In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh was given permission by Queen Elizabeth I to colonize Virginia. He dispatched an expedition to the East Coast of North America. Between 1585 and 1587, two groups of colonists were left on Roanoke Island to establish the settlement. Sir Raleigh returned from the trip with two American Indians and samples of animals and plants.
After fights with local tribes, the first colony was low on food and men to defend the settlement. When Sir Francis Drake visited after a raid in the Caribbean, he offered to take the people of the settlement back to England. They accepted and left.
In 1587, 150 new colonists arrived and found the local natives (the Croatans) to be friendly. The group tried to befriend some of the other tribes that the previous colonists had fought with. This resulted in the death of one of the settlers – he was killed by the Croatans. The remaining members of the group convinced the leader, Governor White, to return to England for help. They returned to England, but left behind ninety men, seventeen women, and eleven children.
When White returned in August 1590, the settlement was deserted. There were no signs of a struggle and no remains were found at all. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree.
The settlement became known as the Lost Colony and no members were ever seen again.
Hypotheses about their disappearance include cannibalism, starvation or that the people became lost at sea. But the most supported theory is that the colony joined the Croatan tribe.
What do you think happened to this colony?