Portsmouth, New Hampshire is one of the oldest communities in the United States. Commercial fishermen from England established a base nearby in 1623, just three years after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. Immigrants who first settled in the downtown area in 1630 called their settlement Piscataqua, then a few years later renamed it Strawbery Banke. The name officially became Portsmouth when incorporated in 1653.
|John Paul Jones House|
Once an important shipbuilding community, Portsmouth was host to Captain John Paul Jones for 18 months during the American Revolution. A local shipyard constructed his famous warship, the USS Ranger, in 1777, and a 24-gun warship he was destined never to command, the USS America, in 1782. Other important patriots who visited Portsmouth include Benjamin Franklin in 1763 and the first President of the United States, George Washington, in 1789.