Roanoke

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is not based on the show American Horror Story. This is a report on the real history of Roanoke and the English Settlers known as The Lost Colony.

Submitted: November 26, 2017

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Submitted: November 26, 2017

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115 English settlers arrived at Roanoke Island in August of 1587, which is now referred to as one of the islands on the Outer Banks just off the shore of North Carolina. John White, governor of the new colony decided he would sail back to England to gather fresh supplies. He arrived to find that a major war had broken out between England and Spain, and Queen Elizabeth I had called upon all available ships to confront the Spanish Armada. On August 18th of 1590, John White finally returned to Roanoke where he left his wife, daughter, and granddaughter, and the other settlers three years before. He didn’t find any evidence of anyone or anything except for one word carved into a tree. “Croatoan”.

Croatoan was an island just South of Roanoke which is where a tribe of Native Americans lived with the same name. The island of Roanoke is now referred to as Hatteras Island. Rumors and theories have been spread throughout history. Maybe the settlers decided to sail back to England and got lost at sea. Maybe Spaniards murdered them on their way north from Florida. Maybe they were killed by the Native American tribe named Roanoke. There is no such evidence that can provide any proof to any of these rumors.

In 2007, DNA was being tested from the area in search of anyone who might be related to the Roanoke English settlers in hope of finding some sort of truth to the story.

John White’s map, known as the Virginea Pars Map of the area was examined using modern day technology. It revealed a clue to this mystery and perhaps the largest discovery since the Roanoke investigation began centuries ago.

Underneath one of the patches on the map was a red and blue symbol marking where the settlers were intended to settle. It was marked about 60 miles West of Roanoke. It matched White’s writings that the settlers were supposed to move about “50 miles into the maine” once he returned from England. Perhaps some of the settlers moved to the marked place while the others went to the Coratoan islands to wait for White’s return. This mysterious marking on the map now marks the location known as “Site X”.

Evidence that archaeologists have found reveals that there were most likely a small number of Roanoke settlers at that location around the time they went missing. A tree ring analysis revealed that there was a major drought just three years after the settlers arrived. They most likely moved once they realized that the land they were on was not suitable for survival.

Researchers and archaeologists are still searching for answers today. There is much ground to be examined and it is possible that in the future, we will have cheaper and more advanced technology that will aid in the search for evidence of the lost colony. It’s very interesting that the farther in time we get from an event, the closer we become to understanding it.


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