for signature on September 5, 1905.
- Dublin, NH and the Lindon-Smiths who hosted Baron Kitaro Kaneko immediately after the Treaty signing. Kaneko befriended the Smiths in Japan after an introduction by mutual acquaintance, President Theodore Roosevelt.
- Manchester, NH: the visit by members of the Japanese delegation to the Amoskeag Mills and lunch at the Derryfield Club as guests of prominent Manchester businessmen.
- Keene, NH, (Congregation of Ahavas Achim), the Russian-Jewish émigrés who escaped conscription in the Czar’s army by coming to America. Russian Jewish shopkeepers in Portsmouth and financier Joseph Schiff who visited Portsmouth tried to persuade Russian plenipotentiary Sergius Witte to convince the Czar to end the pogroms that had driven so many Russian Jews out of their homeland.
The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum was created in 1994 to provide an opportunity for diplomats and scholars to explore diplomatic themes "in the spirit of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty.” Each December the Forum presents a speaker with a current theme. In 2008, Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power spoke on her book, Chasing the Flame, a biography of UN peacekeeper Sergio Vieira de Mello. In 2007, Middle East envoy Ambassador Dennis Ross spoke on his book Statecraft. Previous Forum guests have included Graham Allison of Harvard, John Curtis Perry and Eileen Babbitt from the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University and Russian and Japanese diplomats.
The Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum also maintains a permanent and traveling exhibit (displayed at the New Hampshire State Archives in Concord and at the Portsmouth Historical Society’s museum) and the website that the Library of Congress cites as the best resource on the topic for its educational value and accessibility. Supported by the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire, the Forum produces additional annual events including the recent Seacoast Wind Ensemble concert, New Hampshire Humanities Council lectures, Pontine Theatre’s Community Theater Workshop September 15 – October 20, Beat Night on September 17th and the annual bell-ringing commemoration of the Treaty signing on September 5th. For more information, visit www.portsmouthpeacetreaty.org