Penobscot

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Penobscot

(pənŏb`skŏt), indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). They were the largest group of the AbnakiAbnaki
or Abenaki
, Native North Americans of the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). The name Abnaki was given to them by the French; properly it should be Wabanaki,
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 Confederacy and resembled the other members culturally. In the early 17th cent. they inhabited the region around Penobscot Bay and the Penobscot River in Maine. A French mission was established among them in 1688 on the site of the present city of Bangor. The Penobscot were active in all the New England frontier wars, generally supporting the French, until 1749, when a peace treaty with the English put an end to their hostilities. The treaty created ill feeling with other Abnaki peoples, who remained firm supporters of the French. In 1750 the Penobscot numbered some 700. The assistance that the Penobscot gave the colonists in the American Revolution gained for them a reservation at Old Town, Maine. In 1990 there were some 2,400 Penobscot in the United States.

Bibliography

See F. G. Speck, Penobscot Man (1940, repr. 1970) and Penobscot Shamanism (1919, repr. 1974); P. Anastas, Glooskap's Children; Encounters with the Penobscot Indians of Maine (1973).


Penobscot

(pənŏb`skŏt), river, 350 mi (563 km) long, rising in numerous lakes in central Maine and flowing generally east in four branches, uniting, then flowing S into Penobscot BayPenobscot Bay,
inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, 35 mi (56 km) long and 27 mi (43 km) wide, S Maine. The bay was entered by the English explorer Martin Pring in 1603; the French explorer Samuel de Champlain claimed the area for France in 1604.
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; longest river in Maine. The river, navigable to BangorBangor
, city (1990 pop. 33,181), seat of Penobscot co., S Maine, at the confluence of the Penobscot and Kenduskeag rivers; inc. as a town 1791, as a city 1834. It is a port of entry, commercial center, and gateway to an extensive resort and lumber region.
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, is an important source of power; several miles north of its mouth the river is crossed by the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory. The Penobscot's upper course is in a wooded region famous for hunting, fishing, and canoeing, and its lower regions are gradually recovering from heavy lumbering. The Penobscot was first explored by the English voyager Martin Pring in 1603; in 1604 the French explorer Samuel de ChamplainChamplain, Samuel de
, 1567–1635, French explorer, the chief founder of New France.

After serving in France under Henry of Navarre (King Henry IV) in the religious wars, Champlain was given command of a Spanish fleet sailing to the West Indies, Mexico, and the
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 sailed up the course of the river.