Roanoke Colony 1585-1590
Integration with local tribes
From the early 17th century to the middle 18th century, European colonists reported encounters with gray-eyed American Indians who claimed descent from the colonists
the likelihood that the origin of those fair-skinned natives was the Lost Colony is high
due to lack of supplies and horrible conditions, the surviving Roanoke colonists sought help from several Native American tribes
From 1937 to 1941, a series of stones were discovered that were claimed to have been written by Eleanor Dare, mother of Virginia Dare (first English child to be born in the Americas). They told of the travelings of the colonists and their ultimate deaths.
Most historians believe that they are a fraud, but there are some who still believe at least one of the stones to be genuine.
It stated on one side that Eleanor's husband and daughter were dead, and asked the finder to communicate this to her father:
Ananias Dare &
Virginia Went Hence
Unto Heaven 1591
Anye Englishman Shew
John White Govr Via
On the other side it explained that all but seven of the colonists had been killed by savages, and was signed 'EWD'
the content was not incompatible with the known historical facts, that the spelling conformed to expectations of Elizabethan orthography, and that the necessary tools were likely to have been in the possession of the colonists
Spanish interfered with the colony
Spanish attack is unlikely; the Spanish were still looking for the location of the colony in 1600, ten years after White discovered that the colony was missing
Virginia Pars map
made by John White during his 1585 visit to Roanoke Island
noticed two patches where the map had been corrected
discovered "a large, square-shaped symbol with oddly shaped corners." This symbol, presumed to represent a fort, is visible when the map is viewed on a light box.
the reason for the extreme deficiency in archaeological evidence is due to shoreline erosion. The northern shore, between 1851 and 1970, lost 928 feet because of erosion
Researchers used tree ring cores from 800-year-old bald cypresses taken from the Roanoke Island area of North Carolina and the Jamestown area of Virginia to reconstruct precipitation and temperature chronologies.
concluded that the settlers of the Lost Colony landed at Roanoke Island in the summer of the worst growing-season drought in 800 years. "This drought persisted for 3 years, from 1587 to 1589, and is the driest 3-year episode in the entire 800-year reconstruction."
founded by English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh in August 1585
the first English settlement in the New World; located in North Carolina
was an attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement in North America
The queen's charter said that Raleigh was supposed to “discover, search, find out, and view such remote heathen and barbarous Lands, Countries, and territories … to have, hold, occupy, and enjoy.”
The first Roanoke suffered from dwindling food supplies and Indian attacks; in 1586 they returned to England
In 1587, Raleigh sent out another group of 100 colonists under John White.
White returned to England to get more supplies. By the time he finally returned in August 1590, everyone had vanished.
Because of the continuing war with Spain, White was unable to try to get supplies again for an additional three years (this is why he left the colony in the first place)
White and his men found no trace of the colonists he left behind, and there was no sign of violence.
All the houses and fortifications had been dismantled, which meant that their departure had not been hurried.
The only clue was the word “CROATOAN” carved into the palisade that had been built around the settlement
White thought this meant that the colonists had moved to Croatoan Island, but a later search of the island found nothing
Before he had left the colony, White instructed the colonists that, if anything happened to them, they should carve a cross on a tree nearby.
Twelve years went by before Raleigh decided to find out what happened to his colony.
All attempts to discover what happened to the colony were thwarted by weather, lack of funds, murder, or the Anglo-Spanish War.
After the Jamestown settlement was established in 1607, efforts were undertaken by the English to acquire information from the Powhatan tribe about Roanoke
Smith learned from Chief Powhatan that he had personally conducted the slaughter of the Roanoke colonists because they were living with the Chesepians, a tribe that was related to the Pamlico tribe in Carolina and who refused to merge with the Powhatans.
there is NO archaeological evidence or bodies to support this claim, event though this conclusion was widely accepted for over 400 years