Mystery of America’s First English Colony Solved?

roanokeWhen many people think of the first English colonies in North America, Jamestown, or maybe Plymouth Rock, comes to mind. Few, if any, recall the Roanoke Colony in present day North Carolina.

Even though I don’t remember learning about the colony in school (that doesn’t mean it wasn’t taught) once I learned about the colony I became fascinated with the mystery of the fate of those families who had migrated from England.

It was in this colony that the first child of English parents was born, on August 18, 1587, in North America. She was named Virginia (Dare) after the Virginia colony. An article published in the New York Times this week sheds some light on what we know for certain about the mysterious colony.

John White took more than 100 settlers to Roanoke Island, which lies inside the chain of barrier islands that is today called the Outer Banks. It was Sir Walter Raleigh’s second attempt to colonize North Carolina, but the first to include civilians and families.

The only reason the birth of Virginia Dare is known to us today is because shortly after she was born, her grandfather, John White — Governor of the colony — returned to England to gather fresh supplies. However, when White returned three years later, there was no trace of his family or any of the colonists.

What happened to the colonists has inspired plenty of books and theories — including one theory that the settlers were integrated into the Croatoan tribe.

But the Times article offers a few new clues, including the possibility that members of the colony moved inland during the three-year gap between White’s departure and return.

Since 2012, at a location in North Carolina aptly names Spot X, members of the First Colony Foundation have excavated and recovered artifacts. What they have found will be revealed today by the Foundation, but one member, Nicholas M. Luccketti, gave a hint about what the artifacts demonstrate.

We have evidence from this site that strongly indicates that there were Roanoke colonists here.

So, we may be getting closer to knowing what happened.

To learn more about the Roanoke Colony, visit the First Colony Foundation or select one of the many books on Roanoke the Lost Colony from Amazon and other book stores.

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Categories: American History

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