The Portsmouth Naval Prison, now vacant, sits at the far end of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey Island on the Maine and New Hampshire border. For over a century, "the Castle" or "the Rock," with its deceptively appealing exterior, has kept both visitors and New Hampshire residents in its thrall. Since its opening in 1908 to its decommissioning in 1974 and into the present day, myth and lore have surrounded this iconic building. For the 66 years it functioned, any prisoner who escaped was brought back dead or alive--or so it has been said. Only adding to the prison's mystique is its history of reform; particularly successful were the wartime restoration and rehabilitation programs. Although the prison's fearsome reputation is cemented in Darryl Ponicsan's The Last Detail, Portsmouth was a forerunner in many ways. Routine inside often reflected the latest advancements in the field. Yet, designed or deserved, the prison's legacy remains an intriguing mix of dread and redemption.
Portsmouth Cemeteries, a photographic study of this city's cemeteries, uncovers a compelling history of the area from the Colonial era to the 1900s. These cemeteries provide a direct link to the past, where many stories are told in stone. The gravestones and monuments feature unusual works of art, and the inscriptions act as documents that preserve family histories, valiant military service, and memories of photographs, readers can see how gravestones evolved over time and learn about some of Portsmouth's own practitioners in the art of stone carving.
Author: Rodney Watterson
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Release Date: 2014-03-15
During World War I, the United States Navy conducted at the Portsmouth, NH Naval Prison what many penal scholars consider the most ambitious experiment in the history of progressive prison reform. Cell doors remained opened, prisoners governed themselves and thousands of rehabilitated prisoners were returned to the fleet. This humanitarian experiment at Portsmouth prison stood in stark contrast to the inhumane flogging of prisoners that had dominated naval discipline until 1850. The Navy’s journey between these two extremes in naval discipline included the development of a much needed naval prison system. When congress abolished flogging in 1850, the Navy was left with few punishment options. Flogging had been a harsh, but very effective and efficient discipline tool. Various conditions of confinement appeared to be the most logical substitute for flogging, but the Navy had few cells ashore and confinement onboard a nineteenth century man-of-war sailing vessel was impractical. Onboard space was limited and all hands were needed to sail and fight the ship. Subsequent naval directives that merely suggested punishments for various offenses led to inconsistent interpretation and application of punishments throughout the fleet. At the same time, courts-martial prisoners were sporadically confined in various marine barracks, navy yard jails, naval station guard houses, prison ships and state prisons. The Navy’s discipline system was in disarray. A naval prison system was needed to consolidate and provide for consistent treatment of prisoners. The Navy’s efforts to gain congressional approval for a prison in the 1870s were unsuccessful. In the late 1880s, the Navy took matters into its own hands and established a prison system centered on makeshift prisons at the Boston and Mare Island Navy Yards. An ever-increasing need for cells, primarily driven by high desertion rates, eventually resulted in the construction of the Navy’s first real prison at Portsmouth, which opened in 1908. A consolidation of naval prisons in 1914 left Portsmouth as the dominant centerpiece of the naval prison system. At this point Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt chose the most celebrated prison reformer of his era, Thomas Mott Osborne, to assume command of the Portsmouth prison. His reforms at Portsmouth went well until Vice Adm. William S. Sims and others became convinced that too many trouble makers were being returned to the fleet. Under mounting pressure from senior naval officers, FDR personally led an on-site investigation of conditions at Portsmouth prison, which included charges of gross mismanagement and rampant homosexual activity. Although exonerated by FDR’s team, Osborne resigned from the Navy shortly after the investigation. Osborne’s reform initiatives were quickly reversed as the Navy returned to a harsher punishment system more inclined toward deterrence than humanitarian considerations and prisoner comforts.
Author: Rodney K. Watterson
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Release Date: 2011
In the 1930s, the Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire built less than two submarines a year, yet in 1944 it completed an astonishing 32 submarines, and over the course of the war produced 37 per cent of all U.S. submarines. This book analyzes the factors behind the small yard s record-setting production, including streamlined operations, innovative management practices, the Navy s commitment to develop the yard s resources as an alternative to private industry, and the yard s ability to adapt quickly to a decentralized wartime shipbuilding environment. The author highlights similarities betw.
Author: Nelson H. Lawry
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Release Date: 2004-11-17
Including more than two hundred vintage photographs and illustrations, Portsmouth Harbor’s Military and Naval Heritage chronicles the history of the Piscataqua River’s naval shipyard and harbor defenses. Long before it became home to one of the U.S. Navy’s first federal shipyards, the harbor at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine, was protected by gun batteries, mainly at Fort Point, New Castle, New Hampshire. By the end of World War II, modern concrete batteries mounting guns of ever longer range had been constructed at this and three other forts straddling the river’s mouth. These fortifications reflected the increasingly important role of the shipyard, dedicated after 1917 to building submarines that contributed significantly to the World War II victory.
Author: K. Roper
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Release Date: 2013-12-15
Twenty-five years in the Navy had made Cheryl Ruff an independent, resilient, strong woman - and a master at providing patient care while serving at various Navy hospitals around the world. But nothing prepared her mind, body, soul, and spirit for what she experienced on the frontlines of the Iraq war as a member of the Bravo Surgical Company. Known as the "devil docs," they followed directly behind the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force as they entered Iraq at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. Right along with the Marines, Commander Ruff, the only female nurse anesthetist at the front, and the rest of her surgical team learned to endure the brutal conditions of the desert while regularly confronting questions of life and death. Working in temperatures well over 100 degrees in full MOP gear, Ruff and her team set up mobile hospital tents in the sand wherever needed. As Black Hawk helicopters brought in steady streams of the wounded, they found it impossible to maintain standard sterilization procedures, and clean up often amounted to just shovelling the blood-soaked sand out of the tent. During surgery they often wore lighted helmets so they could continue operating if the generator failed and donned gas masks when warnings were issued. These horrific conditions, coupled with the gruesome images of shredded bodies and the cries of wounded children, became Ruff's world. This is her story of the war, up close and personal. It is a story of sacrifice, survival, and courage, movingly written by a woman unconditionally dedicated to the life-saving mission of the United States Navy Nurse Corps.
Author: Jamie Sayen
Publisher: University Press of New England
Release Date: 2017-12-05
Absentee owners. Single-minded concern for the bottom line. Friction between workers and management. Hostile takeovers at the hands of avaricious and unaccountable multinational interests. The story of America's industrial decline is all too familiar - and yet, somehow, still hard to fathom. Jamie Sayen spent years interviewing residents of Groveton, New Hampshire, about the century-long saga of their company town. The community's paper mill had been its economic engine since the early twentieth century. Purchased and revived by local owners in the postwar decades, the mill merged with Diamond International in 1968. It fell victim to Anglo-French financier James Goldsmith's hostile takeover in 1982, then suffered through a series of owners with no roots in the community until its eventual demise in 2007. Drawing on conversations with scores of former mill workers, Sayen reconstructs the mill's human history: the smells of pulp and wood, the injuries and deaths, the struggles of women for equal pay and fair treatment, and the devastating impact of global capitalism on a small New England town. This is a heartbreaking story of the decimation of industrial America.
Unlike other branches of the armed services, the Navy draws it police force from the ranks, as temporary duty called Shore Patrol. In this funny, bawdy, moving novel set during the height of the Vietnam War, two career sailors in transit in Norfolk, Virginia—Billy "Bad-Ass" Buddusky and Mule Mulhall—are assigned to escort eighteen-year-old Larry Meadows from Norfolk to the brig in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he is to serve an eight-year sentence for petty theft. It's good duty, until the two old salts realize the injustice of the sentence and are oddly affected by the naive innocence of their young prisoner. In the five days allotted for the detail, they decide to show Meadows something of the life he doesn't yet know, to help him survive the long ordeal ahead and to purge their own shame. What follows is an unlikely road trip by bus and train up the Eastern seaboard and an indelible journey of initiation and discovery, filled with beer-soaked wisdom, big city lights, revelry, brawls, debauchery, love, and surprising moments of tenderness.
Author: Darryl Ponics n
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
Release Date: 2017-09-05
Now a major movie starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne, directed by Richard Linklater! Darryl Ponicsan's debut novel The Last Detail was named one of the best of the year and widely acclaimed, catapulting him to fame when it was first published. The story of two career sailors assigned to escort a young seaman from Norfolk to the naval prison in Portsmouth, New Hampshire—and of the mayhem that ensues—was made into an award-winning movie starring Jack Nicholson. Last Flag Flying, set thirty-four years after the events of The Last Detail, brings together the same beloved characters—Billy Bad-Ass Buddusky, Mule Mulhall, and Meadows—to reprise the same journey but under very different circumstances. Now middle-aged, Meadows seeks out his former captors in their civilian lives to help him bury his son, a Marine killed in Iraq, in Arlington National Cemetery. When he learns that the authorities have told him a lie about the circumstances of his son's death, he decides, with the help of the two others, to transport him home to Portsmouth. And so begins the journey, centered around a solemn mission but, as in the first book, a protest against injustice and celebration of life too, at once irreverent, funny, profane, and deeply moving. Last Flag Flying is now a major movie from Amazon Studios, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne.
One of our most visceral and important memoirs on race in America, this is the story of Nathan McCall, who began life as a smart kid in a close, protective family in a black working-class neighborhood. Yet by the age of fifteen, McCall was packing a gun and embarking on a criminal career that five years later would land him in prison for armed robbery. In these pages, McCall chronicles his passage from the street to the prison yard—and, later, to the newsrooms of The Washington Post and ultimately to the faculty of Emory University. His story is at once devastating and inspiring. For even as he recounts his transformation, McCall compels us to recognize that racism is as pervasive in the newsroom as it is in the inner city, where it condemns so many black men to prison, to dead-end jobs, or to violent deaths. At once an indictment and an elegy, Makes Me Wanna Holler became an instant classic when it was first published in 1994. Now, some two decades later, it continues to bear witness to the great troubles—and the great hopes—of our nation. With a new afterword by the author
An unabridged version of this classic text about 19th-century naval life. It is the dramatic narrative of one Frenchman's nine-year incarceration in the prison hulks of Portsmouth Harbour. By turns violent, poignant, dark and humorous, it sheds light on a largely neglected area of British history.
Author: John Davies
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2017-10-17
Nearly thirty years after the end of the Cold War, its legacy and the accompanying Russian-American tension continues to loom large. Russia’s access to detailed information on the United States and its allies may not seem so shocking in this day of data clouds and leaks, but long before we had satellite imagery of any neighborhood at a finger’s reach, the amount the Soviet government knew about your family’s city, street, and even your home would astonish you. Revealing how this was possible, The Red Atlas is the never-before-told story of the most comprehensive mapping endeavor in history and the surprising maps that resulted. From 1950 to 1990, the Soviet Army conducted a global topographic mapping program, creating large-scale maps for much of the world that included a diversity of detail that would have supported a full range of military planning. For big cities like New York, DC, and London to towns like Pontiac, MI and Galveston, TX, the Soviets gathered enough information to create street-level maps. What they chose to include on these maps can seem obvious like locations of factories and ports, or more surprising, such as building heights, road widths, and bridge capacities. Some of the detail suggests early satellite technology, while other specifics, like detailed depictions of depths and channels around rivers and harbors, could only have been gained by actual Soviet feet on the ground. The Red Atlas includes over 350 extracts from these incredible Cold War maps, exploring their provenance and cartographic techniques as well as what they can tell us about their makers and the Soviet initiatives that were going on all around us. A fantastic historical document of an era that sometimes seems less distant, The Red Atlas offers an uncanny view of the world through the eyes of Soviet strategists and spies.
Author: David W. Moore
Publisher: Diversion Books
Release Date: 2018-03-06
Genre: Political Science
“This book should be required reading for journalists, political junkies, students, scholars, and citizens.” —Robert W. McChesney, author of The Political Economy of Media, on The Opinion Makers Never underestimate the underdog. In the fall of 1973, the Greek oil shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, husband of President John F. Kennedy’s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and arguably the richest man in the world, proposed to build an oil refinery on the narrow New Hampshire coast, in the town of Durham. At the time, it would have cost $600 million to build and was expected to generate 400,000 barrels of oil per day, making it the largest oil refinery in the world. The project was vigorously supported by the governor, Meldrim Thomson, and by William Loeb, the notorious publisher of the only statewide newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader. But three women vehemently opposed the project—Nancy Sandberg, the town leader who founded and headed Save Our Shores; Dudley Dudley, the freshman state rep who took the fight to the state legislature; and Phyllis Bennett, the publisher of the local newspaper that alerted the public to Onassis’ secret acquisition of the land. Small Town, Big Oil is the story of how the residents of Durham, led by these three women, out-organized, out-witted, and out-maneuvered the governor, the media, and the Onassis cartel to hand the powerful Greek billionaire the most humiliating defeat of his business career, and spare the New Hampshire seacoast from becoming an industrial wasteland.
Author: Andrew C. Toppan
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Release Date: 2002
Bath Iron Works was established by Gen. Thomas Hyde in 1884 and launched its first ship in 1891. Since then, the shipyard on the Kennebec River has built dozens of luxurious yachts, hardworking freighters, tugs, trawlers, lightships, and more than two hundred twenty warships for the U.S. Navy. Today, Bath Iron Works continues a shipbuilding tradition that began nearly four hundred years ago when the first ship built in America was constructed just a few miles downriver from Bath. Bath Iron Works showcases a unique collection of photographs that provides a rare view inside one of the nation's great shipyards. The book shows the yard's origins in a few simple buildings, its expansion into a modern shipbuilding facility, and its rapid growth into an industrial powerhouse during World War II. During these years, Bath Iron Works produced famous ships such as the America's Cup defender Ranger, the yachts Aras and Hi-Esmaro, the record-setting destroyer USS Lamson, and fully one fourth of all destroyers built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Bath Iron Works gives an insider's view of these great vessels and many others, as skilled craftspeople turn raw materials into complex ships, each uniquely suited to its purpose. This collection of shipbuilding photographs brings to life the proud history of Bath Iron Works.