<><><><><> Pennacook History <><><><><>


A Little Bit of Who We Are

      This is a little of what is in my book on my people that I have gotten from tales passed down through the years, and also from the Elders that chose to give me there wisdom. I'm of the Pennacook tribe and will always be Pennacook not Abenaki. The Pennacook back during the times that the White Settlers came here the Pennacook people were the Biggest of the tribes in New Hampshire. It was the Pennacook people that if it wasn't for us the white settlers would have starved to death and not made it through there first winter here in New Hampshire. In the spring these same people wiped out one of our villages, and thats when all the problems began. The Mass. Bay Colonies then sent Rogers Rangers after our people, and chased us into Canada, but we came back accross the border and caught up with the Rogers Rangers at the first falls on the Conn. river and wiped them out. We then returned to Canada and joined up with the Cowasuck band of the Abenaki that live at Odanaka on the St. Francis River.



    Pennacook people are one of the tribes of this nation. Now I believe this to be true to the best of my knowledge through alot of research and stories I've heard which were passed down from generation to generation. "PENNACOOK" means (sand hill or under the hill people) an appropriate name for this Tribe after the colonization of New England. They lived in southern New Hampshire, northeastern Mass., and southern most part of Maine. Their destruction by New Englanders began at an earlier time. Suffering brutal pressure from the settlements on Massachusetts Bay, they to fled to their final haven at Odanaka on the St. Francis in Canada.


PASSACONAWAY {cirrca. 1575 to 1665}

     The famos Sagamore of the Pennacooks for more then 50 years was a great leader known widely throughout New England as Passaconaway. One of the achievements of this powerful Shaman was to organize the loose Pennacook Confederacy, which was more or less successful in keeping the peace between local tribes and the English as well as helping to resist the powerful Mohawks in what is now New York state. The Confederacy sometimes included more than a dozen groups located in New Hampshire and western Maine, but it exerted its greatest influence over the people in the lower Merrimack river valley in New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Passaconaway though at first that the strange new arrivals might be friends with his people, but soon relized that it was not possible and that peaceful co-existence at that time was the best policy. Many tales and legends were told about him, especially concerning his ability to perform magical feats. Historians agree that he was a gifted magician and medicine man with an exceptionally fine physique, and that he was a powerful and persuasive orator with a passionate desire to help his nation maintain the homelands which had been used by his people for thousands of years. He converted to christianty later in life, but retained hisNative way of living and his love for the land. Socially and politically he was an excellent diplomat; several of his speeches were written down by the Rev. John Ellit, a missionary to the indians, and the ideas expressed might have been made by any of a number of outstanding Colonial leaders. One of the pacts he signed was the Wheelwright Deed in 1662, by which he and his Chiefs accepted a grant of land along the Merrimack River to be theirs in perpetuality. Unfortunately for the indians, in 1886 the land was re-granted by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to white petioners. Passaconaway had many descendants, and it is interesting that some of them married into the white race, a grand-daughter, Judith, to Thomas Silver of Bow, and their daughter, Mehitable, to a John Silver of Hopkinton. Recently there has been agitation by several groups of natives for the return to New Hampshire of Passaconaways remains, which were exhumed in 1821 and sent for study at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Now I think its time to bring our Great Sagamore home once and for all. He needs to be put into Scared Ground here in New Hampshire on his Island in the Merrimack River. and a monument be placed there, because he was a big part of New Hampshire History!


Pennacook People

      This is there story: Long long time ago before the white settlers came here to what we call Turtle Island, and stepped foot on this land walked a very proud people called Native Americans. One such group were called the Pennacook the first to meet the white settlers. These people lived in harmony with nature until the settlers came from accross the sea to steal ALL the land! These so called people called themselves Christians that took everything in sight. They called the indians savages, but to be truthful, they were the true savages. The biggest of all was Gov. Wentworth, he cheated, and killed the indians. It was the white settlers that started Scalping to sell as bounty. The confederate tribes who occupied this rich river valley of New Hampshire were the AGAWAM, at the sea then the WAMESIT or PAWTUCKET, the NASHUA, SOUHEGAN, NAMAOSKEAG, PENNACOOK and the WINNIPESAUKEE, and this was just a few that lived around the big lake and surrounding area.


Waabushka Animikika Makwa


Kwe Kwe







Chief Passaconaway

     The Pennacooks were the most powerful, and occupied the region about Concord; and it was their Chief Passaconaway, who held sway over all these related tribes, with the title of Bashaba, meaning the chief Sachem, Sagamore or Sagamon, a sort of emperor on a small scale. It was claimed that he was a Powah, or Magiciam, and it is evident that he was a man of superior mental ability and uncommon nobleness of Soul. It is propable that the Chief called Conway, whom some early explores met on the seashore in the neihborhood of the Piscataqua, near Portsmouth, NH., was the same Chief whose whole name was not caught by the whitmen; for it is known that he often visited his people dwelling on the seashore, having as many great ones since both a seashore and an inland residence; a summer and a winter home. His name as once written by himself, was exactly PAPISSECONEWA (Pa-pis-se-con-e-wa) meaning, "The Child of the Bear" suggestive of what he was among his people. Probally, as in many instances among the indians, the name was given him after his manhood exploits had shown what was in him. The derivation of the name in the Algonquin tongue is Papoesis a child, Kunnaway, a Bear. His tribe was the most powerful, and at a later date, when the others had been reduced in numbers after there wars with the white settlers, they were merged into the Pennacooks, and all afterwards scatted, some among the eastern or Penobscot tribe, and the others inti Canada, a considerable number with the St. Francis, which was largly the cause of subsequent ferocity of the latter toward the New England settlers.



     I would like to dedicate this to all my people and elders that I got most of this information, and pass it on to the next generation who want to learn our culture.

     In this world of things seen and unseen, there are six visible directions; the seventh direction is center unseen, yet it is one of the most powerful. Often referred to as Beauty, Harmony, and Balance, and many other names. It is a place where peaceful positive life exist, it is not a place to be joined to, but rather a place within, to return to. When in balance with ones self, one may help others find the center, and person, and that person can change the World for another. In this way, We may bring about change to our troubled societies. Begin the Healing; Stand at the Center.