ALGONQUIAN, or ALGONKIAN, STOCK, a North American-group once com prising 40 or more separate languages, and embracing a larger area than any other on the continent, stretching in a solid block from Lab rador to the Rockies and from Hudson Bay to Pamlico Sound and the Cumberland River at least, except the enclaves of Iroquois in and around New York State, and of Beothukan in Newfoundland. Outlying tribes were the Shaw nee or Shawano to the south; and to the west the Cheyenne and Arapahoe, which clove their way through the heart of the Sioux across the Missouri and into the Black Hills region, and later to Colorado and Wyoming, their advance westward being checked by the Shoshone group. They numbered several hundred tribes, or (villages,') entirely independent ; many, in which several such villages were grouped together; and several confederacies of tribes united in a loose bond for mutual aggression or defense, though never with any real central government. The chief confederacies were the Abnaki or Abenaki of Maine and New Brunswick; the Pennacook of New Hampshire and the ad jacent parts of Maine and Massachusetts; the Powhatan of Virginia and Maryland; the Illinois or Illini of that region and adjacent Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri; the Siksika (Blackfeet, etc.) of northern Montana and adjacent Canada; the Cheyenne and Arapahoe, already mentioned; and the Sac and Fox, first at the mouth of the Ottawa, then in northern Wisconsin. (See each title). Of the individual tribes, the most important remaining were the Micmac, Amalecite, Massachusetts, Wampa noag, Narraganset, Nipmuc, Pequot, Mohegan, Mohican, Metoac and Wappinger on the North Atlantic coast; Munsi, Leni-Lenape or Dela ware, Shawano, Nanticoke, Conoy, Mattamus keet, on the South Atlantic coast; Nascapi, Montagnais, Algonquin, Ottawa, Muskegon, Cree, Ojibwa, Misisaga, Miami, Piankishaw, Kickapoo, Pottawotomi, Menomini, in the in terior; and Atsina in the West.. Tradition
places the original home of all these tribes on the North Atlantic coast.
From their being the first to come in contact with the English settlers in Canada, New Eng land, New Yorlc, New Jersey and Virginia, and the history of English settlement for two cen turies being a steady record of fierce conflict with and bloody reprisals from and on them, more is known of their minor names and those of their great chiefs — Powhatan, Opechancan ough, Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh, Black Hawk, etc.— than of any others except the Iroquois, and their languages are better studied.
Constant wars with the English, French and Dutch colonists depleted their numbers. Filled at first with the idea of freeing the soil from the whites, they afterward degenerated into mere mercenaries, fighting on either side for revenge or gain. After the War of 1812, in which they took the side of the British, the United States government resolved to send them as far west as possible. After 1840 few of them remained east of the Mississippi. In Canada they were not removed from their homes, but were limited as to territory. War and disease have thinned their number until only about 43,000 remain in the United States, and 38,000 in Canada; there are a few hundred refugees in Mexico. (See IisiniAxs). Consult Michelson, Truman "Classification of Algon quian Tribes)) in (Twenty-eighth Annual Re port) of the Bureau of American Ethnology.