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The Pennacook Indians and the New England frontier, circa 1604-1733.

Author: David Stewart-Smith; Union Institute.
Dissertation: Ph. D. Union Institute 1998
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This dissertation focuses on the center of Indian New England; on the history of the Pennacook Indians between the years 1604 and 1733. It is a study of the dynamics of Indian and frontier communities during this period.
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Details

Genre/Form: Academic theses
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: David Stewart-Smith; Union Institute.
ISBN: 9780599066816 0599066814
OCLC Number: 781772566
Notes: Adviser: Benjamin R.H. Davis.
Description: 1 online resource (431 pages)

Abstract:

This dissertation focuses on the center of Indian New England; on the history of the Pennacook Indians between the years 1604 and 1733. It is a study of the dynamics of Indian and frontier communities during this period.

The dissertation supports two major theses. the ethnographic thesis is that a central tribal area may be designated between Casco Bay and the Merrimack River which corresponds to the earliest primary sources. It is argued that recent designations of Eastern and Western Abenaki do not serve the history or ethnology of the region well. A central Abenaki designation for this area is proposed as a distinct cultural area with its own unique history.

The historical thesis proposes that the Indians of north central New England including the Pennacook, Pawtucket, Agawam, Saco, Amerascoggin, and Pigwacket consistently revived their community in the face of historic exigencies--repeated cycles of disease, removal, warfare and emigration. the geographic location of the Pennacook homeland was indeed central to New England. During this period, the area was also the center of Indian activity by way of the events and people that came through the Pennacook homeland, especially after King Philip's War. Eventually most of the Pennacook went east to the Saco and Androscoggin rivers, amalgamating with other groups, finally identified as the Pigwacket Indians. the historical narrative of the dissertation shows that Pennacook families remained together and sought alliance through kinship and traditional cultural relations during 130 years of history which confirmed central Abenakian identity and culture. the dissertation also includes a review of literature and sources which developed the major historiographic themes of the dissertation.

No doubt the delineation of a central Abenaki area will raise argument from several quarters. In context of this dissertation, centrality is primarily geographic and also metaphoric. By recording a general history of the Pennacook Indians, I hope to regain the cultural and historical significance of the Pennacook homeland, presenting a perspective of New England which restores the center to a tribal locale, rather than a colonial one.

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