The Lost Colony
In 1584, explorers Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe were the first Englishment to visit the island of Roanoke. They had been sent to the area by Sir Walter Raleigh with the mission of finding good potential locations for settlement. The English were interested in creating bases that were conveniently-placed for attacks upon spanish possessions. Amadas and Barlowe wrote positive reports about Roanoke Island. A year later, the explorers returned to England with two Natives - Manteo and Wanchese - causing most of the country to talk excitedly of the wonders and adventures offered by the New World.
Queen Elizabeth granted Raleigh a patent to all the lands he could occupy. The new land was named "Virginia" - in honor of the Virgin Queen. During the following year, Raleigh sent a party of 100 soldiers, craftsmen and scholars to Roanoke Island.
Under the direction of Ralph Lane, the garrison was doomed from the beginning. They arrived too late in the season for planting, and supplies were dwindling rapidly. Modern investigations have shown that the period when they attempted to erect a settlement and grow crops was in the middle of the worst drought in the past 800 years. To make matters worse, Lane, a military captain, alienated the neighbouring Roanoke Indians and ultimately sealed his own fate by murdering their chief, Wingina after accusing him of stealing a silver cup. The English raided the Indian leader's village, captured him and burned him alive in front of his people - no doubt believing this to be a demonstration of strength which would intimidate the native tribes into submission.
By 1586, when Sir Francis Drake stopped at Roanoke after a plundering expedition, Lane and his men had come to understand that they could not keep the colony in existence without outside help. They abandoned the settlement and left behind a fort, the remains of which can still be seen at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site today. Ironically, a supply ship from England arrived at Roanoke less than a week later . Finding the island deserted, the leader left behind 15 of his men to hold the fort and returned to England for reinforcements.
Raleigh was angry with Lane but not deterred from his mission. He recruited 117 men, women and children for a more permanent settlement, and appointed John White governor of the new "Cittie of Raleigh". Among the colonists were White's pregnant daughter, Eleanor Dare, his son-in-law Annanias Dare, plus the Indian chief Manteo - who had become an ally during his stay in England.
Raleigh had since decided that the Chesapeake Bay area was a better site for settlement, so he hired Simon Fernandes, a Portuguese pilot familiar with the area, to transport the colonists there. However, Fernandes was supplementing his income by privateering (a Privateer was virtually a licensed pirate - issued with 'Letters Of Marque' authorising him to attack vessels owned by nations at war with his own country - the plunder being divided between Master/Crew and the land-based authorities). The war between Spain and England was escalating; Fernandes was evidently more interested in pillaging than in carrying passengers. By the time the caravan arrived at Roanoke Island in July, 1587, to check on the 15 men left behind a year earlier, he had grown impatient with White and anxious to resume the hunt for Spanish shipping. He ordered the colonists ashore on Roanoke Island.
The colonists soon learned that Indians had murdered the 15 men and were uneasy at the prospect of remaining on Roanoke Island. But Fernandes left them no choice. They unloaded their belonging and supplies and repaired Lane's fort. On August 18th, 1587, Eleanor Dare gave birth to a daughter she named Virginia - the first English child born on American soil. Ten days later, Ferndades departed for England, taking along an anxious John White, who, having seen the conditions on Roanake, decided to return to England for supplies. It was the last time he would ever see his family.
Upon his arrival in England, White found himself trapped by the immediate prospect of Spanish forces invading England. A huge enemy fleet was approaching - it was under orders to pick up a Spanish army waiting in the Netherlands and transport it to England. Every English seaworthy ship was commandeered for the fight. Finally, two years after the stunning defeat of the Armada, White again departed for Roanoke Island. He arrived on August 18th, 1590 - his grand-daughter's third birthday - and found the Cittie of Raleigh deserted, plundered. It was surrounded "with a high pallisado of great trees, with cortynes and flankers, very fort-like". On one of the palisades, he found the single word "CROATOAN" carved into the surface and the letters "CRO" cut into a nearby tree.
White knew the carvings were "to signifie the place, where I should find the planters seated, according to a secret token agreed upon betweene them and me at my last departure from them...for at my coming away, they were prepared to remove 50 miles into the maine". He had also instructed the colonists that, should they be forced to leave the island under duress, they should carve a Maltese cross above their destination. White found no such sign, thus he had every hope that he would locate the colony and his family at Croatoan, the home of Chief Manteo's people south of Roanoke on present-day Hatteras Island.
Before he could make further exploration, however, a great hurricane arose, damaging his ships and forcing him back to England. Despite repeated attempts, he was never again able to raise the funding and resources to make the trip to America again. Raleigh had given up hope of settlement, and White died many years later on one of Raleigh's estates, ignorant to the fate of his family and the colony.
The 117 pioneers of Roanoke Island had simply vanished into the great wilderness. The questions asked about their fate have remained unanswered down the centuries. Here is John White's report of what the rescue party found.
The Rescue Party ...... One mans account
Return To Ronoake
John White (1590)
The 15 of August towards Euening we came to an anker at Hatorask, in 36 degr. and one third, in fiue fadom water, three leagues from the shore. At our first comming to anker on this shore we saw a great smoke rise in the Ile Roanoak neere the place where I left our Colony in the yeere 1587, which smoake put vs in good hope that some of the Colony were there expecting my returne out of England.
The 16 and next morning our 2 boates went a shore, & Captaine Cooke, & Captain Spicer, & their company with me, with intent to passe to the place at Roanoak where our countreymen were left. At our putting from the ship we commanded our Master gunner to make readie 2 Minions and a Falkon well loden, and to shoot them off with reasonable space betweene euery shot, to the ende that their reportes might bee heard to the place where wee hoped to finde some of our people. This was accordingly performed, & our twoe boats put off vnto the shore, in the Admirals boat we sounded all the way and found from our shippe vntill we came within a mile of the shore nine, eight, and seuen fadome: but before we were halfe way betweene our ships and the shore we saw another great smoke to the Southwest of Kindrikers mountes: we therefore thought good to goe to that second smoke first: but it was much further from the harbour where we landed, then we supposed it to be, so that we were very sore tired before wee came to the smoke. But that which grieued vs more was that when we came to the smoke, we found no man nor signe that any had bene there lately, nor yet any fresh water in all this way to drinke. Being thus wearied with this iourney we returned to the harbour where we left our boates, who in our absence had brought their caske a shore for fresh water, so we deferred our going to Roanoak vntill the next morning, and caused some of those saylers to digge in those sandie hilles for fresh water whereof we found very sufficient. That night wee returned aboord with our boates and our whole company in safety.
The next morning being the 17 of August, our boates and company were prepared againe to goe vp to Roanoak, but Captaine Spicer had then sent his boat ashore for fresh water, by meanes whereof it was ten of the clocke aforenoone before we put from our ships which were then come to an anker within two miles of the shore. The Admirals boat was halfe way toward the shore, when Captaine Spicer put off from his ship. The Admirals boat first passed the breach, but not without some danger of sinking, for we had a sea brake into our boat which filled vs halfe full of water, but by the will of God and carefull styrage of Captaine Cooke we came safe ashore, sauing onely that our furniture, victuals match and powder were much wet and spoyled. For at this time the winde blue at Northeast and direct into the harbour so great a gale, that the Sea brake extremely on the barre, and the tide went very forcibly at the entrance. By that time our Admirals boate was halled ashore, and most of our things taken out to dry, Captaine Spicer came to the entrance of the breach with his mast standing vp, and was halfe passed ouer, but by the rash and vndiscreet styrage of Ralph Skinner his Masters mate, a very dangerous Sea brake into their boate and ouerset them quite, the men kept the boat some in it, and some hanging on it, but the next sea set the boat on ground, where it beat so, that some of them were forced to let goe their hold, hoping to wade ashore, but the Sea still beat them downe, so that they could neither stand nor swimme, and the boat twise or thrise was turned the keele vpward; whereon Captaine Spicer and Skinner hung vntill they sunke, & seene no more. But foure that could swimme a litle kept themselues in deeper water and were saued by Captain Cookes meanes, who so soone as he saw their ouersetting, stripped himselfe, and foure other that could swimme very well, & with all haste possible rowed vnto them, & saued foure. They were a 11 in all, & 7 of the chiefest were drowned, whose names were Edward Spicer, Ralph Skinner, Edward Kelley, Thomas Beuis, Hance the Surgion, Edward Kelborne, Robert Coleman. This mischance did so much discomfort the saylers, that they were all of one mind not to goe any further to seeke the planters. But in the end by the commandement & perswasion of me and Captaine Cooke, they prepared the boates: and seeing the Captaine and me so resolute, they seemed much more willing. Our boates and all things fitted againe, we put off from Hatorask, being the number of 19 persons in both boates: but before we could get to the place, where our planters were left, it was so exceeding darke, that we ouershot the place a quarter of a mile: there we espied towards the North end of the Iland ye light of a great fire thorow the woods, to the which we presently rowed: when wee came right ouer against it, we let fall our Grapnel neere the shore, & sounded with a trumpet a Call, & afterwardes many familiar English tunes of Songs, and called to them friendly; but we had no answere, we therefore landed at day-breake, and comming to the fire, we found the grasse & sundry rotten trees burning about the place. From hence we went thorow the woods to that part of the Iland directly ouer against Dasamongwepeuk, & from thence we returned by the water side, round about the Northpoint of the Iland, vntill we came to the place where I left our Colony in the yeere 1586. In all this way we saw in the sand the print of the Saluages feet of 2 or 3 sorts troaden yt night, and as we entred vp the sandy banke vpon a tree, in the very browe thereof were curiously carued these faire Romane letters C R O: which letters presently we knew to signifie the place, where I should find the planters seated, according to a secret token agreed vpon betweene them & me at my last departure from them, which was, that in any wayes they should not faile to write or carue on the trees or posts of the dores the name of the place where they should be seated; for at my comming away they were prepared to remoue from Roanoak 50 miles into the maine. Therefore at my departure from them in Anno 1587 I willed them, that if they should happen to be distressed in any of those places, that then they should carue ouer the letters or name, a Crosse in this forme, but we found no such signe of distresse. And hauing well considered of this, we passed toward the place where they were left in sundry houses, but we found the houses taken downe, and the place very strongly enclosed with a high palisado of great trees, with cortynes and flankers very Fort-like, and one of the chiefe trees or postes at the right side of the entrance had the barke taken off, and 5. foote from the ground in fayre Capitall letters was grauen CROATOAN without any crosse or signe of distresse; this done, we entred into the palisado, where we found many barres of Iron, two pigges of Lead, foure yron fowlers, Iron sacker-shotte, and such like heauie things, throwen here and there, almost ouergrowen with grasse and weedes. From thence wee went along by the water side, towards the poynt of the Creeke to see if we could find any of their botes or Pinnisse, but we could perceiue no signe of them, nor any of the last Falkons and small Ordinance which were left with them, at my departure from them. At our returne from the Creeke, some of our Saylers meeting vs, tolde vs that they had found where diuers chests had bene hidden, and long sithence digged vp againe and broken vp, and much of the goods in them spoyled and scattered about, but nothing left, of such things as the Sauages knew any vse of, vndefaced. Presently Captaine Cooke and I went to the place, which was in the ende of an olde trench, made two yeeres past by Captaine Amadas: wheere wee found fiue Chests, that had been carefully hidden of the Planters, and of the same chests three were my owne, and about the place many of my things spoyled and broken, and my bookes torne from the couers, the frames of some of my pictures and Mappes rotten and spoyled with rayne, and my armour almost eaten through with rust; this could bee no other but the deede of the Sauages our enemies at Dasamongwepeuk, who had watched the departure of our men to Croatoan; and assoone as they were departed, digged vp euery place where they suspected any thing to be buried: but although it much grieued me to see such spoyle of my goods, yet on the other side I greatly ioyed that I had safely found a certaine token of their safe being at Croatoan, which is the place where Manteo was borne, and the Sauages of the Iland our friends.
When we had seene in this place so much as we could, we returned to our Boates, and departed from the shoare towards our Shippes, with as much speede as we could: For the weather beganne to ouercast, and very likely that a foule and stormie night would ensue. Therefore the same Euening with much danger and labour, we got our selues aboard, by which time the winde and seas were so greatly risen, that wee doubted our Cables and Anchors would scarcely holde vntill Morning; wherefore the Captaine caused the Boate to be manned with fiue lusty men, who could swimme all well, and sent them to the little Iland on the right hand of the Harbour, to bring aboard sixe of our men, who had filled our caske with fresh water: the Boate the same night returned aboard with our men, but all our Caske ready filled they left behinde, vnpossible to bee had aboard without danger of casting away both men and Boates; for this night prooued very stormie and foule.
The next Morning it was agreed by the Captaine and my selfe, with the Master and others, to wey anchor, and goe for the place at Croatoan, where our planters were: for that then the winde was good for that place, and also to leaue that Caske with fresh water on shoare in the Iland vntill our returne. So then they brought the cable to the Capston, but when the anchor was almost apecke, the Cable broke, by meanes whereof we lost another Anchor, wherewith we droue so fast into the shoare, that wee were forced to let fall a third Anchor; which came so fast home that the Shippe was almost aground by Kenricks mounts: so that wee were forced to let slippe the Cable ende for ende. And if it had not chanced that wee had fallen into a chanell of deeper water, closer by the shoare then wee accompted of, wee could neuer have gone cleare of the poynt that lyeth to the Southwardes of Kenricks mounts. Being thus cleare of some dangers, and gotten into deeper waters, but not without some losse; for wee had but one Cable and Anchor left vs of foure, and the weather grew to be fouler and fouler; our victuals scarse, and our caske and fresh water lost: it was therefore determined that we should goe for Saint Iohn or some other Iland to the Southward for fresh water. And it was further purposed, that if wee could any wayes supply our wants of victuals and other necessaries, either at Hispaniola, Sant Iohn, or Trynidad, that then wee should continue in the Indies all the Winter following, with hope to make 2. rich voyages of one, and at our returne to visit our countrymen at Virginia. The captaine and the whole company in the Admirall (with my earnest petitions) thereunto agreed, so that it rested onely to knowe what the Master of the Moonelight our consort would doe herein. But when we demanded them if they would accompany vs in that new determination, they alleged that their weake and leake Shippe was not able to continue it; wherefore the same night we parted, leauing the Moone-light to goe directly for England, and the Admirall set his course for Trynidad, which course we kept two dayes.
On the 28. the winde changed, and it was sette on foule weather euery way: but this storme brought the winde West and Northwest, and blewe so forcibly, that wee were able to beare no sayle, but our forecourse halfe mast high, wherewith wee ranne vpon the winde perforce, the due course for England, for that wee were dryuen to change our first determination for Trynidad, and stoode for the Ilands of Acores, where wee purposed to take in fresh water, and also there hoped to meete with some English men of warre about those Ilands, at whose hands wee might obtaine some supply of our wants. . . .
The 2. of October in the Morning we saw S. Michaels Iland on our Starre board quarter.
The 23. at 10. of the clocke afore noone, we saw Vshant in Britaigne.
On Saturday the 24. we came in safetie, God be thanked, to an anker at Plymmouth.
just last year... after more than 400 years......
Has the Lost Colony of settlers been found?
In 1585, explorer John White traveled to Roanoke Island, and made a map and other drawings of the island. In 1587, a colony of 116 English settlers landed on Roanoke Island, led by White.
He left the island for England for more supplies but couldn't return again until 1590 because of the war between England and Spain.
When he came back, the colony was gone -- lost in the wilds of a young America.
Now experts from the First Colony Foundation and the British Museum in London have taken a fresh look at White's 425-year-old map (the "Virginea Pars" map of Virginia and North Carolina has been owned by the British Museum since 1866) and uncovered a tantalizing clue about the fate of "the Lost Colony," the settlers who disappeared from North Carolina's Roanoke Island in the late 16th century.
"We believe that this evidence provides conclusive proof that they moved westward up the Albemarle Sound to the confluence of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers," said James Horn, vice president of research and historical interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and author of a 2010 book about the Lost Colony.
Attached to the map are two patches: One patch appears to merely correct a mistake on the map, but the other — in what is modern-day Bertie County in northeastern North Carolina — hides what appears to be a fort. Another symbol, appearing to be the very faint image of a different kind of fort, is drawn on top of the patch.
The American and British scholars believe the fort symbol could indicate where the settlers went. They discussed their findings Thursday, May 3, at a scholarly meeting on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In a joint announcement, the museums said, "First Colony Foundation researchers believe that it could mark, literally and symbolically, 'the way to Jamestown.' As such, it is a unique discovery of the first importance."
"Their intention was to create a settlement. And this is what we believe we are looking at with this symbol — their clear intention, marked on the map ..."
White made the map and other drawings when he traveled to Roanoke Island in 1585 on an expedition commanded by Sir Ralph Lane. In 1587, he led a colony of 116 English settlers there, before leaving the island for England for more supplies.
He but couldn't return again until 1590 because of the war between England and Spain.When he came back, the colony was gone.
White knew the majority had planned to move "50 miles into the maine," as he wrote, referring to the mainland. The only clue he found about the fate of the other two dozen was the word "CROATOAN" carved into a post, leading historians to believe they moved south to live with American Indians on what's now Hatteras Island.
But the discovery of the fort symbol offers the first new clue in centuries about what happened to the 95 or so settlers, experts said Thursday. And researchers at the British Museum discovered it because Brent Lane, a member of the board of the First Colony Foundation, asked a seemingly obvious question: What's under those two patches?
Researchers say the patches attached to White's excruciatingly accurate map were made with ink and paper contemporaneous with the rest of the map. One corrected mistakes on the shoreline of the Pamlico River and the placing of some villages. But the other covered the possible fort symbol, which is visible only when the map is viewed in a light box.
The map was critical to Sir Walter Raleigh's quest to attract investors in his second colony, Lane said. It was critical to his convincing Queen Elizabeth I to let him keep his charter to establish a colony in the New World. It was critical to the colonists who navigated small boats in rough waters.
So that made Lane wonder: "If this was such an accurate map and it was so critical to their mission, why in the world did it have patches on it? This important document was being shown to investors and royalty to document the success of this mission. And it had patches on it like a hand-me-down."
Researchers don't know why someone covered the symbol with a patch, although Horn said the two drawings could indicate the settlers planned to build more of a settlement than just a fort.
The land where archaeologists would need to dig eventually is privately owned, and some of it could be under a golf course and residential community. So excavating won't begin anytime soon. But it doesn't have to, said Nicholas Luccketti, a professional archaeologist in Virginia and North Carolina for more than 35 years.
Archaeologists must first re-examine ceramics, including some recovered from an area in Bertie County called Salmon Creek, he said.
"This clue is certainly the most significant in pointing where a search should continue," Lane said. "The search for the colonists didn't start this decade; it didn't start this century. It started as soon as they were found to be absent from Roanoke Island ... I would say every generation in the last 400 years has taken this search on."
But none have had today's sophisticated technology to help, he said.
"None of them had this clue on this map."
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Re: The Lost Colony
MABE I SHOULD HAVE PUT THE VIDEO FIRST...
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Re: The Lost Colony
I'll kill you for a dollar if it's in the cards today
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Re: The Lost Colony
I've always been fascinated by this topic
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Re: The Lost Colony
I just watched it last week... it goes well with alcohol!!
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Re: The Lost Colony
Sir Walter Raleigh the man who bought potatoes and tobacco to the world...
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