University of New Hampshire

05/16/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/17/2023 09:01

Marking the Spot: The Broken 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth

A new historical marker sponsored by INHCC and the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People has been installed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources. Funding was provided by the UNH Center for the Humanities from an American Council of Learned Societies' Sustaining Public Engagement Grant, which is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)'s Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP).

This New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker clarifies the history and aftermath of the 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth. The marker reads:

During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), the Wabanaki Confederacy of native peoples were allied with the French. After the French and English ended the war without consulting France's native allies, the Wabanaki agreed in 1713 to ratify the Treaty of Portsmouth, by which the English pledged to restrict colonial settlement, respect tribal sovereignty, and expand trade. These promises were not honored or enforced; instead, the treaty opened large areas to new colonial settlement, strengthening Portsmouth as the principal seaport of northern New England.

The marker is located near South Cemetery in Portsmouth at the corner of N.H. Route 1A and Little Harbor Road, where the negotiations for the treaty took place. It is the 281st marker in New Hampshire's Historical Highway Marker program.

Any municipality, agency, organization or individual wishing to propose a historical highway marker to commemorate significant New Hampshire places, persons or events must submit a petition of support signed by at least 20 New Hampshire residents. They must also draft the text of the marker and provide footnotes and copies of supporting documentation, as well as a suggested location for marker placement.

New Hampshire's historical highway markers illustrate the depth and complexity of our history and the people who made it, from the last Revolutionary War soldier to contemporary sports figures to poets and painters who used New Hampshire for inspiration; from 18th-century meeting houses to stone arch bridges to long-lost villages; from factories and cemeteries to sites where international history was made. An interactive map of all of the state's historical highway markers is available at the N.H. Division of Historical Resources' website.

The New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker program is jointly managed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources and N.H. Department of Transportation.

This particular marker installation is part of a larger effort, through this ACLS grant, to provide resources for ongoing efforts to create new/alternative monuments, markers, plaques, story maps and conversations that make BIPOC history and presence more visible. The project aims to create a conscious conversation around how monuments are not mere markers of the past but tools for creating community and civic dialogue in the present and for imagining the future.

The Center is also working with the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire to support their marker program, which employs local archival research to map a path of Black history in New Hampshire, and it helped fund INHCC's work with the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People to identify and name trails and bridges throughout the College Brook Ravine that previously lacked identification. The grant has also supported the creation of "living monuments," like the recent collaboration between INHCC and UNH's Organic Gardening Club to celebrate and restore awareness of the Indigenous relationship to the land by creating a gardening plot to showcase Indigenous crops and gardening techniques on the UNH campus.