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Algonquian Family

 Native American Nations | Linguistic Families                  

  • Algonkin-Lenape, Gallatin in Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 23, 305, 1836. Berghaus (1845), Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1848. Ibid, 1852.
  • Algonquin, Bancroft, Hist. U. S., III, 337, 1840. Prichard Phys. Hist. Mankind, V, 381, 1847 (follows Gallatin).
  • Algonkins, Gallatin in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc., II, pt. 1, xcix, 77, 1848. Gallatin in Schoolcraft Ind. Tribes, III, 401, 1853.
  • Algonkin, Turner in Pac. R. R. Rept., III, pt. 3, 55, 1856 (gives Delaware and Shawnee vocabs.). Hayden, Cont. Eth. and Phil. Missouri Inds., 232, 1862 (treats only of Crees, Blackfeet, Shyennes). Hale in Am. Antiq., 112, April, 1883 (treated with reference to migration).
  • Algonkin, Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc., Lond., 1856 (adds to Gallatin’s list of 1836 the Bethuck, Shyenne, Blackfoot, and Arrapaho). Latham, Opuscula, 327, 1860 (as in preceding). Latham, Elements Comp. Phil, 447, 1862.
  • Algonquin, Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp., (Cent. and S. Am.), 460, 465, 1878 (list includes the Maquas, an Iroquois tribe).
  • Saskatschawiner, Berghaus, Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1848 (probably designates the Arapaho).
  • Arapahoes, Berghaus, Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1852.
  • X Algonkin und Beothuk, Berghaus, Physik. Atlas, map 72, 1887.
    Derivation: Contracted from Algomequin, an Algonkin word, signifying “those on the other side of the river,” i.e., the St. Lawrence River.

Algonquian Area
The area formerly occupied by the Algonquian family was more extensive than that of any other linguistic stock in North America, their territory reaching from Labrador to the Rocky Mountains, and from Churchill River of Hudson Bay as far south at least as Pamlico Sound of North Carolina. In the eastern part of this territory was an area occupied by Iroquoian tribes, surrounded on almost all sides by their Algonquian neighbors. On the south the Algonquian tribes were bordered by those of Iroquoian and Siouan (Catawba) stock, on the southwest and west by the Muskhogean and Siouan tribes, and on the northwest by the Kitunahan and the great Athapascan families, while along the coast of Labrador and the eastern shore of Hudson Bay they came in contact with the Eskimo, who were gradually retreating before them to the north. In Newfoundland they encountered the Beothukan family, consisting of but a single tribe. A portion of the Shawnee at some early period had separated from the main body of the tribe in central Tennessee and pushed their way down to the Savannah River in South Carolina, where, known as Savannahs, they carried on destructive wars with the surrounding tribes until about the beginning of the eighteenth century they were finally driven out and joined the Delaware in the north. Soon afterwards the rest of the tribe was expelled by the Cherokee and Chicasa, who thenceforward claimed all the country stretching north to the Ohio River.

The Cheyenne and Arapaho, two allied tribes of this stock, had become separated from their kindred on the north and had forced their way through hostile tribes across the Missouri to the Black Hills country of South Dakota, and more recently into Wyoming and Colorado, thus forming the advance guard of the Algonquian stock in that direction, having the Siouan tribes behind them and those of the Shoshonean family in front.

Principal Algonquinian Tribes

Ojibwa. Ottawa.

Population.—The present number of the Algonquian stock is about 95,600, of whom about 60,000 are in Canada and the remainder in the United States. Below is given the population of the tribes officially recognized, compiled chiefly from the United States Indian Commissioner’s report for 1889 and the Canadian Indian report for 1888. It is impossible to give exact figures, owing to the fact that in many instances two or more tribes are enumerated together, while many individuals are living with other tribes or amongst the whites:

By clicking on the Tribes name you will be able to view Tribal History

  “Oldtown Indians,” Maine 410  
  Passamaquoddy Indians, Maine 215?  
  Abenakis of St. Francis and Bécancour, Quebec 369  
  “Amalecites” of Témiscouata and Viger, Quebec 198  
  “Amalecites” of Madawaska, etc., New Brunswick 683 1,874?
  Of Renfrew, Golden Lake and Carleton, Ontario   797  
  With Iroquois (total 131) at Gibson, Ontario   31?  
  With Iroquois at Lake of Two Mountains, Quebec     30  
  Quebec Province 3,909 4,767?
  Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, Indian Territory 1,272  
  Shoshone Agency, Wyoming (Northern Arapaho)    885  
  Carlisle school, Pennsylvania, and Lawrence school, Kansas       55 2,212
  Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota (Northern Cheyenne)     517  
  Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, Indian Territory 2,091  
  Carlisle school, Pennsylvania, and Lawrence school, Kansas    153  
  Tongue River Agency, Montana (Northern Cheyenne)    865 3,626
  With Salteau in Manitoba, etc., British America (treaties Nos. 1, 2, and 5: total, 6,066)  3,066?  
  Plain and Wood Cree, treaty No. 6, Manitoba, etc.  5,790  
  Cree (with Salteau, etc.), treaty No. 4, Manitoba, etc.  8,530 17,386?
Delaware, etc.:    
  Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita Agency, Indian Territory       95  
  Incorporated with Cherokee, Indian Territory  1,000?  
  Delaware with the Seneca in New York         3  
  Hampton and Lawrence schools         3  
  Muncie in New York, principally with Onondaga and Seneca      36  
  Munsee with Stockbridge (total 133), Green Bay Agency, Wis.     23?  
  Munsee with Chippewa at Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha Agency, Kansas (total 75)  37?  
  Munsee with Chippewa on the Thames, Ontario 131  
  “Moravians” of the Thames, Ontario 288  
  Delaware with Six Nations on Grand River, Ontario  134 1,750?
  Sac and Fox Agency, Indian Territory     325  
  Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha Agency, Kansas      237  
  In Mexico    200? 762?
  Green Bay Agency, Wisconsin 1,311  
  Carlisle school        1 1,312
  Quapaw Agency, Indian Territory       67  
  Indiana, no agency    300?  
  Lawrence and Carlisle schools         7 374?
  Restigouche, Maria, and Gaspé, Quebec 732  
  In Nova Scotia  2,145  
  New Brunswick 912  
  Prince Edward Island 319 4,108
  Alnwick, New Credit, etc., Ontario    774
Monsoni, Maskegon, etc.:    
  Eastern Rupert’s Land, British America   4,016
  Betsiamits, Lake St. John, Grand Romaine, etc., Quebec 1,607  
  Seven Islands, Quebec  312 1,919
  Lower St. Lawrence, Quebec   2,860
  White Earth Agency, Minnesota 6,263  
  La Pointe Agency, Wisconsin 4,778  
  Mackinac Agency, Michigan (about one-third of 5,563 Ottawa and Chippewa) 1,854?  
  Mackinac Agency, Michigan (Chippewa alone) 1,351  
  Devil’s Lake Agency, North Dakota (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) 1,340  
  Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha Agency, Kansas (one-half of 75 Chippewa and Muncie) 38?  
  Lawrence and Carlisle schools  15  
  “Ojibbewas” of Lake Superior and Lake Huron, Ontario 5,201  
  “Chippewas” of Sarnia, etc., Ontario  1,956  
  “Chippewas” with Munsees on Thames, Ontario  454  
  “Chippewas” with Pottawatomies on Walpole Island, Ontario 658  
  “Ojibbewas” with Ottawas (total 1,856) on Manitoulin and Cockburn Islands, Ontario 928?  
  “Salteaux” of treaty Nos. 3 and 4, etc., Manitoba, etc. 4,092  
  “Chippewas” with Crees in Manitoba, etc., treaties Nos. 1, 2, and 5 (total Chippewa and Cree, 6,066)  3,000? 31,928?
  Quapaw Agency, Indian Territory 137  
  Mackinac Agency, Michigan (5,563 Ottawa and Chippewa) 3,709?  
  Lawrence and Carlisle schools 20  
  With “Ojibbewas” on Manitoulin and Cockburn Islands, Ontario 928 4,794?
Peoria, etc.:    
  Quapaw Agency, Indian Territory 160  
  Lawrence and Carlisle schools 5 165
  Sac and Fox Agency, Indian Territory  480  
  Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha Agency, Kansas  462  
  Mackinac Agency, Michigan  77  
  Prairie band, Wisconsin 280  
  Carlisle, Lawrence and Hampton schools 117  
  With Chippewa on Walpole Island, Ontario  166 1,582
Sac and Fox:    
  Sac and Fox Agency, Indian Territory 515  
  Sac and Fox Agency, Iowa  381  
  Pottawatomie and Great Nemaha Agency, Kansas  77  
  Lawrence, Hampton, and Carlisle schools  8 981
  Quapaw Agency, Indian Territory  79  
  Sac and Fox Agency, Indian Territory  640  
  Incorporated with Cherokee, Indian Territory  800?  
  Lawrence, Carlisle, and Hampton schools 40 1,559?
  Blackfoot Agency, Montana. (Blackfoot, Blood, Piegan) 1,811  
  Blackfoot reserves in Alberta, British America (with Sarcee and Assiniboine)  4,932 6,743
Stockbridge (Mahican):    
  Green Bay Agency, Wisconsin 110  
  In New York (with Tuscarora and Seneca) 7  
  Carlisle school  4  

Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891

Linguistic Families


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