A group of Native North Americans of the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock.
Although of the Eastern Woodlands culture area, they depended to a large extent on seafood.
In the early 17th cent. they occupied N.E. Massachusetts, S.E. New Hampshire, and S.W. Maine.
They then numbered some 2,000, but by 1674 smallpox and wars had reduced them to some 1,250.
Most of the Pennacook remained neutral in King Philip's war (1675), but when 200 of them were treacherously seized (1676), the remainder fled to Canada and to the West; the survivors of the western group settled with the Mahican.
The Pennacook in Canada first settled near Quebec, but in 1700 this group moved to St. Francis, where they joined the exiled Abnaki. The two tribes became bitter enemies of the British.