The Lost Colony of Roanoke Essay Example

The well-known mystery of the Roanoke Colony, which allegedly vanished and had no way of ever being solved, and for centuries there had been no big break in the case.All that was believed to be true until around August 10th 2015 when new found artifacts explained otherwise.

Everyone knows how the story goes, in 1587, Governor John White, was in charge of over one hundred men, women and children, and was responsible to set up the first permanent colony in the states on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Governor White had been to the colony two years 

prior in 1585, to map everything out for himself and the settlers sake. After White got the colony established, he sailed off to England to bring back more supplies for the colony, leaving the settlers and his family behind. Unfortunately, his one year round trip spiraled into a three year trip, due to the war between England and Spain, which is better known as the Anglo-Spanish War. Finally, upon his arrival back to Roanoke with the supplies in 1590, he soon discovered that no sign of civilization was left. Not only was everyone gone, but all the buildings had been carefully taken apart, along with all and any of the possible resources. The only clue John White was left with, was a single carving on a tree hauntingly spelling out the word ‘CROATAN’. Ever since, there has been plenty of theories trying to explain what really happened in that three year time span.

A few of the most common and well known assumptions are that the settlers tried to sail home but likely starved to death, or drowned before arrival, and the other assumption being that the colony was attacked by the Spaniards. While both of these guesses could be very likely, they don’t explain why the settlement was completely cleaned up, and there were no human remains found on or near the site.

Another theory argues that the settlers were absorbed into a nearby Native American tribe. This tribe calls themselves the Lumbee, who stayed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina at the time of the supposed absorption of many or all colonists. The tribe claims they are direct descendants from the colonists because of their light skin tone and blue eyes. The tribe also claims that they even have some of the same names as the colonists. The two peoples were said to have intermarried and some are currently living near the swamps of Robeson County. ("4.4 The Search for the Lost Colony.")

One piece of odd research I stumbled on is recognized as the “Dare Stone” case, which supposedly related to Virginia Dare, Governor John White’s baby grand daughter. Found in 1937, the stone was found near the woods of Edenton, North Carolina, by a tourist from California. On one side of the stone, there was a roughly carved cross, and also an inscription that seemed to read “ANANIAS DARE & VIRGINIA WENT HENCE VNTO HEAVEN 1591”. On the other side there was a long inscripted poem from Governor John’s daughter. Later 47 other stones were found all by the same person, and they were eventually declared a hoax, and forged. This piece of research just goes to show you how invested people were, and still are, in the Roanoke case.

On August 11th on National Public Radio, an interview was released. After finding new evidence in a case that has been dead for hundreds of years, the site where the new evidence was found is named, Site X.

“We 're finding evidence of domestic occupation, some iron objects from the late 16th century in a fairly concentrated area and in a context that leads us to believe that there were a small number of English people from 1587 who had relocated to this site ,” Phillip Evans, president of The First Colony Foundation, stated. In relation to other theories that had been proposed, some light is actually shed on a few of them. In 1590, before John White had left, he had mentioned that the colonists might plan on moving 50 miles away from Roanoke, down south to the Outer Banks. In 2012, The First Colony Society found a map that John White had created himself. Made with water colors, the map had a patch over a red and blue fort, which could only be seen under a certain light. This led the researchers to believe that there was something hidden there. (Evans, Phillip. Interview. August 11th 2015.)

After further investigation, Phillip Evans proceeds to explain that “This is the period of the war of the Spanish Armada. There are spies, English spies and Spanish spies. And there were constantly looking for places where they could find out where the other side was and pounce on them.” (Evans, Phillip. Interview. August 11th 2015). So maybe after all John White deserves some credit, for saving his colony from the possibility of attack. Maybe John White took the liberty of creating the secret patch into his own hands, was so he could not only protect his people, but more importantly his wife, daughter, and grand-daughter, the beloved Virginia Dare.

Now if you think the grand Roanoke Colony case is solved, like I did, you’re wrong. Evans goes on to tell us that the mystery has just begun. These few artifacts only explain where some colonists went after Roanoke. Site X isn’t even on Roanoke Island, it’s across the water.



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