The Roanoke Colony was an attempt by the Englishman Walter Raleigh to establish a colony on the coast of North America. The colony was founded on Roanoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina. In 1584, Raleigh received permission from Queen Elizabeth I of England to undertake such a project, granting him property rights over all newly discovered areas.
That year, he sent out two ships under Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow to survey the area. These returned with stories about the visited land around Pamlico Sound and suggested Roanoke Island as a site for a colony.
In 1587, expedition leader John White left the British colony on Roanoke Island for England to fetch reinforcements.
When he returned three years later, the entire colony, including all its inhabitants, appeared to have disappeared from the face of the Earth. Since then, archaeologists and historians have been searching for the “lost colony of Roanoke.”
Background Information About North Carolina in the 16th Century
The Outer Banks of North Carolina were first discovered in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano. Da Verrazzano thought he had found a shortcut route to China and presented his findings to King Henry VIII of England and France. They didn’t do anything with this information.
But in 1578, the Queen of England, Elizabeth I, permitted Humphrey Gilbert to explore and colonize the area.
The British World Domination
At this time England is still a small country on the edge of Europe, which uses private captains to rob ships, especially of the Spanish West Indies fleet. They include such notable people as Sir Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake.
Privateering has the backing of Queen Elizabeth I, making money quickly for financiers and bringing coveted merchandise to England. The English initially aim for a colony in America because they want a naval base where the privateers can take fresh supplies.
They can then go on privateering for longer and earn more. Therefore, the first settlers are only men, mostly soldiers, who build a stronghold on Roanoke. This island on the east coast was chosen for its strategic location on the sailing route of the Spanish West Indies sailors on their way home.
The idea of a colony also appeals to men who look further and believe that England itself can produce desirable commodities such as sugar and cotton. But most lenders are uncomfortable with this type of long-term investment: they want quick profits.
The Disappearance of the Cursed Colony.
He was off at a gallop. He dispatched two scouts to the area. In conclusion, the locals were nice, and Roanoke was an ideal location. The queen was overjoyed and gave the location the name Virginia. Sir Walter Raleigh became “Knight Lord and Governor of Virginia.”
Raleigh assigned Richard Grenville to establish the colony. In 1585, Grenville set sail with settlers, who founded the settlement and then returned home. Governor Ralph Lane was made governor, with 107 men under his command.
The colonists had difficulties. Many of the ships with provisions had been wrecked so that the remaining ones had to use food from the locals. Their relationship with the original inhabitants deteriorated, though. There was no trace of gold and silver, which many colonists had expected.
The colonists decided to pack up and move when the English ship came by. Grenville landed a little over two weeks later. After being told about the evacuation, Grenville now had fifteen new settlers. It didn’t last long. Shortly after Grenville left, they were killed by the local tribes.
Still, Raleigh made another attempt. John White was appointed as colonial governor in 1587, in good spirits. This time, settlers included women and children, including his wife and pregnant daughter. They found it lousy. Human bones provided concrete evidence of their predecessors’ demise.
The older settlers’ fort had been razed, and the houses were covered in melon plants. To no avail, the settlers tried to negotiate a truce with the locals. White eventually returned to England and requested medical attention. He intended to return, but things went against him, in 1588 French pirates attacked his stock-laden fleet.
The crew was killed, and the ships looted. Following this, the Anglo-Spanish war complicated matters. The entire fleet was required to fight off the Spanish Armada.
It was not until 1590 that White could return to the colony, but the settlers had already disappeared like snow in the sunlight. Looking for his family, White began a search.
He was forced to sail back to England without ever finding out what had happened to the colony. Raleigh was also dismayed. He wouldn’t try to colonize Virginia, which is cursed.
In 2020 potsherds were excavated in a field in North Carolina, having been found that they come from survivors of the famous “Lost Colony” on the Isle of Roanoke, the first English settlement in North America.
The spectacular claim has revived a dormant debate over the colony’s fate for decades. It may explain what happened to the 115 men, women, and children born on the island of Roanoke off the coast of North Carolina in 1587, left behind, and then vanished from the face of the Earth.
The announcement comes just months after another archaeologist claimed to have found objects belonging to the disappeared settlers on Hatteras Island, 50 miles south of Roanoke.
If both discoveries are confirmed, they provide new evidence for the hypothesis that the settlers split into two or more survival groups and camped far from each other, almost certainly helped by the Native American tribes.