The Mystery Of The Lost Colony Of Roanoke
The beginnings of one of America’s oldest mysteries can be searched to August 1587, when a gang of about 115 English settlers came to Roanoke Island, off the shore of what is now North Carolina.
Later that year, it was concluded that John White, leader of the new colony, would sail back to England to collect a fresh load of supplies. But just as he reached, a major naval war burst between England and Spain, and Queen Elizabeth I ordered to every ready ship to confront the great Spanish Armada.
In August 1590, White finally arrived back to Roanoke, where he had left his spouse and daughter, his newborn granddaughter Virginia Dare, the first English baby born in the Americas, and the other colonists three long years before. He discovered no trace of the settlement or its residents, and little evidence to what might have occurred, apart from a single word "Croatoan" carved into a rigid post.
Researches into the destiny of the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke have continued over the centuries, but no one has come up with a reasonable explanation. "Croatian" was the name of an island south of Roanoke that was home to a Native American people of the same name.
Based on the bizarre tree carving, the close Croatoan Island, now recognized as Hatteras Island, is the area to which many think the settlers moved. At the moment of the colony’s founding, the Hatteras Indians resided on the island, and a popular hypothesis thinks that the settlers united with the union of Native Americans to endure their lack of reserves and understanding of the land.
The Spanish destroyed it.
Keep in mind, the English and Spanish were at conflict during this period. The Spaniards were surely skilled in doing this, and this was evidenced by their damage to the French Ft. Caroline and Ft. Charles in the 1560s. Still, this explanation is controversial as John White found no clues of a fight in the colony.
The massacre by Natives.
There was some opposition with some Native Americans before White left, but also, there were no clues of a battle. Further, no human remainders were found. Forced relocation is also doubtful as White advised the colonists to carve a Maltese cross onto a tree if they were ever prepared to move. Then also, if you’re being threatened to go someplace, there’s insufficient time to carve a crosslet alone a Maltese one.
Other theories keep that they tried to travel back to England on their own and got lost at the ocean, that they met a bloody end at the hands of Spaniards who had marched up from Florida or that they pushed further inland and were combined into a friendly tribe.
A supposed piece of proof for the theory that the settlers blended in with a group is the presence of carvings in stones that were purportedly created by Eleanor Dare, the daughter of John White. These stones often named the Dare Stones, contain written stories that inform the destinies of the settlers and personal stories from Dare to her father. However, they are mostly believed to be a joke and fake, there is some academic opinion that at least one of the stones may be valid.
Since 1998, the Croatoan Project has studied and given archaeological information to back up the hypothesis that the settlers shifted to be with, or at least interacted with, the Hatteras tribe. Antiques and things found within Croatoan villages that only English colonists had owned or had made at the time have stabilized the relation between the two groups. But despite this proof, and many other concepts, likely, no final answer to the mystery of the settlers’ disappearance will ever be found.
In 2007, actions began to receive and examine DNA from local peoples to figure out if they’re related to the Roanoke colonists, local Native American peoples, or both. Despite the continuing mystery, it looks like there’s one thing to be grateful for: The lessons understood at Roanoke may have benefited the next group of English colonists, who would establish their colony 17 years later.