Language: Abenaki
Family: Eastern Algonquian
Stock: Algonquian
Phylum: Algic
Macro-Culture: Eastern Woodlands
Speakers 20 (1991 M. Krauss)
      The Penobscot were a sedentary hunter/farmer tribe. They occupied Penobscot Bay and the entire drainage of the Penobscot River. They remained in approximately the same territory since arrival, even though White contact resulted in considerable population losses.
Aboriginal Locations: Subdivisions 
ME    Agguncia, Ashnela, Catawamtek, Kenduskeag, Mattawamkeag, Meecombe, Negas, Olamon, Oldtown, Passadumkeag, Pentagouet, Precaute, Segocket, Wabigganus
Present Locations
ME   Penobscot Reservation, Indian Island, Old Town
Year History
1497 European fishing boats soon began fishing at Grand Bank off of the coast of Maine soon after the visit of Sebastian Cabot
1524 Giovanni da Verrazano also explored the area
1555 French navigators and fishermen from the Great Bank had built a fort or settlement among or near tribe by this year
1605 Penobscot met by Champlain; possibly at war with the Abenaki
1607 War with Micmac ... Tarateen War under Penobscot chief Bashaba
1613 French priests built a trading post for the Penobscot at present Bar Harbor, soon destroyed
1615 Micmac captured and killed Bashaba and began two year of siege of Penobscot territories
1646 Beginning of two years of French Jesuit visits
1660 French trader Baron de Castine settled among the Penobscot and married the daughter of sachem, Madockawando, upon Madockawadeath, Castine assumed the sachemship, until his son Castine the Younger became old enough to be sachem
1662 Penobscot attacked by the Mohawk
1676 Penobscot drawn into King Philip's War
1688 French established a mission among tribe
1691 Penobscot destroyed York, Maine and massacred 77 of its inhabitants
1693 Made peace with the English
1744 Beginning of King George's War between Britain and France. the Mohawk sided with the British
1749 Signed peace treaty with Mohawk and British
1755 French and Indian War (1755-63); Penobscot attacked Maine settlements, prompting the Massachusetts governor to offer bounties of: 50 male Penobscot prisoner, 40 male scalp, 25 woman/child prisoner, and 20 woman/child scalp
1757 Rumored that the Penobscot initiated the massacre that followed the capture of Fort William Henry
1776 Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Micmac sided with the Americans in the Revolutionary War; the Penobscot served as scouts for Washington's army
1779 Participated in an unsuccessful American attack against the British forts on the Penobscot River
1798 Along with Passamaquoddy, received three small reservation on recognition for their services
1812 War of 1812, last conflict participated in by the Abenaki on British side
1823 Passamaquoddy and Penobscot were granted representation in the Maine legislature, but their representatives had no status except in matters concerning Native Americans
1897 Louis Francis Sockalexis became the first Native American major league baseball player joining the Cleveland Spiders ... cause of nickname being changed to "Indians"
1980 Along with Passamaquoddy, won judgement vs. Maine in Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act; received $81million for lands taken unfairly by settlers
Year Total ME Population Source
1700 700 NAHDB calculation
1726 650 Swanton
1736 1,000 Swanton
1759 700 Swanton
1765 700 Swanton
1786 350 Swanton
1800 350 NAHDB calculation
1900 300 NAHDB calculation 
1910 266 Census
1930 301 Census
1981 1,029 BIA
1989 1.073 BIA
2000 2,000 NAHDB calculation 
2000 2,000 Snowowl
Other speakers of the same language:
Abenaki, Pennacook
Penobscot Sites:
Abenaki Language
Abenaki Language
Abenaki Language
Abenaki Language
Abenaki Language Plaque
Abenaki Linguistic Lineage
Abnaki-Penobscot Language
Assisted Living Facility Planned for Tribe
Brief History of Indian Legislative Representatives
Hawthorne's "The Seven Vagabonds"
How Mother Bear Taught the Children About Lead
Indian Island School
Loring, Donna M.:  Maine State Representative
Maine Indian Land Claims Case
Penobscot Alliance Seeks Special Status for River
Penobscot Animated Flag
Penobscot Authors
Penobscot Flag
Penobscot Indian Art
Penobscot Indian Fact Sheet
Penobscot Indian History
Penobscot Indian Island Reservation
Penobscot Indian Museum Post Card
Penobscot Indian Nation
Penobscot Indian Nation
Penobscot Indians
Penobscot Indians in Maine See New Hope for Economic Future
Penobscot Literature
Penobscot Nation Chief Named to National Post
Penobscot Portraits
Penobscot River
Penobscot Traditions Shape Restoration
Restoring the Penobscot
Sign of the Beaver Teacher's Guide
Shrine to Louis Sockalexis
Story of Louis Sockalexis
Thoreau's Maine Woods
Two Maine Dams to be Removed to Restore Salmon Habitat
Visit With Henry Mitchell, Canoe Maker
Wabanaki People:  Penobscot
What's In a Border
Why it is important to elect Maine Indians to the Maine Legislature

Last updated 09/22//05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press