Treaty of Portsmouth 1905
September 5, 1905 - A day now commemorated statewide as Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day - marks the signing of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The Treaty brought to a close the first great war of the twentieth century, which was fought between Japan and Russia over control of Korea and Manchuria.
Citizen diplomacy - the effect of the New Hampshire hosts on the diplomats - significantly contributed to the successful negotiations. Throughout the proceedings, and most significantly for the ten days when the formal negotiations were deadlocked, the New Hampshire hosts encouraged the negotiators to continue their deliberations and to reconsider their positions in the interest of their respective countries and world peace. Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day offers this example of citizen diplomacy as a model that can work whenever ordinary people decide to get involved in fostering the resolution of international disputes.
After a welcoming parade through the streets of Portsmouth where the local people greeted the diplomats enthusiastically, NH Governor John McLane hosted a reception in the old Rockingham County Courthouse on State Street. Pictured with the members of both delegations are prominent city and state dignitaries who were the official hosts for the peace conference as
Photograph by Perry Connor, Thomas C. Watson Collection courtesy of Portsmouth Athenaeum.
Judge Calvin Page
Portsmouth's Judge Calvin Page ensured the comfort of both delegations by providing accommodations, at no charge, for a s long as they were needed. He was able to do this in his capacity as executor of the estate of Frank Jones, an extraordinarily successful local entrepreneur whose vast business enterprises included ownership of the Wentworth Hotel. Jones provided in his will for the executors of his estate to act as he would if living at the time. A plaque honoring Page is affixed to a nearby building in which he maintained his law office.
The Russian and Japanese delegations were both housed at Wentworth Hotel. Informal negotiations and a celebratory reception on the eve of the Treaty signing took place at the hotel.
Portrait of Calvin Page courtesy of the C.B. Doleac Collection. Postcard, Aerial view of the Wentworth Hotel. Courtesy of Portsmouth Athenaeum.
Nobel Peace Prize for the President
President Theodore Roosevelt won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for orchestrating the negotiations using multi-track diplomacy; internationally, through back-channel diplomacy and in Portsmouth through citizen initiatives. Roosevelt never came to Portsmouth. Instead the President relied upon the US Assistant Secretary of State, the US Navy, the Governor of NH, the Mayor of Portsmouth, and the welcoming Seacoast community to facilitate the formal and informal negotiations between the Japanese and Russian diplomats.
Photograph of the Nobel Peace Prize medal courtesy of the C. B. Doleac Collection.
Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day
In 2010, the New Hampshire State Legislature designated September 5th as Portsmouth Peace Treaty Day, statewide and in Perpetuity, to honor New Hampshire citizen diplomacy and local citizens for the active role they played in fostering successful international negotiations. The Legislature also recognized the citizens who created an array of events for the 100th anniversary of the Treaty and who continue to commemorate the Treaty legacy.
Each year on September 5th at 3:47 p.m. - the exact moment the Treaty was signed - the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard conducts a memorial service and sounds th powerful Shipyard horn. The response bells ring through the seacoast as churches, schools, and other groups join the Portsmouth Peach Treaty Day observation. Visit PortsmouthPeaceTreaty.com for more information and a calendar of annual events.
Photograph courtsey of the C. B. Doleac Collection
Roosevelt Trust the Navy
Roosevelt accepted New Hampshire's invitation to host the conference because he recognized the US Navy's ability to provide the needed protocols and security for the conference. Formal negotiations took place at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, in what was then the newest structure - Building 86 (pictured at left) - a warehouse quickly converted by Shipyard workers into special delegate offices and conference spaces for the occasion. The Japanese delegation (in photo at left inset:, seen on the right side of the table, was led by Baron Jutaro Komura and the Russian delegation on left side of table was led by Sergius Witte.
Postcard of Building 86 courtesy of the Portsmouth Athenaeum
Inset: autographed photo courtesy of Portsmouth Athenaeum.
Location. 43° 4.6′ N, 70° 45.44′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Pleasant Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Portsmouth NH 03801, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nation's Oldest Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); The Original New Hampshire State House (within shouting distance of this marker); Negro Pews (within shouting distance of this marker); Ceilia Layton Thaxter (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 18 Congress (about 300 feet away); The South Church (about 400 feet away); Temple Israel (about 400 feet away); Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) and their children, Eleazor & James (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
Also see . . . Russo-Japanese War - Wikipedia. (Submitted on August 22, 2014, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Categories. • Peace •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 8, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 22, 2014, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 366 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on August 22, 2014, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 2. submitted on August 18, 2016, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida.