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New Hampshire Indian Tribes

Abnaki. Parts of Grafton County were occupied by the Ossipee and Pequawket bands, affiliated with the Sokoki of the Abnaki tribe. (See Maine.)

Pennacook. Gerard (Hodge, 1910) says the name is “cognate with Abnaki pe(n√Ękuk, or penankuk, ‘at the bottom of the hill or highland,’) ” but Speck says simply “down hill.” Also called:

Connections. The Pennacook belonged to the Algonquian linguistic stock, their nearest relatives being the Abnaki, with whom they were frequently classed, and the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Malecite.

Location. In southern and central New Hampshire, northeastern Massachusetts, and the southernmost part of Maine. (See also Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.)

Subdivisions and Villages

History. The early history of the Pennacook was like that of the Abnaki except that they were earlier affected by the English settlements on Massachusetts Bay. In King Philip’s War (1675-76) the Nashua and Wachuset tribes joined the hostiles, but the greater part of the Pennacook, under Wannalancet, remained on friendly terms until the treacherous seizure of about 200 of their number by Waldron in 1676. They then abandoned their country and the greater part removed to Canada, where they ultimately joined the Abnaki and other Indians of St. Francis. The remainder were finally settled at Scaticook, Rensselaer County, N. Y.

Population. The number of Pennacook is estimated by Mooney (1928) at 2,000 in 1600 and 1,250 in 1676. The remnant is included among the 280 St. Francis Indians returned in 1924.

Connection in which they have become noted. The town of Penacook and Lake Penacook, Merrimack County, are named after the Pennacook, as well as a branch station of the Concord Post Office, and their name also appears in Whittier’s poem “The Bridal of Pennacook.”