The Lost Colony

More thirty years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, a group of weary men, women and children arrived at Roanoke Island in July 1587, establishing the first permanent settlement in the Americas.

The Roanoke Colony was a late 16th-century attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement. The charter for the settlement was originally financed and organized by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who drowned in 1583. Gilbert's half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, gained his brother's charter from the Queen and executed the details of the charter.

After sending and exploring expedition, Raleigh organized a second expedition, to be led by Sir Richard Grenville. 5 ships were sent, however they were separated and Grenville grew tired of waiting, so he sailed to Roanoke. There, he built a fort and left about 110 men on the island, promising to return.

In 1587, Raleigh dispatched a new group of 115 colonists to establish a colony on Chesapeake Bay. John White, a friend of Raleigh, was appointed to be the governor of these settlers.

The group settled in Roanoke went missing during the Anglo-Spanish War. White was sent to find them by Raleigh. They were nicknamed the Lost Colony because there was not a trace of them found. The only clue was the word "Croatoan" carved into a post of the fence around the village and "Cro" carved into a nearby tree. All the houses had been dismantled, which meant their departure had not been hurried.

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