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Full text of "The beginnings of English America : Sir Walter Raleigh's settlements on Roanoke Island, 1584-1587"

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THE BEGINNINGS 

OF 

ENGLISH AMERICA 



SIR WALTER RALEIGH'S 
SETTLEMENTS 



ON 



ROANOKE ISLAND 



1584-1587. 




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Book '0.71^ 



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Swir l/ucarunu -a. ? 

Sialic of- 



FIRST MAP OF l^ 







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?TH CAROLINA. 



/ 

THE 

BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH AMERICA 

SIR WALTER RALEIGH'S SETTLEMENTS 



ROANOKE ISLAND. 



1584-1587. 



BY 



R. D. W. CONNOR. 

u 

Secretary North Carolina Historical Commission. 



PUBLISHED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA HISTORICAL COMMISSION. 

J. Bryan Grimes, Chairman. 
W. J. Peele. Thomas W. Blount, 

M. C. S. Noble, D. H. Hill. 



/ / T 



RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA. 

1907. 



THE BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH AMERICA. 



"Standing on a hilltop, a landscape will spread like a map 

BEFORE us. We can SEE THE PROMINENT POINTS, THE HEADS OF 
STREAMS, THE ROCKS, THE COAST EVERYTHING LIES IN PROPER PER- 
SPECTIVE. Thus looking back upon history, we can see the im- 
portance of EVENTS which ARE HID FROM PARTICIPANTS AND ONLOOK- 
ERS. We can HAIL THE ROANOKE SETTLEMENT AS THE BEGINNING OF 

ENGLISH COLONIZATION IN AMERICA." — Peter J. Hamilton. 



BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH AMERICA. 



The celebration of the three hundredth anniversary significance of the 

foundint? of 

of the founding of Jamestown clothes with renewed Jamestown, 
interest and gives increased emphasis to one of the 
greatest events in the world's history. The planting 
of a permanent English settlement in America 
marked the close of one great historic epoch and the 
beginning of another. The long struggle between 
England and Spain for the control of the western 
world was at an end ; the development of English- 
speaking America had begim. The course of events 
had demonstrated that the latter was impossible with- 
out the former. Indeed so important was it to the 
English colonization of America that the power of 
Spain should be destroyed that an eminent historian 
declares: ''The defeat of the Invincible Armada 
was the opening event in the history of the United 
States. It was the event that made all the rest pos- 
sible. Without it the attempts at Jamestown and 
Plymouth could hardly have had more success than 
the attempt at Roanoke Island, xin infant colony 
is like an army at the end of a long line of communi- 
cation: it perishes if the line is cut. Before Eng- 
land could plant thriving states in America she 
must control the ocean routes. The far-sighted 
Ealeigh understood the conditions of the problem. 
"When he smote the Spaniards at Cadiz he knew it 
was a blow struck for America. He felt the full 
significance of the defeat of the Armada, and in 
spite of all his disappointments in Virginia, he never 
lost heart."* This vitally important lesson Ealeigh 

*Fiske: "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours," Vol. I, p. 39. 

(5) 



6 

and the English people learned from their sad expe- 
riences at Roanoke Island. 
The Roanoke col- YoT such reason, therefore, the history of the Roa- 

ony has an abiaing " ' "^ 

interest. ^^j.^ settlements has an abiding interest for the stu- 

dent of English and American history; while the 
romance of the story clothes it with equal interest 
for the general reader. Therefore, though the story 
is well-known, no apology need be offered for re-tell- 
ing, especially at this time, the "first chapter in that 
series of remarkable events that culminated in James- 
town. 

Origin of Eng- ^lie Origin of these events is found in the religious 

land's interest in o 

America. wars of the sixteenth century between Protestant 

England and Catholic Spain. In this great struggle 
England was "pitted against the greatest military 
power that had existed in Europe since the days of 
Constantine the Great. To many the struggle 
seemed hopeless. Eor England the true policy was 
limited by circumstances. She could send troops 
across the Channel to help the Dutch in their stub- 
born resistance, but to try to land a force in the 
Spanish peninsula for aggressive warfare would be 
sheer madness. The shores of America and the open 
sea were the proper field of war for England. Her 
task was to paralyze the giant by cutting off his 
supplies, and in this there was hope of success, for 
no defensive fleet, however large, could watch all 
Philip's enormous possessions at once." It was as 
the storehouse of the enemy's treasure and the chief 
source of his supplies that America first excited real 
interest among the English people.* 

*Fiske: "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours," Vol. I, pp. 11, 22. 



The man who best understood England's problem Sfod^Engiand-s 
was Walter Raleigh.* Hawkins, Grenville, Drake, p'°^'*^'"- 
Cavendish, and those other glorious English "sea 
kings" of the sixteenth century, understood it well 
enough so far as it involved the ravaging of the coasts 
of Spanish colonies and the plundering of Spanish 
treasure ships. But Raleigh went further than this 
and added the feature of planting English colonies 
in North America. Such colonies would not only 
develop English commerce but would also off-set the 
Spanish settlements in the West Indies, Mexico, and 
South America, and serve as bases of operations 
against them. The idea of planting a Protestant 
state in America was not original with Raleigh. 
"The author of that master thought was the great 
admiral Coligny." The atrocious massacre of Co- 
ligny's Huguenot colony in Florida by the Spaniards 
under the treacherous Menendez awakened among 
the English people "fierce indignation. Hostility 
to Spain was fast increasing in England, and the 
idea of Coligny began to be entertained by a few 
sagacious heads. If France could not plant a Prot- 
estant state in America, perhaps England could. A 
little later we find Le Moine [a survivor of the 
Huguenot colony] consulted by the gifted half- 
brothers, Humphrey Gilbert and Walter Raleigh."f 
It was Raleigh's faith in the scheme and his willing- 
ness to back his faith with his fortune that entitles 
him to the first place among those who won Il^orth 
America for English-speaking peoples. 

* Raleigh's name is spelled in almost as many ways, if not in quite as many, 
as Shakespere's. Stebbing gives _ seventy-four different forms known to 
have been used. Down to 1.583 Raleigh himself generally wrote Rauley: he 
also wrote Rawleyghe. Raleghe, Rauleigh and Ralegh. "The spclhng Raleigh, 
which posterity has preferred, happens to be one he is not known to have 
ever employed."— Stebbing: "Sir Walter Ralegh," pp. 30-31. 

tFiske: "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours," Vol. I, pp. 18-19. 



Joint effort of Gil- ^i^q -Q^y.^^ g^gpg which Ealeisii took toward his 

bert and Raleigh. i o 

A bold proposal, g^^iud sclieme was in conjunction with his half- 
brother Gilbert. In ISTovember 15Y7 some one pre- 
sented Queen Elizabeth with "A discourse how Her 
Majesty may annoy the Kinge of Spaine by fitting- 
out a fleet of shippes of ;;var under pretence of Let- 
ters Patent, to discover and inhabit strange places, 
with special proviso, for their safeties whom policy 
requires to have most annoyed — by which means the 
doing the contrary shall be imputed to the executor's 
fault; your Highness's letters patent being a mani- 
fest show that it was not your Majesty's pleasure so 
to have it." The writer offered to destroy the great 
Spanish fleets which went every year to the banks of 
jSTewfoundland to catch fish for their fast days. ''If 
you vrill let us do this," he continued, "we will next 
take the West Indies from Spain. You will have 
the gold and silver mines and the profit of the soil. 
You will be monarch of the seas and out of danger 
from every one. I will do it if you will allow me; 
only you must resolve and not delay or dally — the 
wings of man's life are plumed with the feathers of 
death. "^ There is no signature to this letter, but 
the same idea is expressed in several of Sir Hum- 
phrey Gilbert's letters, and historians believe this to 
be his.f At any rate within less than a year Gilbert 
obtained letters patent for planting an English col- 
ony in America, with "special proviso" that there 
should be no robbing "by sea or by land." In the 
fall of 1578 Gilbert sailed with a fleet of seven ships, 
one of which was commanded by Walter Ealeigh. _A 
severe fight with Spaniards compelled the fleet to 

* Brown: "Genesis of the United States," Vol. I, p. 9. 

t Fiske: "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours," Vol. I, p. 23. 



return to Plymouth. Five years later Gilbert sailed 
again, but this time without Kaleigh, "for the 
queen's mind had been full of forebodings and she 
had refused to let him go." The unhappy ending of 
this voyage is one of the most dramatic episodes in 
American history. 

In 1584: Gilbert's patent was renewed in Kaleigh's fi^^ft^'ant'pro-*' 
name. By this patent, signed and sealed March 25, '"^'°"^- 
1584, Raleigh was given "free liberty & license 
" ^- " to discover, search, finde out, and view such 
remote, heathen and barbarous lands, countreis, and 
territories, not actually possessed of any Christian 
prince, nor inhabited by Christian people." Two 
provisions of this charter deserve especial mention. 
One declared the colonists "shall and may have all 
the privileges of free Denizens, and persons native of 
England, and within our allegiance in such like 
ample manner and forme, as if they were borne and 
personally resident within our said Realme of Eng- 
land, any law^, custome, or usage to the contrary not- 
withstanding." The other provision authorized 
Ealeigh, his heirs and assigns to enact such laws as 
they judged proper for the government of the colony 
provided only such, laws were not inconsistent with 
the laws of England.* "A more unequivocal ac- 
knowledgment of the rights of self-government which 
a British government of two centuries later saw fit 
to ignore, it would be hard to find. Gilbert and Ral- 
eigh demanded and Elizabeth granted in principle 
just what Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams de- 
manded and George III. refused to concede."f 

* Raleigh's patent; printed in Hackluyt's Voyages. 

t Fiske: "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours." Vol. I, 31. 



10 

AmTdis'andBar- Raleigh was proHipt to take advantage of his 

^°^- patent. Within less than a month he had an expedi- 

tion ready to sail for America. The object of this 
expedition was to explore the country and fix upon 
a place for a settlement. It was under the cominand 
of two experienced sailors, Philip Amadas and 
Arthur Barlow. They sailed from the west coast of 
England April 27, 1584, "with two barkes well 
furnished with men and victuals." A voyage of 
sixty-seven days, without incident, brought them 
July 2 to "shole water, wher we smelt so sweet, and 
so strong a smel, as if we had bene in the midst of 
some delicate garden abounding with all kinde of 
odoriferous flowers, by which we were assured, that 
the land could not be f arre distant : and keeping good 
watch, and bearing but slacke saile, the fourth of 

They discover land ^i^q same moucth wc arrived upon the coast, which 
we supposed to be a continent and firme lande, and 
we sayled along the same a hundred and twentie Eng- 
lish miles before we could finde any entrance, or river 
issuing into the Sea. The first that appeared unto 
us, we entred, though not without some difficultie, & 
cast anker about three harquebuz-shot within the 
havens mouth, on the left hand of the same : and 
after thankes given to God for our safe arrival 
thither, we manned our boats, and went to view the 

and take possession ig^j-^ (J j^g^t adioiniug, and to take possession of the 

in the name of the j 07 r 

'^"®^"- same, in the right of the Queenes most excellent 

Majestic, as rightfull Queene, and Princesse of the 
same, and after delivered the same over to your 
[Raleigh's] use, according to her Majesties grant, 
and letters patent, under her Highnesse great scale." 



Of,,' >' ^^n 

^ ■'■ ^ r;/^. 



'■/♦''J Di 










11 

These important proceedings were performed "ac- 
cording to the ceremonies used in such enterprises."* 

Thus on the sand banks that guard the eastern ^1^^'^^^^^^°^^^^ 
shores of North Carolina the English race laid its 
first firm grasp on the IsTorth American continent. 
How unconscious were those obscure English sailors 
that they were enacting one of the greatest scenes in 
the world's history ! Three hundred years have gone 
yet even we, after all the tremendous results that 
have followed in their train, cannot yet fully appre- 
ciate the vast significance of that simple ceremony. 
For then and there, on the jSTorth Carolina coast. 
Englishmen first set foot on American soil with a 
view to permanent possession, and that event, rather 
than the defeat of the Invincible Armada, "was the 
opening event in the history of the United States." 

Amadas and Barlow were to explore the country Explorations, 
and select a place for a settlement. Immediately 
after the ceremony of taking possession they "viewed 
the land" about them, which they found "very sandie 
and low towards the waters side. * * * We passed 
from the Sea side towardes the toppes of those hilles 
next adjoyning, being but of meane higth, and from 
thence wee behelde the Sea on both sides to the ISTorth, 
and to the South, finding no ende any of both wayes. 
This lande lay stretching itsclfe to the West, which 
after wee found to bee but an Island of twentie miles 
long, and not above sixe miles broade." A few days 
later Barlow, with seven of his crew "went twentie 
miles" across the sound, "and the evening following, 
wee came to an Island which they [the natives] call ^scov^ed!''''"^ 
Baonoak, distant from the harbour by which we en- 
tered, seven leagues : and at the l^orth end thereof 

* Barlow's report printed in Hackluy t's Voyages. 



12 



The sand banks. 



Other islands. 



A glowing report. 



there was a village of nine houses, built of Cedar, 
and fortified round about with sharpe trees, to keepe 
out their enemies, and the entrance into it made like 
a turne pike very artificially. * * * Beyond this 
Island there is the maine lande. * * -•■ When we 
first had sight of this countrey, some thought the first 
land we saw to bee the continent : but after we entered 
into the Haven, we saw before us another mighty long 
Sea : for there lyeth along the coast a tracte of Islands, 
two hundreth [hundred] miles in length, adjoyning to 
the Ocean sea : '^ ^^ * when you entred betweene 
them * * "" then there appeareth another great 
Sea : * * * and in this inclosed Sea there are 
above an hundreth [hundred] Islands of divers big- 
nesses, whereof one is sixteeue miles long, at which 
we were, finding it a most pleasant and fertile 
gTOund. * * -^ Besides this Island there are 
many, as I have sayd, * * * most beautiful and 
pleasant to behold."* Barlow's report also mentions 
several other places by their Indian names, which 
he had learned from the natives who had visited him, 
for he did not himself explore them. Indeed, though 
lie and Amadas remained in our waters about two 
months, they saw but little of the country. Perhaps 
they thought they might go farther and fare worse. 
Indeed, the visitors seemed to think they had 
reached a veritable paradise. Their report glowed 
with enthusiasm for the new country and its people. 
The "soile" was "the most plentiful, sweete, fruit- 
full and wholesome of all the world." There were 
"above fourteene severall sweete smelling timber 
trees," Avhile the "underwoods," were mostly of 
"Bayes and such like." They found the same "okes" 



' Barlow's report. 




AN INDIAN VILLAGE. 
(From the John White Pictures.) 



13 

as gi'ew in Europe "but farre greater and better." 
In tlic woods grew "the highest and reddest Cedars 
of the worki." The island was sandy "but so full of 
grapes as the very beating and surge of the Sea 
overflowed them," and they were "in such plenty 
* * * both on the sand and on the greene soile on 
the hills, as in the plaiues, as well as on every little 
shrubbe, as also climing towardes the tops of high 
Cedars" that in "all the world the like abundance" 
could not be fonnd. As the men strolled down the 
coast "such a flocke of Cranes (the most part white) 
arose under" them "with such a cry redoubled by 
many ecchoes as if an armie of men had showted all 
together." The island "had many goodly woodes 
full of Deere, Conies, Hares, and Fowle, * * * 
in incredible abundance ;" Avhile the waters were alive 
"with the goodliest and best fish in the world." The 
Indians. sent them "divers kindes of fruitcs, Melons, 
Walnuts, Cucumbers, Gourdes, Pease, and divers 
rootes, and fruites very excellent good, and of their 
Countrey corne, which is very white, faire and well 
tasted." 

The Englishmen were as much delighted with the J^f^^^t^^f^^ m^n- 
natives as with their conntry. They found them 
"very handsome and goodly people, and in their be- 
haviour as mannerly and civill as any of Europe." 
The chief of the country, Wingina, was disabled by 
a wound received in battle, so he sent his brother, 
Granganimeo, to welcome the strangers. Grangan- 
imeo "made all signes of joy and welcome, striking 
on his head and breast and afterwards on onrs, to 
shew wee were all one, smiling and making shewe 
the best he could of all love and familiaritie." When 
the Englishmen visited the natives in their villages 



ners. 



14 



Entertainment. 



Trading with the 
natives. 



tliey "were entertained with all love and kindnesse, 
and with as much bountie (after their maner) as they 
could possibly devise." Thus they were deceived 
into the belief that the natives were "most gentle, 
loving and faithfull, voide of all guile and treason, 
and such as live after the maner of the golden age." 
Immediately after this bit of rapsody the report 
adds : "their warres are very cruell and bloody, by 
reason whereof, and of their civill dissentions which 
have happened of late yeeres amongst them, the peo- 
ple are marvelously wasted and in some places the 
countrey left desolate." 

The explorers of course did not neglect the oppor- 
tunity which the friendliness of the natives gave 
them for trade. They had brought with them the 
usual trinkets for which the Indians were always 
ready to trade furs and skins, gold and silver, pearls 
and coral. "We fell to trading with them," says 
BarloWj "exchanging some things we had, for Cham- 
oys, Buffe, and Deere skinnes." A bright tin dish 
expecially pleased Granganimeo and he gave for it 
"twentie skinnes, woorth twentie Crownes" ; while for 
a copper kettle he exchanged "fiftie skinnes, woorth 
fiftie Crownes." Granganimeo's wife^ on her visit 
to the English ships, wore about her forehead "a 
bands of white Corall" ; and "in her ears shee had 
bracelets of pearles hanging downe to her middle 
* * * and these were of the bignes of good pease." 
Some of the women "of the better sort" and "some 
of the children of the kings brother and other noble 
men" had copper pendants hanging from their ears. 
Granganimeo "himselfe had upon his forehead a 
broad plate of golde, or copper, for being unpolished 
we knew not what mettal it should be." He "had 




S o 



15 

great liking of our armour, a sword and divers other 
things which we had : and offered to lay a great boxe 
of pearle in gage for them, but we refused it for this 
time, because we would not make them know, that 
we esteemed thereof, until we had understoode in 
what places of the countrey the pearle grew."* 

Two months were thus spent in exploring the coun- "Virginia, 
try, visiting the natives, gathering information and 
trading. ''Then," says Barlow, "contenting our 
selves with this service at this time, which wee hope 
hereafter to inlarge, as occasion and assistance shal 
be given, we resolved to leave the countrey and to 
apply ourselves to returne to England, which we did 
accordingly, and arrived safely in the West of Eng- 
land about the middest of September. * * * We 
brought home also two of the Savages, being lustie 
men, whose names were AVanchese and Manteo." 
The story of this voyage was heard in England with 
wonder and delight, and everybody was charmed with 
this wonderful new country and its "gentle, loving" 
people. When the Englishmen asked the natives 
the name of their country, they replied, "Win-gan- 
da-coa," and by this name Barlow called it. But the 
savages meant "What pretty clothes you wear!" 
Elizabeth, delighted that her reign had been signal- 
ized by so great an event, declared that in honor of 
her virgin state the new country should be called 
"Virginia." 

• "The white 'coral' here spoken of, as worn by the wife of Granganimeo, 
was probably the nacre of conch shells, of which the wampum or peak of the 
natives was made. The pearls also, represented as hanging- from her ears, 
may have been real; but if so, they were probably but coarse specimens, as 
we have no reason to believe that the pearl-oyster was abundant m our waters, 
or that the Indians were pearl divers: indeed the pearls are said elsewhere to 
be derived from muscles taken in the 'great river' they called Cipo. which 
may have been Currituck sound. We know not whether muscles are particu- 
larly abundant now in its waters, but we know that in 1714 L1709J, when 
Lawson wrote, they were very numerous throus-hout the whole coast region 
of the state."— Hawks: History of North Carolina, Vol. I, 80. 



16 

The "First Colo- Raleigh lost no time in preparing a colony for 

''Virginia."' The queen conferred upon him the 
honor of knighthood as a reward for his gift of 
"Virginia" to the crown. He was wealthy and 
famous, and was high in the favor of his sovereign. 
Men were anxious to enlist in the service of one so 
signally favored by fortune. He found no difficulty, 
therefore, in securing a colony led by picked men. 

Ralph Lane. ^ov govcmor he Selected Ralph Lane. Lane, who 

had already seen considerable service, was then on 
duty for the crown in Ireland, but the queen ordered 
a substitute to be appointed in his government of 
Kerry and Clammorris, "in consideration of his 
ready undertaking the voyage to Virginia for Sir 
Walter Raleigh at Her Majesty's command."* The 
event proved the wisdom of the choice. In his 
management of his colony Lane displayed executive 
ability and foresight. His dealings with the Indians 
were courageous and sagacious. He pushed his ex- 
plorations with energy and intelligence. "He had 
the rough courage of a soldier of his day, he endured 
hardships with his men, he had judgment to see that 
Roanoke Island was not a proper site for the colony, 
and to devise a plan by which two parties, one on the 
land and the other on the water, should attempt to 
meet and find on the Chesapeake Bay, a better local- 
ity, of which he had heard from an Indian prince, 
his prisoner. He had wit and prudence enough to 
secure the fidelity of that prisoner by keeping his 
only son as a hostage ; he pursued the wise policy of 
attaching that son to him by great personal kindness : 
he exhibited a provident forethought for the supply 

* William Wirt Henry: "Sir Walter Ralegh"; Winsor's Narrative and 
Critical History of America, Vol. HI, p. 111. 



17 

of bis men with food, when disappointed in bis ex- 
pectation of an arrival from Engbmd with supplies. 
Tbe personal attacbment be bad created in bis young 
bostage was tbe means of bis discovering a wide 
spread plot for tbe destruction of tbe colony by tbe 
natives ; be nipped it in tbe bud by promptitude and 
courage, and exbibited tberein, precisely tbose qual- 
ities, wbicb be knew tben, as we know now, are just 
tbose and tbose only wbicb can overawe savages. 
A^Tietber sagacious or not be reminds us forcibly, in 
a review of bis measures and a survey of bis con- 
duct, of Captain Jobn Smitb's proceedings in cir- 
cumstances not unlike bis own."* Otbers wbo were 
members of Lane's colony and afterwards won fame 
were "tbe wonderful Suffolk boy," Tbomas Qaven- o*^'- '^^"i^^^- 
disb, aged twenty-two years, wbo, before be reacbed 
bis twenty-ninth year rivaled tbe exploits of Sir 
Francis Drake in the ' Pacific and circumnavigated 
tbe globe ;f Philip Amadas, one of the commanders 
in the first expedition to Roanoke, and now "admiral" 
of "Virginia" ; Jobn White, the artist of tbe expe- 
dition, sent by Raleigh to make paintings of tbe 
country and its people, afterwards governor of the 
"Lost Colony;" and Tbomas Hariot, tbe historian 
and scientist of tbe colony, "a mathematician of great 
distinction, wbo materially advanced the science of 
Algebra, and was honored by Descartes, who imposed 
some of Llariot's work upon tbe French as his own.":}: 
To none wbo bore a part in the efforts to plant a 
colony on Roanoke Island, save Raleigh alone, do we 
owe more than to White and Hariot. The work of 
"these two earnest and true men" — tbe splendid pic- 

* Hawks: History of North Carolina. Vol. I, p. 107. 
tFiske: "Old Virginia and Her Neighbours." Vol. I. p. 33. 
t Henry: "Sir Walter Ralegh"; Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of 
America, Vol. HI. p. 111. 



18 

tures of the one and the scholarly narrative of the 
other — preserve for us the most valuable information 
that we have of ''Oiild Virginia." Tv^^o others who 
sailed in Lane's expedition were Wanchese and Man- 
teo, the two "lustie" natives who had accompanied 
Amadas and Barlow to England. The fleet was 
nnder the command of the famous Sir Richard Gren- 
ville, whose heroic death in the most wonderful sea 
fight in all history is nobly commemorated by Tenny- 
son in one of the most stirring ballads in our lan- 
guage. 

The colony was composed of 108 men. "With mar- 
velous energy, enterprise, and skill Raleigh collected 
and fitted out in an incredibly short time a fleet of 
seven ships well stocked and well manned to trans- 
coiony sails for port his 'first colouie' into the wilds of America. 

Virginia. -■- 

* * * !Never before did a finer fleet leave the 
shores of England, and never since was one more 
honestly or hopefully dispatched. There were the 
'Tyger' and the 'Roe Buck' of 140 tons each, the 
Tyon' of 100 tons, the 'Elizabeth' of 50 tons, the 
'Dorothea,' a small bark, and two pinnaces, hardly 
big enough to bear distinct names, yet small enough 
to cross dangerous bars and enter unl<:nown bays and 
rivers."* The fleet sailed from Plymouth April 9, 
1585, followed the usual route by way of the Canaries 
and the West Indies, reached "the maine of Florida'^ 
June 20, and three days later narrowly escaped wreck 
"on a breach called the Cape of Feare." June 26 
brought them to Wocokon, part of the E'orth Caro- 
lina banks, on the modern map called Ocracoke. 
The next month was spent in exploring the coast and 
making the acquaintance of the natives. In the 

* Stevens: "Thomas Hariot and His Associates." p. 50. 



19 

course of these explorations an Indian stole a silver 
cup from one of the visitors. Thereupon the English- 
men "burned and spoiled their corn," and thus sowed 
seeds of hostility that were soon to ripen into a 
harvest of blood and slaughter. ■ July 27 the fleet 
reached Hatteras "and there rested." A month later, 
lacking two days, Grenville weighed anchor for Eng- 
land, leaving at Koanoke the first English colony that 
landed on the shores of the United States.* This 
colony remained in the New World one year and 
then were forced to abandon the enterprise. 

This year was occupied chiefly with explorations. Explorations: 
The first work, however, was to build a fort and 
'"'sundry necessary and decent dwelling houses." From 
this "new Fort in Virginia," September 3, 1585, 
Ralph Lane wrote to his friend Richard Hackluyt 
of London the first letter, of which we have record, 
written in the English language from the iTew 
World. Lane fairly bubbled over with enthusiasm 
for the new country, which, he declared, was "the 
goodliest soyle under the cope of heaven." In fact, 
he thought "if Virginia had but horses and kine in 
some reasonable proportion, * * " being inhab- 
ited with English, no realme in Christendome were 
comparable to it."* Historians do not agi-ee in their 
estimates of the importance of the work done by Lane. 
Bancroft declared that "his discoveries were incon- 
siderable." "We dissent from this statement en- 
tirely," protested Hawks. Let us first consider the 
obstacles in Lane's way. He was in an ^mknown Dane's difficulties, 
land, surrounded by hostile tribes of fierce, warlike 
people. On one side was a storm-beaten coast of 
shifting, treacherous sand bars; on the other were 

*Hackluyt's Voyages. 



20 

long stretches of sandy plains cut to pieces by low 
marshes and tangled swamps penetrable only by 
ascending sluggish rivers and creeks. No white man 
had ever paddled his canoe through their waters. 
■ The land to be explored must be reached through a 
sound ''full of flats and shoalds." For his difficult 
work Lane was supplied with equipment not so good 
as that which a party of school boys would now have 
for a summer camping trip. He had "but one boate 
with foure oares, * * * which boate could not 
carry above fif teene men with their furniture, baggage, 
and victuall for seven dayes at the most." He was 
here but one year, and during half of that time a 
man took his life into his own hands who ventured 
out in an open boat in face of the winter's storms. 
The store of provisions ran low and more than once 
the men looked starvation in the face. There was 
but a handful of men, over whom the governor's 
authority was but slight, and a considerable portion 
of these were lazy, fault-finding and vicious. Their 
misconduct clogged the efforts of the governor ; their 
idleness taxed the store of provisions for their sup- 
port and contributed nothing in return; their cruel- 
ties and outrages against the Indians endangered the 
lives of all. Yet Lane himself utters no word of 
complaint of "their misdemeanor and ill-dealing," 
and we would not now know of it had not the 
righteous indignation of Harlot refused to keep 
silent. •^^ In addition to all these difficulties the In- 
dians were deceitful, treacherous and hostile. Under 
such conditions what did Lane and his followers ac- 
Lane's discoveries. compHsh ? Their discovcrics extended from Roanoke 
Island to the south fourscore miles, to the north one 

* Hariot's Narrative. 



21 

liimdred and lliirty miles, and to the nortliwest one 
hundred and thirty miles, Interpretini>,- tlicsc expe- 
ditions by onr modern map Hawks shows that of our 
present counties they visited Carteret, Craven, Jones, 
Beaufort, Hyde, and Dare, and all the counties north 
of Albemarle Sound between Currituck Sound and 
Chowan River. They ascended Chowan River 'coast- 
ing Bertie, Hertford and Gates counties for they 
Avent as far as the junction of the Meherrin and Not- 
toway rivers. They ascended the Roanoke river 
until they Avere "one hundred and sixty miles from 
home." This would have taken them aloug the 
borders of Martin, Bertie, Halifax, Northampton 
and Warren counties. To the northward they went 
one hundred and thirty miles from Roanoke Island ; 
here their voyage must have been up Currituck Sound 
Avhich took them into Virginia. Leaving the water 
they travelled into the country of the "Chcsapeans" 
which was distant "fifteen miles from the shoare," 
so that they almost reached the Chesapeake Bay below 
Norfolk. Altogether they visited the territory now 
included in nineteen of our counties and crossed the 
entire state from the sea shore at Croatan into Vir- 
ginia." 
^ But what were the results of Lane's explorations ? ^-"^^t^^f Dane's 

They led him to the conclusion that Roanolce Island 
was not the proper place for a colony and caused 
him to suggest Chesapeake Bay as a better place. 
Lie received his information of Chesapeake Bay 
from Menatonon, chief of the Chawanooks, whom he 
■describes as "a very grave and wise man." Lane 
held Menatonon prisoner for two days during which 

•Hawks: "History of North Carolina." Vol. I, p. 108. 



22 

time lie received from him "more imderstancling and 
light of the Coimtrey" than he received from all 
other sources. Menatonon tickled his ears with 
stories of vast quantities of pearls to be found on 
Chesapeake Bay and Lane planned a trip to ascertain 
the truth of these stories. If they proved to be true 
he determined to remove his colony there from Roa- 
noke Island where the harbor was "very naught." In 
another place he declared that three things were in- 
dispensable to make this country desirable for coloni- 
zation by the English. These were the discovery of 
gold, the finding of a passage to the South Sea, and 
the discovery of a "better harborongh than yet there 
is, which must be to the ISTorthward, if any there 
bee." To the northward, therefore, Raleigh directed 
White to go, and to the northward the Jamestown 
colony went. Such results at least cannot well be 
termed "inconsiderable." 
Exploration of Lauc's experience upon his trip up the Moratoc, 

Roanoke River. ^ ^ _ _ . 

Hardships. q^. Roauokc rivcr, will serve to give an idea of the 

hardships he and his men endured in the prosecution 
of their work. The savages were not long in discover- 
ing that the Englishmen were willing listeners to all 
tales of which gold, silver and pearls were the bur- 
den, and they whetted Lane's avarice with stories of 
great quantities of gold to be found up the Roanoke 
river. His curiosity was also excited by their stories 
of the strange origin of this stream. With forty men 
he undertook to test the truth of these stories and in 
the course of their voyage their food ran low. Calling 
his men around him Lane informed them of the situ- 
ation, and referred it to the majority "whether wee 
should adventure the spending of our whole victual! 



23 

in some further viewe of that most goodly River in 
hope to meete with some better happe, or otherwise 
to retire ourselves backe againe," After a night's 
deliberation the men declared — "and not three founde 
to bee of the contrary opinion" — that so long as they 
had left one half-pint of corn to the man they would 
prosecute their work ; for if it became necessary they 
could eat the dogs they had with them. "This reso- 
lution of theirs," declared Lane, "did not a little 
please mee since it came of themselves." They ac- 
cordingly continued the voyage, their food gave out, 
the pangs of hunger attacked them, and they were 
reduced to "their Dogges porredge." Returning 
homeward they landed for a night on an island 
where they "had nothing in the world to eate but pot- 
tage of Sassafras leaves, the like whereof for a meate 
was never used before. * * * This was upon 
Easter eve, which was fasted very truely." Two 
days later they reached Roanoke Island, many of 
the company "farre spent."* 

Upon his return from this trip Lane's relations {^^^fjj^^°g"^ ^'* ^^'^ 
with the Indians seemed to be all that could be de- 
sired. Two of the most powerful chiefs sent in their 
submission and the Indians on Roanoke Island built 
weirs for the white men and planted enough corn to 
feed them a year. But appearances were deceiving. 
"Familiarity breeds contempt," and never did an 
adage receive stronger confirmation than this one 
found in the early relations between the red men 
and the white men. The awe with which the former 
at first regarded the latter as superior beings rapidly 
disappeared when familiarity proved them to be but 
common men. ISTo longer to bo welcomed as gods, 

* Lane's Narrative in Hackluyt's Voyages. 



24 

they must be expelled as intruders; and around the 
fires of the wigwams painted warriors considered how 
this desirable object might be accomplished. Among 
the leaders in these dark counsels were Wingina and 
Wanchese. It was the former's brother Grangani- 
nieo, it will be recalled, who welcomed Amadas and 
Barlow to the New World: the latter with Manteo 
accompanied them on their return voyage to Europe. 
Grranganimeo and Manteo became fast friends, 
Wingina and Wanchese steadfast enemies of the 
white men. Soon after Lane's arrival Granganimeo 
died, whereupon Wingina changed his name to Pem- 
isapan. PemisajDan began at once to plot the destruc- 
tion of the English. They still had, however, a 
powerful friend in Ensenore, the father of Pemisa- 
pan and Granganimeo. His influence was sufficient 
to prevent an outbreak while Lane was on his trip 
up the Roanoke. But in April 1586 Ensenore died. 
Pemisapan and Wanchese immediately began "againe 
to put their old practises in use against us, which 
were readily imbraced, and all their former devises 
against us renewed, and new brought in question." 
Pemisapan's plot. Pemisapau's plot was shrewdly laid. He formed 
a coalition of all the tribes north of Albemarle 
Sound, fourteen or fifteen hundred warriors. They 
agreed that no food should be supplied to the Eng- 
lishmen and that their weirs should be robbed and 
broken, so that they would have to scatter in search 
of food. A day was set for the general attack. 
Pemisapan then withdrew to Dasamonguepeuk on the 
mainland, to avoid Lane's daily demands for food. 
He had planned well. Famine soon threatened the 
• colony and Lane was compelled to scatter his men as 
Pemisapan had foreseen. He seemed about to walk 



25 

into the savage's cnnning trap, when the whole plot 
was revealed to him. Lane acted with "promptitude 
and courage." Sending word to Pemisapan at Das- 
amonguepeuk that his fleet had arrived at Croatan — 
"though I in truth neither heard nor hoped for so 
ffood adventure" — he said that on his way to meet 
it he would stop by Dasamonguepeuk for supplies. 
Pemisapan was completely deceived. Lane marched 
upon his camp and found him with several of his 
principal warriors aw^aiting him. At the watch word 
agTeed upon — "Christ our victory" — the Englishmen 
fell upon the savages "and immediately those his 
chiefe men and himselfe had by the mercy of God 
for our deliverance, that which they had purposed 
for us." Pemisapan was shot and beheaded, several 
of his warriors were killed, the rest scattered, and the 
conspiracy fell to pieces. Lane merely adopted the 
tactics of the enemy and beat them at their own game. 

A few days after this victory Lane learned that a ^^"^;^,t Drake, 
gi-eat fleet of twenty-three sails had appeared off 
Croatan, and on June 11 Sir Francis Drake arrived 
"in the road of our bad harborow." He was a wel- 
comed visitor for he made "a most bountiful and hon- 
orable offer for the supply of our necessities to the 
performance of the action wee were entered into ; 
and that not only of victuals, munitions, and clothing, 
but also of barks, pinnesses, and boats ; they also by 
him to be victualled, manned and furnished to my 
contentation." Lane accordingly prepared a list of 
the things he needed and Drake issued an order to 
his officers to supply them. The Francis, "being a 
very proper barke of TO tun," two pinnaces and four 
small boats, with two "as sufficient experimented 
Masters as were any in his fleet," were selected for 



26 

Lane's service. But while these preparations were 
under way "there arose such an unwoonted storme, 
and continued foure dayes that had like to have driven 
all on shore, if the Lord had not held his holy hand 
over them."" The fleet was "in great danger to be 
driven from their ankoring upon the coast. For we 
brake many cables and lost many ankors. And some 
of our fleet which had lost all, (of which number was 
the ship appointed for Master Lane and his com- 
pany) was driven to put to sea in great danger, in 
avoj'ding the coast, and could never see us againe 
untill we met in England. Many also of our small 
pinnaces and boates were lost in this storm. "f In 
spite of these losses Drake generously renewed his 
proposition and offered to replace the Francis with 
the Bonner, a bark of 170 tons. But he was forced 
to qualify this proposition with the statement "that 
he would not for anything undertake to have her 
brought into our harbour, and therefore he was to 
leave her in the road." This put a new face on the 
proposition and Lane called his officers into con- 
sultation. After thoroughly canvassing the whole 
situation — the weakness of the colony, their small 
number, the loss of the Francis, "by the very hand 
of God as it seemed," the impossibility of bringing 
the Bonner into the harbor, the danger of leaving her 
in the road, the failure of Grrenville, long past due, 
to arrive with supplies, the political and military 
situation in England — after considering all these 
things, they decided to ask Drake to give the colony 
coiony^returns to passage to England. He readily consented and then 
"in the name of the Almighty, weying his anl^ers 

* Lane's Narrative. 

t "Sir Francis Drake Revised." A pamphlet printed in London in 1653, 
quoted by Hawks: "History of North Carolina," Vol. I, pp. 139-140. 



27 

(having bestowed lis among his fleet) for the reliefe 
of Avhom hee had in that storme sustained more perill 
of wrake then [than] in all his former most honour- 
able actions against the Spanyards, with praises 
unto God for all, set saile the nineteenth of June, 
1586, and arrived in Portsmouth the seven and twen- 
tieth of July the same yeere." This action of Lane 
lias been harshly criticised by historians, though 
surely upon insufficient grounds. It is manifest that 
he had no thought of returning to England with 
Drake until driven to it by providential causes. On 
the contrary his whole line of conduct before the 
storm reveals a determination to remain at Roanoke 
Island and prosecute his work with vigor. Certainly 
Elizabeth, Ealeigh, Drake and England's other g-reat 
leaders did not regard his course unfavorably, for we 
find them afterwards, at that supreme moment in 
English history when the great Armada was bearing 
dow^n on England's coast, summoning him to their 
most secret councils of war; and in 1593 we see him 
kneeling before England's great queen to receive the 
honor of knighthood for services to the crown. Dire 
necessity occasioned by causes beyond the control of 
man drove Lane hesitatingly and regretfully to his 
final decision and put an end to the first attempt to 
found an English colony in America. 

Lane and his colonists found no precious metals ;;uppowoc," 

^ pagatour, and 

in ''Virginia," but they introduced to the English "openauk." 
people three articles that have brought more gold 
and silver into the coffers of English-speaking peo- 
ples than the ^Spaniards took from all the mines of 
Mexico and Peru. These were "uppowoc," "paga- 
tour," and "openauk," articles first described for the 
English people by Hariot. Though now masquerad- 



28 

ing under other names we have no diificulty in 
recognizing in "uppowoc" our tobacco, in ''pagatour" 
our Indian corn, and in ''openauk" our Irish potato.* 
Everybody knows that the first man of rank to intro- 
duce the use of tobacco to the English people was Sir 
Walter Raleigh. He also introduced the cultivation 
of the potato into England and Ireland. No greater 
service was ever rendered the Irish people. So im- 
portant to their welfare has it become that more 
than once in their history it has saved almost the 
whole people from starvation, and though not native 
to the Emerald Isle yet is best known as the Irish 
potato, f 
Relief expeditions. Shortly beforc Lane's embarkation for England a 
ship fitted out by Raleigh "at his owne charge" and 
"fraighted with all maner of things in a most plenti- 
fuU manner, for the supply and reliefe of his colony 
then remaining in Virginia," sailed from England 
bound for Roanoke Island. This vessel reached Hat- 
teras immediately after the departure of the English 
colony "out of this paradise of the world." Finding 
no settlers the ship returned to England. Two weeks 
later Sir Richard Grenville arrived with three ships. 
After diligent search for Lane's people he too turned 
his prow homeward. But "unwilling to loose the 
possession of the countrey which Englishmen had 
so long held, after good deliberation, he determined 
to leave some men behinde to reteine possession of 
the Countrey, whereupon he landed fifteene men in 
the Isle of Roanoke, furnished plentifully with all 
maner of provisions for two yeeres, and so departed 
for England." 

*Hariot's "A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia." 
tStebbing: Sir Walter Ralegh, pp. 49, 101. 




INDIANS FISHING. 
(From the John White Pictures.) 



29 

Kaleigli was not to be deterred from his great J°^n White's 
work by a single failure. "In the yeere of our 
Lord 1587 Sir Walter Kaleigh intending to per- 
severe in the planting of his Countrey of Virginia, 
prepared a newe Colonie of one hun<]rcd and flftie 
men to be sent thither, under the charge of John 
White, whom hee appointed Governour, and also 
appointed unto him twelve Assistants, unto whom 
he gave a Charter, and incorporated them by the 
name of Governour and Assistants of the Citie of 
Ealegh in Virginia." Tbis colony contained seven- 
teen women and nine children. Ten of the men, 
it may be inferred from the names, were accom- 
panied by their wives and children. They were 
therefore going to '"Virginia" to seek permanent 
homes. Three vessels, the Admiral, 120 tons, a 
fly-boat and a pinnace, sailed from Portsmouth April 
2G, 1587, bearing this little colony to its mysterious 
fate. Tollowing the advice of Lane, Raleigh ordered 
the fleet only to touch at Roanoke for the men left 
by Grenville, and then to proceed to the Chesapeake 
where he intended the settlement to be made. This 
order was not obeyed because the commander of 
the fleet, Simon Ferdinando, proved himself to be 
a treacherous villain. On May IG he "lewdly for- 
sooke our Fly-boate, leaving her distressed in the 
Bay of Portugal." His carelessness came near to 
wrecking the fleet on Cape Fear, a disaster averted 
only by tlie vigilance of Captain Stafford. July 22 
brought them to Llatteras and the governor with 
forty men embarked in the pinnace for Roanoke 
Island to bring off Grenville's men. But as they 
left the ship Ferdin-ando sent orders to the sailors 
in the pinnace "charging them not to bring any of 



}0 



lands at Roanoke 
Island 



and begins settle- 
ment. 



The Lord of Roan- 
oke. 



the planters backe againe, but to leave them in the 
Island, "except the Governour, & two or three such 
as he approved, saying that the Summer was farre 
spent, wherefore hee would land the planters in no 
other place." From this decision there was no 
appeal this side of England and White was forced 
against his will to land his colony on Koanoke Island. 
This landing occurred "in the place where our fif- 
teene men were left, but we found none of them, 
nor any signe that they had bene there, saving onely 
wee found the bones of one of those fifteene, which 
the Savages had slaine long before." Afterwards 
they heard from the Croatans the story of this mas- 
sacre. Passing to the north end of the island they 
found the houses and the ruins of the fort built by 
Lane. The houses were in good condition but the 
outer rooms "were overgrowen with Melons of divers 
sortes, and Deere within them, feeding on those 
Melons." The work of repairing these houses and 
the building of new ones was begun without delay. 
While this work was in progress, the fly-boat arrived 
from the Bay of Portugal where Perdinando had 
left it in hopes that it would be lost or destroyed, 
"but God disappointed his wicked pretenses."* The 
arrival of this boat completed the number of planters 
and so the second attempt to found an English colony 
in America was under way. 

Three days later George Howe, one of the twelve 
assistants, was killed by Indians belonging to the 
remnant of Wingina's tribe at Dasamonguepeuk 
"with whom Wanchese kept companie." This mur- 
der led Governor White to send messengers to Manteo 
to renew the friendly alliance with his Indians and. 



' Hackluyt's Voyages. 



31 

if possible, tlirougli liiin with the other tribes. The 
latter part of the plan failed, but peace was renewed 
with the Croatans and on August 13, in obedience 
to Sir Walter Ealeigh's command, Manteo was bap- 
tised and christened Lord of Roanoke and of Dasa- 
monguepeuk ''in reward of his faithful service." 
This is the first instance on record of a Christian 
service by English Protestants within the boundaries 
of the United States and raises the interesting query 
whether the colony contained a clergyman. 

A few days later occurred the second such service vir&mia Dare, 
in connection with the most interesting event in the 
life of the little colony. Among Governor White's 
assistants was his son-in-law, Ananias Dare. On the 
18 of August his wife Eleanor Dare gave birth to 
a daughter. On the following Sunday she was bap- 
tised "and because this child was the first Christian 
borne in Virginia, shee was named Virginia." More 
people perhaps know the story of Virginia Dare 
than of any other baby that ever lived, save one, 
though the last ever heard of her was when she was 
but nine days old. The state of ISTorth Carolina has 
commemorated her birth by embracing the very 
spot whereon she was born into a county called Dare. 
A few days after her birth another baby was born at 
Roanoke, the child of Margery, wife of Dionysus 
Harvie. This child's Christian name is unknown 
but tradition affirms that it was a boy, and if so he 
was the first English man born in America. 

These babies were but a few days old when oc- ^^^jj,*^^^^';*'*"'"" *° 
curred the last recorded event in the life of the colony. 
It was necessary for somebody to return to England 
for supplies. Two of the governor's assistants were 
expected to go but when the time came none of them 



would make the trip. Then "the whole company 
both of the Assistants and planters came to the 
Governour, and with one voice requested him to 
returne himselfe into England, for the better and 
sooner obtaining of supplies, and other necessaries 
for them." At first he would not listen to their 
entreaties, alleging that many of the colony had been 
induced to come by his persuasion "and that some 
enemies to him and the action at his returne into 
England would not spare to slander falsly both him 
and the action" by accusing him of deserting the 
colony. Besides they "intended to remove 50 miles 
further up into the maine presently," and he must 
remain to superintend this removal. But the next 
day "not onely the Assistants but divers others, as 
well women as men," renewed their request agreeing 
to sign a statement "under their hands and scales" 
that his return was made at their earnest entreaties. 
This statement was accordingly duly executed and 
A^^iite "being at the last through their extreame in- 
treating constrayned to returne into England, '" "'' " 
departed from Roanoak the seven and twentieth of 
August in the morning, and the same day about 
midnight, came aboord the Elieboat, who already 
had weyed anker, and rode without the barre, the. 
Admirall riding by them. * " '" The same day 
both the ships weyed anker, and set saile for Eng- 
land."* Erom that day to this the fate of Virginia 
Dare and the Roanoke settlers has been a mystery. 
The Invincible Upou his arrival in England "\^'Tiite found the 

Armada. ^ . 

whole country astir over the approach of the Invin- 
cible Armada. Every English vessel and every Eng- 
lish sailor was in demand for the defence of the 



' White's Narrative in Hackluy t's Voyages. 




w 5 
fa £ 

O H 

o £ 
z s 

OS 



33 

kingdom. There Avas no busier man in all England 
than Sir Walter Kaleigh, yet he fonnd time to listen 
to White's story and by the greatest exertions pre- 
pared a small expedition for the relief of his colony. 
But at the very last moment orders came forbidding 
the expedition to sail. His influence, however, was 
gi-eat and in April 1588 he secured permission for 
two small vessels to go to Eoanoke. They set sail but 
were attacked by Spanish war vessels and compelled 
to return to England. It was too late then to give 
any further attention to the little handful of settlers 
across the ocean; the gTeat Invincible Armada was 
bearing do^^oi on England's coast and every man's 
first duty was at his post to defend his home and 
fireside. In the midst of the danger to the nation ■ 
Virginia Dare was forgotten and neglected. But 
finally the great battle took place and the Spaniards 
were driven crushed and shattered from the English 
Channel, for "God blew with his Avinds and they 
were scattered." 

In March 1590 White finally sailed for Roanoke. Th-e-eh^f or the 
Unfortunately he did not command the vessel on 
which he sailed but went as a passenger on board a 
ship bound for trade in the West Indies. He after- 
wards wrote an account of his search for his colony.* 
"The 15 of August towards Evening we came to an 
anker at Hatorask. * * * At our first coming to 
anker on this shore we saw a great smoke rise in the 
He Eoanoke neere the place where I left our Colony 
in the yeere 1587, which smoake put us in good hope 
that some of the Colony were there expecting my 
returne out of England." The sea was rough and 



• Printed in Hackluyt's Voyages. 



34 

much difficulty was experienced in reaching Roanoke 
Island. On one of the attempts seven men were 
drowned. ''This mischance did so much discomfort 
the saylerSj that they were all of one mind not to goe 
any further to seeke the planters. But in the end 
by the commandement & perswasion of me and Cap- 
taine Cooke, they prepared the boates: and seeing 
the Captaine and me so resolute, they seemed much 
more willing. Our boates and all things fitted 
againe, we put off from Hatorask, being the number 
of 19 persons in both boates: but before we could 
get to the place, where our planters were left, it was 
so exceeding darke, that we overshot the place a 
quarter of a mile : there we espied towards the IsForth 
end of the Hand ye light of a great fire thorow the 
woods, to which we presently rowed : when wee came 
right over against it, we let fall our Grapnel neere 
the shore, & sounded with a trumpet Call, & after- 
wardes many familiar English tunes of Songs, and 
called to them friendly; but we had no answere, we 
therefore landed at day breake, and coming to the 
fire, we found the gTasse & sundry rotten trees 
burning about the place. From hence we went thorow 
the woods to that part of the Island directly over 
against Dasamongwepeuk, & from thence we returned 
by the water side, round about the IsTorth point of 
the Hand, untill we came to the place where I left 
our Colony in the yeere 1586 [1587]. In all this 
way we saw in the sand the print of the Salvages 
feet of 2 or 3 sorts troaden ye night, and as we 
entered up the sandy banke upon a tree, in the 
very browe thereof were curiously carved three faire 
'Croatoan." Eomauc Icttcrs CEO: which letters presently we 

knew to signifie the place, where I should find the 



35 

planters seated, according to a secret token agreed 
upon betweene them & me at my last departure from 
them, which was, that in any wayes they should not 
fail to write or carve on the trees or posts of the 
•dores the name of the place where they should be 
seated; for at my coming away they were prepared 
to remove from Eoanoak 50 miles into the maine. 
Therefore at my departure from them in An. 1587 
I willed them, that if they should happen to be 
distressed in any of those places, that then they 
should carve over the letters or name, a Crosse X 
in this forme, but we found no such signe of distresse. 
And having well considered of this, we passed to- 
ward the place where they were left in sundry houses, 
but we found the houses taken downe, and the place 
very strongly enclosed with a high palisado of great 
trees, with cortynes and flankers very Fortlike, and 
one of the chiefe trees or postes at the right side 
of the entrance had the barke taken off, and 5 foote 
from the ground in fayre Capitall letters was graven 
CROAT OAiT without any crosse or signe of dis- 
tresse ; this done, we entered into the palisado, where 
we found many barres of Iron, two piggies of lead, 
foure yron fowlers. Iron sacker-shotte, and such like 
heavie things, throwen. here and there, almost over- 
growen with gi-asse and weedes. * * * Presently 
Captaine Cooke and I went to the place, which was 
in the ende of an olde trench, made two yeeres past 
by Captain Amadas: where wee found five Chests, 
that had bene carefully hidden of the Planters, and 
of the same chests three were my owne, and about 
the place many of my things spoyled and broken, 
and my bookes torne from the covers, the frames of 
some of my pictures and Mappes rotten and spoyled 



36 

with ra;)aie, and my armour almost eaten through 
with rust; * ^'' ^ but although it much grieved 
. me to see such spoyle of my goods, yet on the other 
hand I greatly joyed that I had safely found a cer- 
taine token of their safe being at Croatoan, which is" 
the place where Manteo was borne, and the Savages 
of tlie Hand our friends." 
The search aban- Preparations were made to proceed to Croatan 
"with as much speede" as possible, for the sky was 
threatening and promised a "foule and stormie night." 
The sailors embarked "with much danger and 
labour." During the night a fierce storm swept the 
sound and the next day "the weather grew to be 
fouler and fouler." The winds lashed the, sea into 
a fury, cables snapt as though made of twine, three 
anchors were cast away and the vessels escaped wreck 
on the sand bars by a hair's breadth. Food ran low 
and fresh water gave out. It was therefore deter- 
mined to go to St. Johns or some other island to 
the southward for fresh water and to continue in 
the West Indies during that winter "with hope to 
make 2 rich voyages of one." It will of course be 
remembered that White was merely a passenger and 
had no voice in determining the course of the fleet. 
He was compelled, therefore, against his wishes to 
acquiesce in this arrangement, but at his "earnest 
petitions" the captain of the fleet agreed to return 
in the spring and renew the search for the colonists. 
It is well-known history that this was not done for 
the voyage to the West Indies was unfortunate, their 
plans went awry and they were compelled to return 
to England without going by way of Croatan. Thus 



37 

was lost the last chance of learning definitely the 
fate of the "Lost Colony.""" 

The departnre of White did not end the search JaTestown.*^ 
for the colonists. Other expeditions were sent out 
without success. As late as 1602 or 1G03 such an 
expedition sailed under the command of Samuel 
Mace. By the time Mace returned with his repeti- 
tion of the same sad story, Ealeigh had been at- 
tainted and his proprietorship to "Virginia" had 
escheated to the crown. His efforts had cost him an 
immense fortune amounting, it is estimated, to no 
less than one million dollars of our money. They had 
brought to him not a penny. But, though his financial 
resources were exhausted, his spirit was as deter- 

* It is not my purpose to discuss in this paper the fate of the "Lost 
Colony." Those who wish to pursue this phase of the subject will find ex- 
haustive discussions of it in "' Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony," by Hamilton 
McMillan, A. M., Advance Presses, Wilson, N. C, 18S8 ; in "'The Lost Colony ^ 

of Roanoke," by Stephen B. Weeks, Ph. D., The Knickerbocker Pi-ess, New 
York. 1891; and in "Virginia Dare," by S. A. Ashe, in the " Biographical 
History of North Carolina," Vol. IV, Charles L. Van Noppen, Publisher, 
Greensboro. N. C, 1906. 

The theory advanced in these intei-esting discussions is that the colonists, 
despairing of the return of White, moved to Croatan, intermarried with the 
Croatan Indians, and became the ancestors of the present tribe of Croatans 
in North Carolina. In support of this theory, appeal is made to White's 
narrative, above quoted; to John Smith's " True Relation," published in 1608 ; 
to a map made in 1608 to illustrate Smith's narrative ; to a pamphlet entitled 
"A True and Sincere Discourse of the Purpose and Ende of the Plantation 
begun in Virginia," published in 1610; to Strachey's "History of Travaile 
in Virginia Britannia," written sometime between 1612 and 1616, but not pub- 
lished until 1849 ; to John Lawson's " History of Carolina," published in 1709 ; 
and finally to the traditions, character, disposition, language and family 
names of the North Carolina Croatans of the present day. 

Dr. Weeks thus summarizes the ar.guments in support of this theory : 
"Smith and Strachey heard that the colonists of 1587 were still alive about 
1607. They were then living on the peninsula of Dasamonguepeuk, whence 
they travelled toward the region of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers. From 
this point they travelled toward the southwest, and settled on the_ upper 
waters of the Neuse. John Lederer heard of them in this direction in 1670 
and remarked on their beards, which wei-e never worn by full-blooded Indians. 
Rev. John Blair heard of them in 1704. John Lawson met some of the 
Croatan Indians about 1709, and was told that their ancestors were white 
men. White settlers came into the middle section of North Carolina as early 
as 171.5, and found the ancestors of the present tribe of Croatan Indians 
tilling the soil, holding slaves, and speaking English. The Croatans of to-day 
claim descent from the lost colony. Their habits, disposition, and mental 
characteristics show traces both of savage and civilized ancestry. Their 
language is the English of three hundred years ago, and their names are in 
many cases the same as those borne by the original colonists. No other theory 
of their origin has been advanced, and it is confidently believed that the 
one here proposed is logically and historically the best, supported as it is. both 
by external and internal evidence. If this theory is rejected, then the critic 
must explain in some other way the origin of a people which, after the lapse 
of three hundred years, show the characteristics, speak the language, and 
possess the family names of the second English colony planted in the western 
world."— "The Lost Colony of Roanoke," pp. 38-39. 



38 

mined as ever and lie never despaired of seeing an 
English colony planted in "Virginia." "I shall yet 
live to see it an English nation," he wrote just Before 
his fall. To the realization of this prophecy no man 
contributed more than he. Among those who sub- 
scribed funds for the founding of the Jamestown 
colony were no less than ten of those who constituted 
the incorporators of the "Citie of Kalegh in Vir- 
ginia" in 1587. In these men we have the connect- 
ing link between the Eoanoke settlements and James- 
town. Thus though Raleigh never set foot on ''Vir- 
ginia" soil, "he will always be esteemed the true 
parent of ISTorth American colonization. An idea 
like his has life in it, though the plant may not 
spring up at once. When it rises above the surface 
the sower can claim it. Had the particular region 
of the New World not eventually become a permanent 
English settlement, he would still have earned the 
merit of authorship of the English colonizing move- 
ment. As Humbolt has said, without him, and with- 
out Cabot, ISTorth America might never have grown 
into a home of the English tongue."* 
Raleigh's efforts Thus We SCO how erroncous it is to refer to Ral- 

not failures. 

eigh's eiforts to plant a colony on Roanoke Island as 
failures. Doubtless such a view may be correct if 
they are to be regarded as isolated events without 
connection with the great events which preceded 
and followed. But surely this is not the historically 
correct view. We stamp the mark of success or fail- 
ure on all human work not by the results of each 
successive step, but by the final outcome. In the his- 
tory of the world generations, and even centuries 
must elapse before judgment may safely be passed 

•Stebbing: "Sir Walter Ralegh," p. 48. 



39 

upon great historic events. Thus to the contempo- 
raries of Sir Walter Raleigh his efforts to colonize 
America may have appeared as failures ; but tlie his- 
torian of to-day, enjoying the perspective which the 
lapse of three centuries affords, if he properly inter- 
pret those events must reverse such a hasty judgment. 
The men of 1587 observed only the failure of each 
particular effort and were unable to foresee the in- 
fluence which his great work would have on the gen- 
eral movement; the men of 1907 see the results of all 
his efforts at the close of a long period of development 
and are able to estimate the contribution which they 
have made to the grand triumph. Thus a distinguished 
Virginian pronounces that Raleigh's "greatest serv- 
ice to England and to the world was his pioneer 
effort to colonize America. * * * Baffled in his 
effort to plant the English race upon this continent, 
he yet called into existence a spirit of enterprise 
which flrst gave Virginia, and then North America, 
to that race, and which led Great Britain, from this 
beginning, to dot the map of the world with her 
colonies, and through them to become the greatest 
power of the earth."* Such are the immense results 
that have sprung from the eft'orts of Raleigh, and 
Lane, and White to plant an English colony on the 
shores of North Carolina. That judginent, there- 
fore, is correct which declares that, looking back 
upon the events of the last three centuries, "We can 
hail the Roanoke settlement as the beginning of- 
English colonization in America." 

♦William Wirt Henry: "Sir V/alter Ralegh"; Winsor's Narrative and 
Critical History of America, Vol. HI, p. 105. 



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