Essay on Disappearance of Roanoke: The Lost Colony

Essay on Disappearance of Roanoke: The Lost Colony

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When most people think of the early settlement they think of the first successful settlement, Jamestown, but this was not the first settlement in the New World. The settlement at Roanoke was the first attempt to colonize the New World. The settlement at Roanoke is often referred to as the “Lost Colony” because of its unusual disappearance. The reason people often do not know about the first settlement at Roanoke because it was abandoned, forgotten, and lost. The Roanoke settlement was located on an island on the northern coast of what is now North Carolina. A few more than a hundred English men first settled the colony at Roanoke Island in 1584. The conditions were harsh and between the lack of supplies and the troubles with natives of the area the settlement was all but doomed from the start. Three years after the initial settlement was founded, in 1587, more English arrived this time there were one hundred and ten colonists that consisted not just of men, but of women and children as well. Women and children were brought to the New World so that the settlement could become a fully functioning society. Of course this idea obviously did not work out as planned. The war going on in Europe between the English and the Spanish caused a delay of more supplies and people. If there had not been a prolonged delay in the resupplying process the entire course of American history may not have been what we know it to be now. If the war had started any earlier or later then people might have known more about the original first settlement of the New World. All the evidence left when people returned to Roanoke following the war in Europe was the word “CROATOAN” carved into a tree. Historians believe these to be marks left by the Croatoan Indians...


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... arrive have been shorter then the fate of the colony may have been different.

The next expedition to Roanoke was lead by “John White, a gifted amateur painter who kept a remarkable pictorial record of his experiences” (A Muse of Fire). Within six years this colony that was thought to be in a good location will have disappeared; “John White set off back to England for food and relief. On his return he blew a trumpet to announce his arrival. His men sang English songs, but there was no answer. The Roanoke colony was deserted”(A Muse of Fire). There are many different theories that many different people have compiled over the years including hostile Indians attacking the settlement. There is also the theory that comes from “scientists studying tree rings found that one of the worst droughts in eight hundred years took place during the settlement attempt” (Elvin 16).

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