Roanoke Colony, Virginia - The Lost Colony Illustration

Roanoke Colony, Virginia
The Lost Colony

Three groups of English settlers arrived on North Carolina’s Roanoke Island, one after the other.

In 1584, the first group mapped the area and left.

In 1585, the second group arrived, composed of scientists and military men. They did not get along with the local Indian tribes and were driven out.

In 1587, a third group of settlers arrived. There were 90 men, 13 women, and 11 children. These settlers had every intention of staying and building a new home for themselves and their families. Three years later, they disappeared. No one knows what happened to them. They left behind two clues. The word "Croatoan" was carved into a gatepost in the fort they had built, and the word "Cro" was carved into a tree. It was always assumed they had left these carved words to tell people where they had gone - to Croatoan, another settlement. Only, they weren’t there.

There have been many theories about what happened to this group of people. Some theories suggest they died of disease that swept the settlement. Others suggest they were killed by the local Indian tribes. Recently, a new theory has surfaced, as explained by National Geographic. You can read about here: Lost and Possibly Found - The Colony of Roanoke

This early colony on Roanoke Island is remembered, first, because it's a mystery - how do you lose a colony? And second, before the colonists disappeared, the first English child born in the New World was born here. Her name was Virginia Dare.

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