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The Lost Colony of Roanoke


Part 2: The Second Voyage

Even if he knew of the colonists' dissatisfaction with living on Roanoke, Raleigh set up another voyage and transported another group of people from England to Roanoke Island. This time, it was 150 people; this time, it was men, women, and children. Their leader was John White. They arrived on July 22, 1587, and went in search of the 15 men who had stayed behind two years ago. They found nothing but human bones.

Again, no one thought the worse of this, and the settlers began to settle in, making improvements on the houses that were already there and building new ones. The Native Americans living on the island were more hostile to the new settlers than they had to previous settlers. In fact, only one group of the several who were living there was friendly in the least. That group was the Croatoans, who wanted peace and understanding between themselves and these new English "neighbors."

A bit of misunderstanding followed, as the Croatoans accused the members of another tribe of killing the 15 men who had stayed behind. Enraged, White and other Englishmen attacked the town of Dasamonquepeuc, where the suspected killers lived. The only Native Americans the Englishmen found by the time they got there were the Croatoans, who had arrived on the scene and found the other tribe gone. Before things could be sorted, some Croatoans were dead. (It should be mentioned here that Manteo, who had relatives in the Croatoan tribe, played a big part in getting the Croatoans and Englishmen together in the first place and then played an equally big part in convincing both sides to avoid further bloodshed after the "mistake.")

Not long after this series of events, the first English settler born in the New World came into the world, as Eleanor Dare, daughter of Governor John White, gave birth to a daughter, who was called Virginia. This is the Virginia Dare of American history trivia.

Things progressed in settlement, as the settlers planted crops and solidified their hold on their part of the island. Not much is said in the history books about the relations between the English and the Croatoans at this time, so we don't really know whether they became more or less friendly. What we do know is that no more attacks came that month.

As August closed, the settlers decided that they needed more supplies from home. Gov. John White and several other sailors took the fleet of ships home to England to get more food and supplies. After this, nothing more is known for certain about the fate of the settlers who stayed behind.

Next page > The Mystery Endures > Page 1, 2, 3

Graphics courtesy of ArtToday

 
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