Penobscot

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Penobscot

, indigenous people of North America
Penobscot (pənŏbˈskŏt), indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). They were the largest group of the Abnaki 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

, river, United States
Penobscot (pənŏbˈskŏt), 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 Bay; longest river in Maine. The river, navigable to Bangor, 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 Champlain sailed up the course of the river.
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