I found that Marcy was harder than Algonquin, even after climbing Wright. However, they are two completely different climbs. Marcy is LONG, but relatively flat until you reach the summit dome. Algonquin is shorter, but steeper until you climb above treeline where the walking becomes realtively easy compared to above treeline on Marcy.
Geography of native tribes depends who you ask and what time period you're talking about.
In this case there's also a problem of definition, since "algonquin" might refer either to a specific tribe or to a very large linguistic group.
"During a 50-year war beginning sometime around 1570, the eastern Iroquois drove the Algonquin from the Adirondack Mountains and the upper St. Lawrence River"
Actually the fighting was nearly continuous, despite a couple of Dutch-brokered truces in the 1610s. From the 1620s to the 1690s it was called the "Beaver Wars", with the Mohawk Iroquois generally winning against the Mohican, Algonkin, Abenaki, Huron, and many others on many fronts, with French, English, Dutch, and even Swedish forces involved from time to time.
The Algonkin proper formed several alliances against the Iroquois, and several campaigns were waged not too far from here.
So while Algonkin territory may not have extended this far at any given time, the idea that at some point in the 17th century these peaks marked the border of the Algonkin sphere of influence isn't too far-fetched.
The enemies of the Iroquois in this region (notably the Abenaki and Mahicans) spoke languages in the Algonquian family, and the Iroquois didn't always distinguish clearly among them, calling them all "Adirondack" ("tree-eaters"), so the Dutch or English settlers who named the peaks could easily have been confused. [The Algonquians returned the favor: "Iroquois" comes from an Algonquian word meaning "rattlesnake"]
[note: many broken links on that page due to a change in domain name, easy to fix manually if the redirects are too slow]
summary of Mohawk [iroquois] history
detailed iroquois history
Algonquin is the second highest peak in the Adirondacks and the only other 5000 footer. It is the highest peak in the MacIntyre Range and totally dominates its lower siblings. It sits across from Mt. Colden and gives one a great view of the slides on this peak. Marcy is further away. On a clear day one can see Giant some 35km beyond that.
It is a popular weekend hike. It can be very slippery and icy depending on the time of year due to the very direct trail that follows a mountain stream. In such conditions, it can very well be more difficult than Mt. Marcy.
From the west: from the intersection of Routes 86 and 73 in Lake Placid, go east 3.3 miles on Route 73 until Adirondack Loj Road. From the east: from the intersection of Routes 9N and 73 in Keene, go west 10.9 miles on Route 73 until Adirondack Loj Road.
Go south on Adirondack Loj Road for 4.7 miles until the High Peaks Information Center parking lot near Adirondack Loj. Travel time from Montreal, Canada is 2.5-3.0 hours, including the border stop.
The shortest direct route is via the blue-blazed Van Hoevenberg Trail 0.9 miles (1.4 km) to its junction with the yellow-blazed MacIntyre Range Trail. The latter is then followed for the remaining 3.1 miles (5 km) to the summit, during which the route gets progressively steeper and rockier, going over many steep rock chutes called "slides". Round trip is 6-9 hours.