Skip to main content

Passamaquoddy/Penobscot

PASSAMAQUODDY/PENOBSCOT

PASSAMAQUODDY/PENOBSCOT. The Passamaquoddies and Penobscots, residents of eastern and central Maine, respectively, were among the first Native Americans contacted by Europeans. Both groups had fluid social organizations, spoke related Algonquian languages, and lived in small villages or seasonal family band camps while relying on hunting, fishing, and gathering for subsistence. They were never organized as tribes but were perceived as such by English colonials and later state and federal officials. In 2002, most Penobscots resided on Indian Island in the Penobscot River, while the Passamaquoddies were divided between Pleasant Point on Passamaquoddy Bay and Indian Township near the St. Croix River.

The Passamaquoddies and Penobscots avoided European domination throughout most of the colonial period due to their strategic location and their remoteness


from English settlements. Catholic conversion and French intermarriage fostered friendly relations, but French influence has often been exaggerated. The six wars occurring between 1677 and 1760 were each caused locally by a combination of English insistence on sovereignty, disputes concerning subsistence or land, and indiscriminate mutual retaliation. These conflicts resulted in the decline and migration of Native populations and the merging of refugees into Penobscot and Passamaquoddy villages.

After supporting the American Revolution, these Indians were administered by Massachusetts (Maine after 1820), contrary to federal law. State authorities forced them to make large land cessions in 1794, 1796, 1818, and 1833. Significantly, each group has had a nonvoting representative to the state legislature since the early 1800s. Maine was the last state to grant reservation Indians voting rights (1954), but it created the first state Department of Indian Affairs (1965). In the late 1960s, the Passamaquoddies and Penobscots initiated the Maine Indian Land Claims, arguing that state treaties violated the Indian Nonintercourse Act of 1790. Several favorable court rulings prompted a $81.5 million settlement in 1980 and provided the foundation for other suits by eastern tribes.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brodeur, Paul. Restitution: The Land Claims of the Mashpee, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Indians of New England. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1985.

Ghere, David. "Abenaki Factionalism, Emigration, and Social Continuity in Northern New England, 1725–1765." Ph.D. diss., University of Maine, 1988.

Morrison, Kenneth M. The Embattled Northeast: The Elusive Ideal of Alliance in Abenaki-Euramerican Relations. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

DavidGhere

See alsoTribes: Northeastern .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Passamaquoddy/Penobscot." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Passamaquoddy/Penobscot." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/passamaquoddypenobscot

"Passamaquoddy/Penobscot." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/passamaquoddypenobscot

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.