Portsmouth, a city and the capital of Scioto co., Ohio, on the Ohio river, just above the mouth of the Scioto, at the terminus of the Ohio and Erie canal and of a branch of the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad, 80 m. S. of Columbus, and 85 m. E. S. E. of Cincinnati; pop. in 1850, 4,011; in 1860, 6,268; in 1870, 10,592; in 1874,13,034. It is built on a plain of moderate extent, partly enclosed by hills, is lighted with gas, and has Holly water works, an opera house, masonic temple, and two odd fellows' halls. It is the entrepot of the rich mineral regions of southern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky, and the numerous iron furnaces are supplied by its trade. The Scioto valley is a productive agricultural district. Two projected railroads are expected largely to increase the importance of the city, the Portsmouth and Pound Gap, extending to Port Royal, S. C, and the Scioto Valley line. Portsmouth contains two rolling mills, three founderies, a manufactory of agricultural implements, a hub factory, two planing mills, a saw mill, two freestone saw mills, three large furniture factories, four breweries, a distillery, three flouring mills, etc.
There are five national banks, a savings bank, seven building associations, graded public schools, three weekly (one German) newspapers, and Baptist, Christian, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and other churches.
Portsmouth, a fortified port of Hampshire, England, on the S. W. extremity of the island of Portsea, 68 m. S. W. of London; pop. in 1871, 113,569. It consists of two towns, Portsmouth proper and Portsea, separated from each other by a small creek or arm of the sea, but united in one complete fortress. The number of places of worship in 1872 was 56, of which 19 belonged to the church of England. One of them was originally erected early in the 13th century, and dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, but the chancel is the only part left of the ancient building. A force of 13,000 men would be necessary to man the fortifications, but the usual garrison consists of about 2,500. The chief importance of the place is derived from the royal dockyard, which is at Portsea, N. of Portsmouth proper, and covers 120 acres, enclosed by walls. On the mainland opposite is the town of Gosport, with a population in 1871 of 7,366. The channel between these two places forms the entrance to Portsmouth harbor, here defended by South Sea castle on the east, and Moncton fort on the west, and extending several miles between the island of Portsea and the mainland, and gradually widening till it attains a breadth of about 3 m. at its N. extremity.
The depth of water is sufficient for vessels of the largest class, and the harbor opens into the roadstead of Spithead sheltered by the isle of Wight. The imports of foreign and colonial merchandise at the port in 1872 were valued at £282,041, the exports at £15,-670. The number of vessels entering the port in 1871 was 418, tonnage 38,600; cleared 370, tonnage 31,064. - The earliest notice of Portsmouth (in 501) occurs in the " Saxon Chronicle," where it is called Portsmuthe. During the reign of Alfred a fleet of nine ships was fitted out at the port, which defeated the Danes; and before the Norman conquest a large number of vessels were sent from it to intercept the invaders. The French landed and burned a great part of the town in 1377, but were ultimately defeated with heavy loss. After this disaster the fortifications were extended and improved, and have continued to receive additions up to the present time.