Portsmouth Peace Treaty Centennial Events 2005

In 2005, the 100th anniversary of the Treaty signing, the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee community groups produced 45 events, including eight exhibits, several lecture series, an international scholarly symposium at Dartmouth College and another at the Green Acre Baha'i School, a 15-week concert series, three original plays including Pontine's "The Peace of Portsmouth" based on newspaper accounts of the Treaty summer of 1905, a Chautauqua, three original musical compositions, fifteen art works, two formal dinners (both hosted by the New Hampshire Governor), a Mayor's Centennial tea, two re-enactments at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, a formal port visit by the Navy's USS Ross and a National Guard parade that drew thousands of people into the streets, replicating the Guard's 1905 parade that welcomed the two delegations.


The multiple exhibits installed throughout the region during the Centennial brought a wealth of public and private collections of art and artifacts out for public viewing. New research inspired new creations, presented by cultural organizations in the city. Click here for details and photographs from each of these exhibitions: 

  • "An Uncommon Commitment to Peace: Portsmouth Peace Treaty 1905" -- the central exhibit created by the Japan-America Society of NH thanks to a grant from the Center for Global Partnership of the Japan Foundation -- is based on extensive research in primary sources from the Treaty summer of 1905 -- diaries, oral histories, Ministry papers and newspaper correspondents' official and informal commentary -- is the day-by-day timeline of events, depicted in part at left with exhibit curator Hayato Sakurai.
  • "PEACE: A Pictorial History of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty" at the Children's Museum of Portsmouth
  • War and Peace" Images from the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905" at the Portsmouth Athenaeum
  • "Art of Peace" at the NH Art Association's Robert Levy Gallery"
    African Symbols of Peace and Reconciliation" at the Seacoast African-American Cultural Center
  • "Peace and the Pursuit of Pleasure" at the Wentworth-Coolidge Gallery
  • "The Portsmouth Peace Treaty" at the Old York Historical Society
  • "Building 86 and the Peace Conference" at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard


The Centennial Celebration Began in March 2005 with A series of five "Prelude to an Anniversary" lectures at the Portsmouth Public Library  previewed the festivities. On March 22nd the first lecture provided, an overview by Sherm Pridham. On April 5th, Peter Bowman, Committee co-chair and former Shipyard commander joined current Cmdr. Mike Gilmore to explain the War and the Navy's role in 1905 as peace-builder.

The Portsmouth Athenaeum hosted a six-part lecture series on subjects relating to the War and the Peace. These lectures were held in North Church, Market Square, Portsmouth. In addition, Cmdr. Jerry Hendrix presented a special lecture on President Teddy Roosevelt's role at Wentworth By the Sea Hotel.

Baha'i Symposium "Toward a Culture of Peace"
Green Acre Baha'i Conference Center, Eliot, Maine
August 26-31

Dr. Suheil Bushrui led the Symposium and presented the keynote addrss. Dr. Bushrui is Professor, Center for International Development and Conflict Management and Holder of Bahai Chair for Peace at the University of Maryland, Forner advisor to President Gemayel of Lebanon, he recently addressed the European Parliament on the Ethics of Globalization, is the winner of Juliet Hollister Award for exceptional service to interfaith understanding, and is a leading international authority on the works of Khalil Gibran, creative member of the Club of Budapest, contributing member of Prince Phillip's World Wide Network on Conservation and Religion.

A course, "Toward a Culture of Peace," with Dr.Suheil Bushrui and Dr. Edward Kaufman, University of Maryland Center for International Development and Conflict Management, met for five mornings, Aug 27 through Aug 31.

"Portsmouth and Its Legacies Conference"
 Dartmouth College Hanover, New Hampshire

September 8-10

Dartmouth College, in collaboration with the International House of Japan, the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Anniversary Committee, hosted an international conference commemorating the centennial of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. The Portsmouth and Its Legacies conference brings together scholars, diplomats, and other practitioners from Japan, Russia, the United States, and other countries affected by the Russo-Japanese War and the ensuing peace settlement, to discuss the background and making of the Portsmouth Treaty and its long-term implications for international relations. The opening keynote address and concluding diplomatic panel are open to the public. 


Original art works were created specifically for two exhibits:

The NH Art Association's juried competition. "Art of Peace" 

Richard Haynes (who created the Portsmouth Peace Treaty dove icon, directed his McIntosh College students' production of creations for the Seacoast African-American Cultural Center's exhibit, "African Symbols of Peace" exhibit.


Four original performance pieces were produced:

Pontine Theatre's "The Peace of Portsmouth" (and excerpts performed at the Centennial Dinner at Wentworth By the Sea)

Pontine Theatre's adaptation of Alida Carey's diary detailing the visit of the Russian and Japanese envoys as the guests of her parents at Carey Creek Farm (recreated at a Lawn Party hosted by the Portsmouth Historical Society and Synergy)

Dr. Anne Gordon Perry's "Sarah Farmer" Chautauqua

Dr. Perry's recreations of the Japanese delegates' visit to Green Acre

In addition, Portsmouth Poet Laureate, Mimi White presented the following poem at the Mayor's Centennial Tea. The poem about her grandfather's experience in the Russian Army during the Russo-Japanese War first appeared in Poetry Magazine.

Zaydee's Short Career in the Russian Army

I heard a noise like feet rustling.
It was so dark you couldn't see the sky.    
I said, "Halt, or I'll shoot!"   
It moved closer until I felt its steamy breath.   
I shot one, two, three times. 
The general's cow collapsed at my feet.   
Looking at it, I thought about


The Centennial inspired four original musical compositions:
"The Portsmouth Peace Hymn" by Grace Lewis-McLaren
"Song of Doves" by Takashi Koto  
A new verse to John Perrault/Catherine York-Knowlton's "Ripples First" 
"Raise the Flag, Sarah" by Leona Hosack performed at Green Acre

Portsmouth Peace Treaty Centennial Concerts

A 15-week series of free Sunday concerts presented by Seacoast choral groups and individual musicians were all hosted by the Portsmouth Men's Chorus. The venues were chosen for their associations with the events of summer 1905.  Concert performances included: 

--Seacoast Community Chorus, First Congregational Church, Eliot ME, Jul 10
--Kelly Hathorne, flute/Angel Band; First Congregational Church, Kittery Point ME, Jul 17
--Chorus Boston (Japanese language), North Church of Portsmouth, Jul 24
--Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, The Music Hall, Jul 31
--Japanese Musical Artists, South Church (Unitarian Universalist), Portsmouth, Aug 7
--Catherine York Knowlton, piano; St. John's Episcopal, Aug 14
--Larry Simon and Jazz Friends, Portsmouth Methodist Church, Aug 21
--New Hope Baptist Church Gospel Choir, New Castle Congregational Church, Aug 28
--Nevers Band, Service of Peace re-enactment, Christ Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, Sep 4
--Massed Choir, Portsmouth High School Auditorium, Sep 11
--York First Parish Congregational Church Men's Choir, Women's City Club, Sep 18
--John Perrault & Friends, United Methodist Church, Eliot ME, Sep 25
--Amare Cantare/Opus 39, Green Acre Baha'i Conference Center, Oct 2
--ARC Trio, Rye Congregational Church, Oct 9
--Portsmouth Men's Chorus/Portsmouth Women's Chorus, South Church (Unitarian Universalist), Oct 16


A re-enactment of the Welcoming Reception for the delegates, hosted by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard under the command of Capt. Jon Iverson and including the officers and crew of the USS Ross, deployed on an official port visit for the commemoration by the US Navy.

A re-enactment of the New Hampshire National Guard Welcoming Parade, organized by the New Hampshire Air National Guard under the command of Maj. Gen. Kenneth Clark, as a salute to the troops. Strawbery Banke hosted a picnic for the troops and their families at the end of the parade.

State Dinner at Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, host to the delegations in 1905. NH Governor John Lynch was the host for the evening and welcomed over 100 members of the NH State Legislature to the event which included a discussion among five New Hampshire Governors about "what it means to be from New Hampshire."

Lawn Party at Carey Creek Farm, re-creating the social events hosted at the farm for the Russian and Japanese delegations by the Carey Family. This event included a Pontine Theatre adaptation of Alida Carey's recollections of the events and music of the era performed by Richard Spicer and Thomas Gregg in the Creek Farm Music Room. A special program in the Little Harbor Chapel concluded the day.

Governor's Lawn Party at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, re-creating the reception held for Governor John McLane, official host for the peace conference, by the Coolidge Family in 1905.

100th Anniversary of the visit of the Japanese delegation to Green Acre on August 31 and Peace Flag Raising.

Service of Thanksgiving at First Episcopal Church, Bishop Gene Robinson presiding, re-created the service of Thanksgiving held at Christ Church in Portsmouth attended by Sergius Witte and other members of the Russian delegation immediately following the Treaty signing, Father Alexander Hotovitsky (later canonized as a martyr to the Russian Orthodox Church), presiding.

Commemorative program at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on September 5th that welcomed special guest, the Japanese Ambassador to the US, Ryozo Kato. The Shipyard conducted peace tree planting ceremonies, a Navy Band concert and a re-creation of the artillery salute celebrating the Treaty at 3:47 pm -- 100 years to the moment from the original signing.

Centennial Dinner at Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, hosted by Governor Lynch who welcomed Ambassador Kato, David Norlander from the US Library of Congress who commended the ongoing research efforts, excerpts from Pontine Theatre's "The Peace of Portsmouth" and a concert of music from the Treaty era by Richard Spicer, Tom Gregg and Angelynne Hinson.

The Mayor's Centennial Tea at Wentworth By the Sea Hotel, hosted by Portsmouth Mayor Evelyn Sirrell who welcomed delegates from Sister Cities of Nichinan, Japan (birthplace of Baron Komura) and Severodvinsk, Russia (home, like Portsmouth, to a nuclear outfitting shipyard).

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