The lost colony of Roanoke : its fate and survival




[Reprinted from Papers Am. Hist. Asso., Vol. iv., No. 4., 1891.]

By Professor Stephen B. Weeks, Ph.D., Trinity College, North Carolina.

The English race has had three homes. Old England was to be found amid the primitive forests of Germany; Middle England is Britain; New England is America. We revere the region which nourished our ancestors during the childhood of the race and developed in them the qualities of bravery, purity, and patriotism. No spot in Britain, remarks the historian of the English people, can be so sacred to Englishmen as that which first felt the tread of English feet; and to Americans no spot should be so sacred as Roanoke Island in Dare County, North Carolina, within sight and sound of the stormy Atlantic, where the first English settlement in the new world was made. Here landed in 1585 the first forerunners of the English-speaking millions now in America; here was turned the first spade of earth to receive English seed; here the first English house was built and here on the 18th of August, 1587, Virginia Dare, the first of Anglo-Americans, was born.

The coast of the present State of North Carolina was seen for the first time by Sebastian Cabot during his voyage of 1498. On this voyage Cabot touched Newfoundland, and, keeping the land on his right, coasted as far south as the latitude of Gibraltar, which brought him to Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. At this point he was forced by lack of provisions to return. In his voyage the next year it is probable that Cabot went over the same course and extended his explorations southward until he came in contact

[Reprinted from PAPERS AM. HIST. ASSO., Vol. iv., No. 4., 1891.]

with the Spaniards,1 but no definite account of these voyages has been preserved.

The first time, perhaps, that the coast of North Carolina was touched by Europeans was on March 10, O. S., 1524. On that day Giovanni Verrazano, a Florentine in the service of Francis I. of France, landed on the coast a little north of the mouth of Cape Fear river. His stay in this place was short, but advancing farther north, he landed again in 34∘. He found the whole shore “covered with fine sand about fifteen feet deep, rising in the form of little hills about fifty paces broad. Ascending farther, we found several arms of the sea which, entering through inlets, washed the shore on each side as the coast trends. An extensive country appears, rising somewhat above the level of the sandy beach in beautiful fields and broad plains, covered with immense forests, more or less dense, the foliage of the trees being of various colors, too attractive and charming to be described. I do not believe that these are like the Hercynian forest, or the rough solitudes of Scythia, or the northern regions full of vines and trees, but growing with palms, laurels, cypresses, and other varieties of trees unknown in Europe, which exhale a very sweet fragrance a great distance. . . . The country abounds with many animals as deer, stags, hares, and the like. . . . The air is salubrious, pure, and of a temperature neither hot nor cold.”2 Verrazano continued to coast to the north; near Roanoke one of his sailors swam on shore to carry presents to the natives, and in this way was North Carolina made known to the Old World. No one can read the description of Verrazano without being

1 Peschel, “Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen” (ed. 1877), p. 217.

2 Quoted in Weise: “Discoveries of America to 1525,” p. 302, seq. The authenticity of the letter to Francis I. in which Verrazano gives an account of his explorations and discoveries has been attacked by Buckingham Smith, who says the coasts of Carolina were first visited by Esteban Gomez, one of the pilots of Magellan, in 1525. Henry C. Murphy also declares for Gomez in “The Voyage of Verrazzano,” but James Carson Brevoort in his “Verrazano the Navigator,” and Dr. B. F. De Costa in his “Verrazano the Explorer,” maintain the authenticity of the letter. A summary of the arguments pro and con will be found in the “Narrative and Critical History of America,” iv., chap. i.

impressed with its striking resemblance to the account given of the same country sixty years later by Amadas and Barlowe.

On the basis of the discoveries of Verrazano, France set up a claim to the country. She was destined to substantiate these claims by actual settlements. In February, 1562, a colony of French Huguenots sailed for America under the patronage of the Admiral de Coligny. They were commanded by Jean Ribaut of Dieppe, a brave mariner and a firm Protestant. They established themselves near Port Royal, in South Carolina, and named their fort Charles in honor of the weak, bigoted, and cruel Charles IX. of France. This colony returned to France the next year. In 1564 a second colony set out under Laudonnière, and fixed their new home on St. Johnʻs river, near St. Augustine.1 These immigrants were massacred by the Spaniards in 1565, “not as Frenchmen but as Lutherans,”2 and French efforts to secure a foothold in the southeast of the United States ceased. The grant made by Charles I. to Sir Robert Heath in 1629 included all the Atlantic coast between 31∘ and 36∘ and thus shut out the French from the seaboard, but even as late as 1655 they laid claims to all the country between the Altamaha and the Cape Fear rivers, extending indefinitely westward.

The explorers of 1584 also learned from the Indians that Europeans had been on the coast from time to time. These were probably Spaniards, and came, according to Laneʻs conjecture, to trade for the white pearl. Barlowe tell us

1 It has been claimed that the name “Carolina” came from these two settlements, but such is not the case. The fort built in 1564 was also named “Caroline.” “Voila en brief la description de nostre forteresse, que je nommay la Caroline, en l'honneur de nostre prince le roy Charles” (cf. Laudonnièreʻs account of the second voyage made to Florida in Basanierʻs “Histoire notable de la Floride,” p. 86, ed. 1853); but nowhere is this name applied to the country. In the third voyage the country is called New France and by this title it continued to be known: “Voyla en bref le descours de tout ce qui est advenu en la Nouvelle France, depuis qu'il pleust à la majesté du Roy d'y envoyer ses subjects pour y descouvrir les terres” (ibid., p. 205). On this subject cf. also the “Narrative and Critical History of America,” v., 286, note.

2 Bancroft, “History of the United States,” last ed., i., 57.

that a European vessel was lost on the coast some years before their coming, and all the crew perished. The natives secured some nails and spikes from the wreck and used them in making their best instruments. Some survivors from another wrecked ship lived for awhile with the natives, and Barlowe saw among them children with “very fine auburn and chestnut-colored hair.” This indicates that there had been, for a time at least, some intercourse with white men.


In 1584 Queen Elizabeth granted a patent to Sir Walter Ralegh “to discover, search, find out, and view such remote heathen and barbarous lands, countries and territories not actually possessed of any Christian prince, nor inhabited by Christian people, as to him, his heirs, and assigns, and to every or any of them shall seem good.” He was granted “all prerogatives, commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, privileges, franchises, and pre-eminences” belonging thereto. He was given power “to correct, punish, pardon, govern,” all persons settling within two hundred leagues of any place colonized by him within six years. He was accountable to the Queen alone, and had power to make any laws not contrary to those of England and the Established Church. The settlers were granted “all the privileges of free denizens, and persons native of England, and within our allegiance in such like ample manner and form as if they were born and personally resident within our said realm of England, any law, custom or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.”1

Under this broad and comprehensive patent Ralegh fitted out two small vessels. He put them under the command of Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe. They sailed from

1 The patent of Elizabeth can be found in Hawksʻs “History of North Carolina,” i., 11, seq., reprinted from Hakluyt, iii., 243, ed. 1598-1600; also in Hazardʻs “Historical Collections,” i., 33, and in Pooreʻs “Charters and Constitutions,” ii., 1379.

the west of England, April 27, 15841. Ralegh did not accompany the fleet, for Barloweʻs narrative is addressed to him; nor did he ever visit Virginia. The fleet sailed by way of the West Indies, which was the usual route. They coasted up the gulf stream, and on July 2 found shoal water “where we smelled so sweet and strong a smell as if we had been in the midst of some delicate garden abounding in all kinds of odoriferous flowers.” They arrived on the coast on the 4th, and sailed along it 120 miles before finding an inlet. They entered the first they saw.2

The explorers landed on the North Carolina coast on the fourth day of July, O.S., 15843. They found the land low and sandy, “but so full of grapes as the very beating and surge of the sea overflowed them.” At the discharge of a harquebus a flock of cranes arose with such a cry as if an army of men had shouted together. They discovered

1 Barloweʻs narrative in Hawks, i., 69-88.

2 This was not Ocracoke Inlet, as Mr. Bancroft states in his “History of the United States” (last edition, i., 69), for Ocracoke Inlet and Wocokon Island, on which he tells us they landed, is “four days’ journey,” or about eighty miles distant from Roanoke Island, while, as the explorers tell us, the inlet through which they really passed is only “seven leagues” from Roanoke. Mr. William L. Welch has examined the question in “An Account of the Cutting through of Hatteras Inlet,” etc., and concludes (p. 10) that “they entered at ‘Trinity Harbor’ north of Roanoke Island, which inlet was about where ‘Caffey’ inlet used to be,” and “that Wocokon, our Ocracoke, was to them an unknown place.”

3 In 1884 an effort was made by Senator Vance of North Carolina to secure a national recognition of the ter-centenary of the landing of the English. A bill was introduced into Congress providing that three Senators and five Representatives be appointed a committee “to prepare a design and arrange for the erection of a suitable monument or column at or near the spot where Raleighʻs first expedition landed, on Roanoke Island, and to secure sufficient ground therefor, and to cause to be placed on said monument such inscriptions as will properly commemorate the event, and honor those who planned and executed it.” Thirty thousand dollars was to be appropriated for this monument, and the corner-stone was to be laid on July 4, 1884, in the presence of the committee, the governors of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with such other officers of the executive departments as the President might designate. This bill never became a law, and to-day the birthplace of the American people is practically inaccessible for nine months in the year, unmarked and almost unknown.

the land on which they were to be an island, some twenty miles long and not more than six broad. It had many goodly woods full of deer, conies, hares, and fowl, and the cedars were far better than “the cedars of the Azores, of the Indies or Lybanus.” On the third day three of the natives approached the vessels. The Indians landed; one advanced, and some of the English went to meet him. They took him on board, gave him a shirt and a hat, and made him taste their meat and wine. He viewed their vessels and departed to his boat.

The next day Granganimeo, the brother of Wingina, the king, came to see them with forty or fifty of his men, “very handsome and goodly people, and in their behavior as mannerly and civil as any of Europe.” The prince made great efforts to show his joy and to give the English a warm welcome. To their inquiries in regard to the name of the country, one of the savages who did not understand the question, answered “Wingandacoa,” meaning, “you wear good clothes.” This was misunderstood by the English, and given as the name of the country.

Later, Barlowe with seven men went twenty miles “into” the river Occam, and came to the island of Roanoke. At the north end was a village of nine houses, built of cedar and fortified with palisadoes. Granganimeo was not at home, but his wife came out to receive them. She carried them to her house and treated them “with all love and kindness, and with as much bounty (after their manner) as they could possibly devise.” They found the people “most gentle, loving and faithful, void of all guile and treason, and such as live after the manner of the golden age.”

The English remained in the country about two months, making friends with the Indians and exploring. No attempt was made toward a settlement. They reached England about the middle of September, bringing with them two of the natives, Manteo and Wanchese, who were destined to return to their native land, the former to become the faithful friend of the English, the latter their unrelenting enemy.


The matter of planting a colony in Virginia could not long remain neglected; Raleghʻs charter had been drawn with a design to foster colonization; Englishmen looked in wonder upon the natives of this strange land beyond the seas; they were enthused by the glowing accounts of the new country, of its wealth, health, productiveness, and people; Ralegh named it Virginia1 in honor of the Virgin Queen, and adventurers were easily gathered for a new expedition, which sailed from Plymouth, April 9, 1585. It was composed of seven vessels and was under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, the cousin of Ralegh. There were more than a hundred persons on board. They were furnished with all necessary provisions

1 Virginia was the general name given to the territory claimed by the English. These claims were based on the discoveries of the Cabots, the explorations under the direction of Ralegh, and permanent settlements. In 1629, under the grant made by Charles I. to Sir Robert Heath, the territory between 31∘ and 36∘ was erected into a separate province and called Carolana, in honor of the ruling king of England, while the term Carolina was used in a more restricted sense and corresponded roughly to the present territory bearing that name. (“Carolana and Carolina are two distinct tho’ bordering Provinces, the east of Carolana joyning to the west of Carolina.”—Coxeʻs “Carolana.”) The terms of the patent of Heath were never fulfilled, and on March 20, 1663, Charles II. granted the same stretch of territory to the eight Lords Proprietors. It was erected into a province and called Carolina. By the terms of a third charter given in 1665, the boundaries were extended half a degree on the north, and two degrees on the south.

The term North Carolina originally meant only that strip of territory between 36∘ and 36∘-30', which was thus transferred to the Lords Proprietors from Virginia. The settlements in this section were known as Albemarle, and this term indicated the same territory as North Carolina; but in 1689 the governor of the colony ceased to be called Governor of Albemarle, and was styled Governor or Deputy Governor of North Carolina. The name Carolina was used to denote all the territory included within the charter of 1663. Gradually the name North Carolina travelled toward the south, and came to embrace all the country to the north and east of Cape Fear river. In 1719 the governments of North Carolina and South Carolina were made entirely distinct by the revolt of the latter colony from the authority of the Proprietors; since that time the names have conformed to present usage.—(“Colonial Record of North Carolina,” i., pref. xxiii., xxiv.)

and were intended as permanent settlers. Its governor was Ralph Lane, son of Sir Ralph Lane, Knight of Orlinbury. He was born in 1540, and his mother was Maude Parre, the cousin of Catherine Parre. Young Ralph entered the service of the Queen in 1563, and about January, 1584, was made governor of Kerry and Clanmorris in Ireland. His residence in Ireland and Raleghʻs interests there will account for the number of Irish names which appear among the colonists. He was made governor of the American colony as early as February, 1585. His subsequent career is one of distinguished honor. In 1587 he was member of a council of war called to concert measures against the threatened Armada, and was knighted in 1593 for gallantry.

The fleet carried a galaxy of men whose names were to become famous in the annals of American history. There were, besides Grenville and Lane, Thomas Cavendish, the soldier and explorer; Thomas Hariot, the mathematician and naturalist; John White, the artist and future governor; Philip Amadas, the admiral of the former expedition, and now designated as deputy to Lane, together with Manteo and Wanchese the natives. They sailed via the Canaries and West Indies. On June 23 they were in great danger of suffering wreck on a “breach called the Cape of Fear”; June 26 they arrived at Wocokon. Grenville, with Lane, Hariot, and others, explored the main as far as Secotan and were entertained by the savages. In a moment of angry haste Grenville burned and spoiled the corn of the Indians at Aquascogoc for the theft of a silver cup, thus sowing the seeds of an animosity that was to bear its evil fruit in the near future. Grenville planted a colony at Roanoke Island under the command of Lane and set sail for England, August 25. He had had trouble with Lane on the outward voyage; Lane became convinced that no good was intended him and this perhaps hastened his abandonment of the undertaking. Grenville revisited Virginia in 1586 only to find it swept

1Cf. the letter of Lane written to Sir Francis Walsingham, Sept. 8, 1585, and printed in “Archæologia Americana,” vol. iv., p. 13, seq.

and garnished. He fell in 1591 while fighting the Spaniards off the Azores.

The fortunes of the colony after the departure of Grenville have been preserved by Hakluyt.1 The story is from the pen of Ralph Lane himself and was sent to Hakluyt from “the new fort in Virginia.” Their impression of the new country was very favorable, for Lane says, “we have discovered the main to be the goodliest soil under the cope of heaven,” and again, “if Virginia had but houses and kine in some reasonable proportion, I dare assure myself, being inhabited with English no realm in christendom were comparable to it.” The time of the colonists was spent principally in exploration. This was not inconsiderable in amount, although they labored under grave difficulties. Their pinnace drew too deep water for the sound and “would not stir for an oar”; they had besides the pinnace only a small boat with four oars. This could not carry above fifteen men with their furniture, baggage, and victuals for seven days at most. But, beginning at Croatan, they passed along the eastern coast of the State, visiting parts of the present counties of Carteret, Craven, Jones, Beaufort, Hyde, Dare, and all the counties north of Albemarle Sound. They went up the Chowan to the junction of the Meherrin and Nottoway rivers. They went 130 miles northward from Roanoke Island through Currituck Sound and then journeyed fifteen miles inland to the country of the “Chesapeans,” not far from the site of the city of Norfolk. They explored the great river Roanoke, called by the natives Moratoc; they ascended it for 110 miles, going, perhaps, into the present county of Warren. On this journey they had to fight hostile natives and the wolf of hunger. They called a council, a return was proposed, but these brave fellows decided to keep on “while there was left one half pint of corn for a man.” It came to the worst on the return trip and for four days they lived on dog meat and sassafras leaves. Such was the earnestness of purpose, the steadiness of aim, and unflinching determination shown by the earliest explorers of our waters.

1 In Hawksʻs “History of North Carolina,” vol. i., pp. 103-145.

The Indians of Roanoke soon began to give trouble. Granganimeo had died soon after Laneʻs arrival. Wingina thereupon changed his name to Pemisapan, and the party hostile to the English came into the ascendant at his court. They plotted to starve the English by running away and leaving their grounds in the island unsown. Had this been done the colonists must have starved, “for at that time we had no weirs for fish, neither could our men skill of the making of them, neither had we one grain of corn for seed to put into the ground.” This plot was frustrated by Ensinore, the father of the king, and the only friend of the English at court. Ensinore died in April, 1586. Pemisapan now formed a coalition of the tribes to the north against the English. He determined to conquer on the Roman plan,—by dividing the forces of his enemies. To this end the Indians refused to sell the English any corn whatever, while others went by night to rob and break down their weirs. Lane was forced to send twenty men to Croatan and ten to Hatteras to live on fish and to look out for a sail; sixteen or twenty more were sent every week to the main to live on “casada” and oysters. June 10 was the day fixed by the savages for a general massacre. The plot was betrayed by Skyco, an Indian prince whom Lane had kept as a hostage, and had treated with great kindness. The English acted at once; they sent word to the savages that they desired an audience, came upon them suddenly on the mainland, and put Pemisapan with his chief conspirators to death.

The colonists, in the meantime, having given up all hope of help from England that year, had planted a bountiful crop, sufficient for two years; but June 9 Captain Stafford came up from Croatan with news that an English fleet of twenty-three sail was off the coast. He brought letters from Sir Francis Drake, who offered to supply the colonists with victuals, ammunition, and clothing, with barks, pinnaces, and such other boats as were necessary, to man and furnish them as Lane thought desirable. His generous offer was accepted. The Francis, a bark of seventy tons, was made ready, furnished with all necessaries, and two of his most experienced

masters were put on board. But at this time a fearful storm arose “in the road of our bad harbor,” the fleet was scattered, and the Francis was forced to put to sea to escape wreck. She was seen no more until they reached England. The ships of the fleet were much damaged, but Drake gave Lane the refusal of a vessel of 170 tons, the only available one at his command. It was found that the draft of this vessel was too great to enter the harbor. Lane called a council. The prospects were gloomy; their company, originally 108 in number, had been somewhat weakened; the first bark given them by Drake, with the provisions, ammunition, masters, and some of the best colonists and sailors, had been carried to sea; Sir Richard Grenville had promised to visit them before Easter and had not yet arrived; the relations between England and Flanders were not encouraging;—under these circumstances they determined to return with Drake to England. They departed June 19, and reached Portsmouth July 27, 1586. Thus ended the first actual settlement of Englishmen in the New World.1

Soon after the departure of Lane another ship, fitted out by Ralegh for that purpose, and laden with all things necessary, arrived at Hatteras. They spent some time in seeking the colonists, but finding no one, returned. Two weeks after the departure of Raleghʻs ship, Sir Richard Grenville arrived with three ships. He explored the country in a fruitless search. He was anxious to retain possession of it for England, and left fifteen men behind him on Roanoke Island. These men were seen no more by Europeans. White learned from the savages the next year that they had been either slain by hostile Indians or drowned while trying to coast in a small boat from Roanoke Island to Croatan.


The keenest observer in Laneʻs colony was Thomas Hariot, the mathematician. To him we are indebted for

1 Bancroft, “History of the United States,” i., 79.

an account of the soil and of its “natural inhabitants,” as given in his report to Sir Walter Ralegh, which has been preserved by Hakluyt in his “Voyages,” in an abridged form, and reprinted by Dr. Hawks.1 Hariot begins with the “merchantable commodities,” telling of silks native to the soil, of timber, oil, metals, furs, dye-stuffs, gums, of tar, rosin, pitch, and turpentine, which have since played so important a rôle in the economic history of the State. He found there a grape, indigenous to the soil, “of himself luscious sweet.” This has been identified as the scuppernong, which is still growing in its old home, and has spread thence over the country. In the “pagatour” of the natives we easily recognize our Indian corn. “Englishmen call it Guinea-wheat or Turkey-wheat, according to the names of the countries from whence the like has been brought. The grain is about the bigness of our ordinary English pease, and not much different in form and shape; but of divers colors, some white, some red, some yellow, and some blue. All of them yield a very white and sweet flour, being used according to his kind, it makes a very good bread.”

In Hariotʻs “openauk” we recognize our Irish potato. These “are a kind of roots of round form, some of the bigness of walnuts, some far greater, which are found in moist and marshy grounds, growing many together, one by another in ropes, as though they were fastened with a string. Being boiled or sodden, they are very good meat.”2

We recognize another article from Hariotʻs description, called by the natives “uppowoc,” by the Spaniards called tobacco. The natives esteemed uppowoc very highly; they dried the leaves, and smoked them, drawing the fumes through clay pipes “into their stomach and head, from whence it purges superfluous phlegm and other gross humors, and opens all the pores and passages of the body. . . . whereby their bodies are notably preserved in health, and know not many grievous diseases.” They believed that

1 “History of North Carolina,” i., pp. 147-190.

2 The Brazilians called the potato “openanc,” which is evidently the same word.

their gods were “marvelously delighted” with uppowoc; they threw it into their fires for sacrifice; they cast it into the air and on the water in a storm, showing clearly that they peopled both elements with invisible beings. When they set a new weir, or when delivered from danger, they threw it into the air, and this was done with strange gestures, with clapping of hands, and with dancing.1

The “natural inhabitants” were clothed in loose mantles of deer-skins, with aprons of the same material around their middles. They had no edge-tools, no weapons of iron or steel, and knew not how to make them. Their bows were made of witch-hazel, with arrows of reeds; for swords they used flat-edge truncheons about a yard long. Their shields were made of wicker-work fastened with threads. They were ordinarily gentle toward the white people, but had all the characteristic shrewdness and treachery of their race and waged fierce wars against one another, a favorite method being by surprises and ambuscades. Their towns were small, some of them having not more than thirty houses, and if defended at all only by a wall made from the bark of trees fastened to stakes. The chief ruler was called a Weroance, and the extent of his territory varied greatly. Their languages were much diversified, but had perhaps developed from a common stock.

These Indians were polytheistic; their gods were of different sorts and degrees of power. There was one chief deity who had been from all eternity. The gods were of human shape, and were represented by images called Kewas. These Kewasawak were placed in temples called Machicomuck, where they worshipped, prayed, sung, and sometimes offered sacrifice. They believed in the immortality of the soul, with a reward according to deeds. The good were

1 Lane introduced tobacco into England on his return from this expedition. Ralegh was the first person of rank to use it, but Mr. Green is mistaken when he says in his “Short History of the English People” (chap. viii., § iv.) that “the introduction of tobacco and of the potato into Europe dates from Raleighʻs discovery.” Tobacco had been known on the continent for a generation at least.—Cf. Peschel, “Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen

carried to a place of perpetual happiness and bliss. The wicked were cast into the great hell-pit of fire called Popogusso. Hariot explained to them the contents of the Bible and its doctrine of salvation through Christ. He told them there was no virtue in the book itself, but that the power lay in the principles; still many were “glad to touch it, to embrace it, to kiss it, to hold it to their breasts and heads, and stroke all over their body with it, to show their hungry desire of that knowledge which was spoken of.”

The Indians believed that woman was created first, and through her union with the gods came the human race. They thought the compass, the perspective glass, the load-stone, burning glasses, guns, writing materials, and clocks to be the work of gods rather than men. They believed the white people could kill them at any distance with invisible bullets, and all strange diseases, losses, or hurts were attributed to the colonists. As there were no women among these, and as they were seldom sick, it seemed as if they were not born of women, but were men of an older generation, who had arisen to immortality. “Some would like-wise seem to prophecy that there were more of our generation yet to come and kill theirs, and take their places,” and that this extermination had already begun.


In 1587 Sir Walter Ralegh, intending to persevere in planting his territory of Virginia, prepared a new colony. He appointed John White1 governor, and gave him twelve assistants, whom he incorporated under the name of the “Governor and Assistants of the City of Ralegh in Virginia.”

1 Governor White has been identified by Henry Stevens in his “Bibliotheca Americana,” p. 222, and by Dr. John G. Kohl in his “Maps Relating to America Mentioned in Hakluyt,” with that John White, or With, or Wyth, or Whit who accompanied Grenville on his expedition in 1585, and carried back illustrations in water-colors of the plants, birds, beasts, and natives, with their habits and modes of life. These were taken with beauty and exactness, says Bancroft, and were the means of encouraging an interest in Virginia by diffusing a knowledge of its productions.

The colonists sailed in three ships, May 8, 1587. They numbered 117 souls. Seventeen were women, ten of this number perhaps being with their husbands. Ralegh had learned from the experience of former fleets that the harbor of Roanoke was, as Lane had said, “very naught.” He instructed them therefore to abandon the settlement on Roanoke, and to coast northward, to make the Chesapeake of which Lane had learned, and to fix their homes there.1 This was not done. Governor White says it was due to the treachery of Simon Ferdinando, the pilot. This man was a Portuguese, who had settled in England. He sailed with Drake in 1577; he explored the coast of Maine in 1579-802; he had been the pilot of Fentonʻs voyage in 1582-83; he had been on the expedition of Amadas and Barlowe in 1584; and was with Grenville in 1585. White says that he deserted their fly-boat in the bay of Portugal, that he loitered among the West Indies, that he deceived and lied to the colonists, and came near causing them shipwreck about Cape Fear; but Lane, in his letter to Walsingham of August 12, 1585, speaks of him in the highest terms, even considering him worthy to be commemorated in the inlet which was the “beste harborough of all the reste,” since known as Hatteras,3 and it is not probable that a long period of service would have been closed with an act of treachery.

The fleet reached the coast July 22. Governor White at once started to Roanoke, but as soon as the pinnace had pushed off from the ship, he tells us that the sailors in it were charged not to bring any of the planters back, but to leave them on the island. Three days later the rest of the planters arrived in the fly-boat. They speedily adjusted themselves to the new turn of affairs and prepared to remain on the island.

August 13, 1587, Manteo, the faithful friend of the English, was baptized and made Lord of Roanoke and Dasamonguepeuk, probably the only title of nobility ever given

1 “Narrative of Fourth Voyage to Virginia,” Hawks, i., 191-212.

2New England Historical and Genealogical Register, April, 1890.

3 For this letter, cf. “Archæologia Americana,” vol. iv., p. 9.

to a native of the New World, and the only one in North Carolina until the time of John Locke and his Fundamental Constitutions. August 18, Eleanor Dare, daughter of John White, the governor, and wife of Ananias Dare, one of the assistants, was delivered of a daughter, and because this child was the first born in the new settlement she was christened Virginia, the first of our race in the western hemisphere. She is remembered in the name of our most eastern county, whose capital is Manteo, on Roanoke Island.

At the earnest request of the colony it was decided that Governor White should return to England as factor to provide for the wants and needs of the settlers. He sailed August 27. From that time the fated colonists were never seen again by the eyes of civilized man, for the war for religious liberty was now coming on; Protestant England was struggling against Catholic Spain, and all the valor of Ralegh, Grenville, and Lane was needed by their royal mistress to meet the Invincible Armada. But even in the midst of these struggles Ralegh found means to send White to Virginia in 1588. He sailed from Biddeford, April 22, with two pinnaces. They carried fifteen planters and all “convenient provisions”; but one of his vessels met two men-of-war of Rochelle, about fifty leagues north-east of Madeira, and, after a bloody fight, was boarded and rifled. It returned to England within a monthʻs time, and about three weeks later the other also returned.1 Thus ended all efforts to succor the American colony in 1588, and in 1589 nothing seems to have been done.

The colony was neglected for the time, but in February, 1590 (1591), through the influence of Ralegh, White secured the release of three merchantmen bound for the West Indies, then detained by an embargo, on condition that they bear supplies and passengers to Virginia. These conditions were not fulfilled. White went out alone, unaccompanied by even a servant. The vessels sailed March 20, 1591, but the seamen thought more of plundering than planting. They cruised for some months in the Spanish main, took a number

1 Oldys, “Life of Raleigh,” p. 81. The account of the fortunes of this expedition is related somewhat differently in Hakluyt, edition of 1589, p. 771.

of rich prizes, and reached Virginia in August. Here they encountered heavy gales, and lost seven of their best seamen in trying to reach Roanoke. At last a boat was anchored off the fort. They sounded a trumpet-call and many familiar English tunes, but received no answer. At daybreak they landed; as they stepped upon the sandy beach they saw carved in the very brow of a tree the “fair Roman letters, C. R. O.” They advanced to the fort. The houses had been taken down, and the place had been inclosed with a palisado of great trees. They saw many bars of iron, two pigs of lead, iron fowlers, iron-locker shot, and similar heavy things scattered here and there and overgrown with grass. They found where some chests had been buried and then dug up again, their contents spoiled and scattered. White saw some of his own chests broken open, his books torn from their covers, his pictures and maps rotten from the rain, and his armor almost eaten through with rust. One of the principal trees, which was used as a post at the right side of the entrance to the fort, had the bark taken off, and five feet above the ground, in “fair capital letters, was graven CROATOAN.”1 No other memorials remained. The colonists had vanished. White returned to the ships, bidding a sad farewell to his colony, to his daughter, and his grandchild. The captain agreed to carry him to Croatan, but after delays pleaded shortness of supplies, and sailed to the West Indies. The colony left on Roanoke Island in 1587 was seen no more.2

We know nothing further of the history of John White,

1 Martin (“History of North Carolina,” i., 35) says “the stump of a liveoak, said to have been the tree on which this word [he should have said “the letters C. R. O.”] was cut, was shown as late as the year 1778 by the people of Roanoke Island. It stood at the distance of about six yards from the shore of Shalon-bas-bay, on the land then owned by Daniel Baum. This bay is formed by Ballast-point and Baumʻs-point.” English coins, a brass gun, a powder-horn, and a small quarter-deck gun made of iron staves, with iron hoops, were shown Lawson as relics.

2 White says that this was his “fifth and last voyage to Virginia.” He started there in 1588; he was there in 1587. He was with the expedition of 1585, and, although his name does not appear on the list of those “that remained one whole year in Virginia,” was probably among them. It seems probable then that he was also with Amadas and Barlowe in 1584.

but still Ralegh did not despair. In 1602 Samuel Mace, of Weymouth, who had been in Virginia twice before, was employed by Ralegh “to find those people which were left there in 1587. To whose succor he hath sent five several times at his own charges.” “At this last time, to avoid all excuse,”—for the former expeditions had accomplished nothing—Ralegh “bought a bark, and hired all the company for wages by the month: who departing from Weymouth in March last, 1602, fell forty leagues to the southwestward of Hatteras in 34 degrees or thereabout.” They spent a month here, and pretended that extremity of weather and loss of tackle prevented them from entering Hatteras Inlet, to which they had been sent.1 They accomplished nothing. In 1608 Capt. John Smith sent a woodman to the Chowan region to inquire for the lost colonists, but in vain. In 1610, an exploring expedition under Capt. Samuel Argall went from Virginia into parts of Chowanock among the Mangoags for the same purpose, but without success.2

We have no evidence that the “city of Ralegh” was visited by Europeans from the departure of White in 1591 until 1654, when Francis Yardley sent out a company of five from Virginia. The Indians of the island received them kindly, and “showed them the ruins of Sir Walter Raleighʻs fort.” In 1676 the site was purchased by a New Englander. A description of it, printed by Edward C. Bruce in Harperʻs Magazine for May, 1860, will serve as a sufficiently accurate account for this day. “The trench is clearly traceable in a square of about forty yards each way. Midway of one side . . . another trench, perhaps flanking the gateway, runs in some fifteen or twenty feet. . . . And on the right of the same face of the inclosure, the corner is apparently thrown out in the form of a small bastion. The ditch is generally two feet deep, though in many places scarcely perceptible. The whole site is overgrown

1 Purchas, “Pilgrimes,” iv., 1653, 1812, 1813; cf. also “The Pilgrimage,” iii., 828.

2 Strachey, “History of Travaile into Virginia Britannia,” 41.

with pine, live-oak, vines, and a variety of other plants, high and low. A flourishing live-oak, draped with vines, stands sentinel near the centre. A fragment or two of stone or brick may be discovered in the grass, and then all is told of the existing relies of the city of Raleigh.” The site is now owned by Walter Dough, who resides within a short distance of the historic spot. During the war, Mr. Chauncy Meekins dug up a hatchet on the site of the fort. It is hand-made, shows signs of much use, and is supposed to have been the property of the settlers. It is now in the possession of William J. Griffin, Esq., of Elizabeth City, N. C. For the following outline of the fort, I am indebted
outline of the fort to Prof. Eben Alexander, of the University of North Carolina, who made it during a visit in 1889. The outlines are not entirely complete, but the work was so well done that they can still be traced and will yet last for many years. The fort was a bastioned one and was about forty-five yards diagonally across.

Such was the unfortunate end of the efforts of Sir Walter Ralegh to found a new empire in the western world. His patent had cost him ₤40,000, and had not paid him a shilling. He had met with misfortunes and discouragements. The value of his work was unappreciated, and the Queen, to whose realm he had sought to add a new empire, declined

to contribute to the “education” of its colonies. January 7, 1587, Ralegh executed an instrument by which others were allowed to enjoy the privileges granted him under his patent; he thus provided the colonists of 1587 with a charter of incorporation for their settlement. On March 7, 1589, an indenture was executed between Sir Walter Ralegh, “Chief Governor of Virginia,” on the one part, and nineteen men, “merchants of London and adventurers to Virginia,” and ten others who are described as “late of London, gentlemen,” on the other part. Ralegh transferred the colony of Virginia and the planting thereof in his domain to these parties. He gave them ₤100 toward planting the Christian religion there, and bound himself, “as much as in him lieth, to procure and indevor to obtain the Queenʻs letters patent for ratification, approbation and more sure confirmation of the items of this indenture.” He reserved to himself only the fifth of all gold and silver ore. One of the nineteen was Richard Hakluyt, the historian, and this indenture, remarks Mr. Bancroft, is “the connecting link between the first efforts of England in North Carolina and the final colonization of Virginia,” for of the nineteen “merchants of London,” no less than ten are found among the subscribers to the Jamestown colony fund. But after thus disposing of his interests, Raleghʻs enthusiasm for western planting was not abated. He expected to see it a flourishing colony, he said; before his death Jamestown had been founded and the corner-stone of the American nation had been laid. In the matter of colonization the fairest hopes of Ralegh ended in sadness and disappointment; but his failure even gained him immortality, and to-day the capital city of the fair commonwealth that is proud to have been the scene of his labors bears the honored name of Ralegh.


The disappearance of the settlers of 1587 has been called the tragedy of American colonization. The greatest interest was manifested in their fate by all the early explorers.

Numerous expeditions were sent in search of them. These brought back various rumors, but nothing certain could be learned. Their history became interwoven with legend and romance; but after a lapse of three hundred years they emerge again from the darkness and dust of oblivion.

It is now believed that the colonists of 1587 removed to Croatan soon after the return of Governor White to England; that they intermarried with the Croatan or Hatteras Indians; that their wanderings westward can be definitely traced, and that their descendants can be identified to-day.

It is to a discussion of the movements of the colonists after the departure of White, and to the identification of their descendants, that the remaining pages of this paper will be directed.

There can be no doubt that the colonists removed to Croatan. When White left them, “they were prepared to remove from Roanoak fifty miles into the main.” He agreed with them that they should carve in some conspicuous place the name of the section to which they went, and if they went in distress a sign of the cross was to be carved above. The name Croatan was found, but there was no sign of distress. The colonists must have gone on the invitation of Manteo and his friends, and the fact that their chests and other heavy articles were buried, indicates that it was their intention to revisit the island of Roanoke at some future time, and that it was then in the possession of hostile savages. These articles consisted largely of arms and other instruments of war. This indicates that they went into the land of friends and that their new home was not far distant, otherwise they would have taken all their property with them rather than endure the fatigue of a second long journey to Roanoke for it. The question arises then, where was Croatan? On the location of this place the future of the colony depended. Croatan, or more properly Croatoan, is an Indian word, and was applied by the Hatteras Indians to the place of their residence. Here Manteo was born, and here his relatives were living when he first met the English; the latter soon began to apply the

name to the Indians themselves. The island of Roanoke was not at that time regularly inhabited, but was used as a hunting ground by the tribe to which Manteo belonged, and also by their enemies who lived on the main and were the subjects of Wingina. The name Croatan first appears in the account of Grenvilleʻs voyage of 1585. It is there made an island; Lane says that it was an island; and White also bears witness to this, for he says, when describing his discovery of the deserted and dismantled fort: “I greatly joyed that I had found a certain token of their safe being at Croatoan, which is the place where Manteo was born and the savages of the island our friends.” On Whiteʻs map of the coast it is put down as an island. From these facts it is perfectly clear that the adventurers believed Croatan to be an island. The map of 1666 and the Nuremburg map make it a part of the banks lying between Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout, perhaps what is now known as Core Banks, and consequently an island; but later maps have located Croatan on the mainland, just opposite Roanoke Island, in the present counties of Dare, Tyrrell, and Hyde. It is marked thus on Ogilbyʻs map, published by the Lords Proprietors in 1671, on Mordenʻs map of 1687, and on Lawsonʻs map, published in 1709. A part of this region is still known as Croatan, while the sound between this section and Roanoke Island bears the name of Croatan. On the Nuremburg map and on the map of 1666 this peninsula is called Dasamonguepeuk. Now we know that in 1587 Manteo was baptized as Lord of Roanoke and Dasamonguepeuk. This title clearly indicates that the Hatteras tribe, to which Manteo belonged, laid claims to the peninsula. They doubtless made use of it for the cultivation of corn, as well as for hunting and fishing, while their principal seat was some eighty miles to the south on the island of Croatan. The English colonists have left us unimpeachable testimony that they removed from Roanoke Island to Croatan. The Croatan of the early explorers and maps was a long, narrow, storm-beaten sandbank, incapable in itself of supporting savage life, much less the lives of men and women living in

the agricultural stage. It is not reasonable to suppose that the colonists would have gone from a fertile soil to a sterile one. It is probable then, that, in accordance with an understanding between each other, the Hatteras Indians having abandoned their residence on Croatan Island, and the English colonists having given up their settlements on Roanoke Island, both settled on the fertile peninsula of Dasamon-guepeuk, which the Hatteras tribe had already claimed and partly occupied, but which they had not been able to defend against enemies. The name of their former place of residence followed the tribe, was applied to their new home, and thus got into the later maps. If this theory is accepted, it is easy to see how the Hatteras tribe may have come into communication with kindred tribes on the Chowan and Roanoke rivers, to which they seem to have gone at a later period. This is one end of the chain of evidence in this history of survivals.

The other end of the chain is to be found in a tribe of Indians now living in Robeson county and the adjacent sections of North Carolina, and recognized officially by the State in 1885 as Croatan Indians. These Indians are believed to be the lineal descendants of the colonists left by John White on Roanoke Island in 1587. The migrations of the Croatan tribe from former homes farther to the east can be traced by their traditions. It is pretty clear that the tribe removed to their present home from former settlements on Black River, in Sampson county. The time of their removal is uncertain; but all traditions point to a time anterior to the Tuscarora war in 1711, and it is probable that they were fixed in their present homes as early as 16501. During the eighteenth century they occupied the country as far west as the Pee Dee, but their principal seats were on Lumber river, in Robeson county, and extended along it for twenty miles. They held their lands in common, and titles became known only on the approach of white men. The first known grant made to any member of this tribe is located on the Lowrie Swamp east of Lumber river,

1 McMillan, “Sir Walter Raleighʻs Lost Colony,” p. 20.

and was made by George II. in 1732 to Henry Berry and James Lowrie1. Another grant was made to James Lowrie in 1738. Traditions point to still older deeds that are not known to now exist. The tribe has never ceased to be migratory in their disposition. For many years after the main body had settled in Robeson, scattered detachments would join them from their old homes farther to the east, while parts would remove farther toward the west. They are now to be found all over western North Carolina, and many families there, who have retained their purity of blood to such a degree that they cannot be distinguished from white people, are claimed by the tribe in Robeson. After the coming of the white people a part of the tribe removed to the region of the Great Lakes, and their descendants are still living in Canada, west of Lake Ontario. At a later period another company went to the northwest and became incorporated with a tribe near Lake Michigan. Some time before the war a party drifted to Ohio; one of them, Lewis Sheridan Leary, was in John Brownʻs party when he raided Harperʻs Ferry in 1859, and was killed there, October 17, 1859, while guarding John Brownʻs “fort.” Within the present year (1890) a party has removed to Kansas.

The Croatans fought under Colonel Barnwell against the Tuscaroras in 1711, and the tribe of to-day speak with pride of the stand taken by their ancestors under “Bonnul” for the cause of the whites.2 In this war they took some of the Mattamuskeet Indians prisoners and made them slaves. Many of the Croatans were in the continental army; in the war of 1812 a company was mustered into the army of the United States, and members of the tribe received pensions

1Ibid., p. 14. The deeds for these grants are still extant and are in the possession of Hon. D. P. McEachin, of Robeson county, North Carolina.

2 The traditions of the tribe that they fought in the Tuscarora war are verified by the “Colonial Records of North Carolina.” In vol. ii., p. 129, we find an entry: “Whereas, report has been made to this board that the Hatteress Indyans have lately made their escape from the enemy Indyans,” i.e., Tuscaroras. Again, on p. 171, we find: “Upon petition of the Hatterass Indyans praying some small relief from the country for their services,” etc.

for these services within the memory of the present generation; they also fought in the armies of the Confederate States. Politically they have had little chance for development. From 1783 to 1835 they had the right to vote, performed military duties, encouraged schools, and built churches; but by the constitutional convention of 1835 the franchise was denied to all “free persons of color,” and to effect a political purpose it was contended by both parties that the Croatans came under this category. The convention of 1868 removed this ban, but as they had long been classed as mulattoes they were obliged to patronize the negro schools. This they refused to do as a rule, preferring that their children should grow up in ignorance, for they hold the negro in utmost contempt,1 and no greater insult can be given a Croatan than to call him “a nigger.”

Finally, in 1885, through the efforts of Mr. Hamilton McMillan, who has lived near them and knows their history, justice long delayed was granted them by the General Assembly of North Carolina. They were officially recognized as Croatan Indians; separate schools were provided for them and intermarriage with negroes was forbidden. Since this action on the part of the State they have become better citizens.2

They are almost universally land-owners, no two families occupying the same house, but each having its own establishment. They hold about sixty thousand acres in Robeson county. They are industrious and frugal, and anxious to improve their condition.

They are found of all colors from black to white, and in

1 McMillan, “Sir Walter Raleighʻs Lost Colony,” 14-16.

2 It has been suggested that the name “Croatan” was invented to strengthen the theory of their origin as here presented, but this is not the case. As we have seen, Croatan was the name of a locality and not of a tribe. The tribal name was Hattoras or Hatorask, or, as we now spell it, Hatteras. Lawson calls the Indians by this name. Dr. Hawks remarks on the error of the explorers in calling them Croatans; and when the act of the North Carolina Assembly recognizing them as Croatans was read to them, an intelligent Indian remarked that he had always heard that they were called “Hattoras” Indians.—McMillan, p. 20.

some cases cannot be distinguished from white people. They have the prominent check-bones, the steel-gray eyes, the straight black hair of the Indian.1 Those showing the Indian features most prominently have no beards; those in whom the white element predominates have beards. Their women are frequently beautiful; their movements are graceful, their dresses becoming, and their figures superb.

In religious inclinations they are Methodists and Baptists, and own sixteen churches. The State has provided them a normal school for the training of teachers, and this action will go very far toward their mental and moral elevation. Their school-houses have been built entirely by private means; they are all frame buildings, and are provided far better than those for the negro race. Their school enrollment in Robeson county is four hundred and twenty-two, according to the report of the eleventh census, and they employ eighteen teachers. Their entire school population, from six to twenty-one years, will probably amount to eleven hundred. Their whole population in this county is about twenty-five hundred, and their connections in other counties will perhaps swell this number to five thousand. Naturally they are quick-witted, and are capable of great expansion. Mr. John S. Leary, a prominent politician of Raleigh, and Professor of Law in Shaw University, is a member of the tribe, and one of their number has already reached the Senate of the United States, for Hon. Hiram R. Revels, who was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1822, and was senator from Mississippi in 1870-71, is not a negro, but a Croatan Indian.2

1 A recent traveller among the Croatans writes of one of them: “Where in my life had I seen a handsomer man? The face was pure Greek in profile; the eyes steel blue, the figure of perfect mould, and the man as easily graceful in his attitude as any gentleman in a drawing-room. I sat in my buggy talking with this man for an hour, finding him far above ordinary intelligence and full of information.” That night the traveller learned that the handsome Croatan was a brother of the famous Henry Berry Lowrie.

2 At one time the Croatans were known as “Redbones,” and there is a street in Fayetteville so called because some of them once lived on it. They are known by this name in Sumpter County, S. C., where they are quiet and peaceable, and have a church of their own. They are proud and high-spirited, and caste is very strong among them.

There is in Hancock county, Tennessee, a tribe of people known by the local name of Malungeons or Melungeons. Some say they are a branch of the Croatan tribe, others that they are of Portuguese stock. They differ radically, however, in manners and customs from the accounts which we have received of the Croatans, cf. four articles in The Arena for the current year, by Miss Will Allen Domgoole on “The Malungeons, a Forgotten People,” “The Malungeon Family Tree,” “The Disfranchisement of the Malungeons,” and “Malungeon Music.”

Mr. McMillan favors the view that they are a part of the colony of Roanoke, and on this question Mr. John M. Bishop, a native of east Tennessee, now living in Washington, writes to the author: “My theory is that they are a part of the lost colony of Roanoke. Your utterances at the recent meeting in this city on the subject of the Lost Colony of Roanoke [meeting of Amer. Hist. Ass'n., Dec. 31, 1890] were so nearly in line with my ideas in this matter that I now write to call your attention to the subject. . . . You will mark the fact that the Malungeons are located on Newmanʻs Ridge and Black Water creek in Hancock county, Tenn., directly in the path of ancient westward emigration. Dan Boone tramped all over this immediate section. . . . The Malungeons, drifting with the tide of early emigration, stranded on the borderland of the wilderness and remained there.”

This is the other end of the chain. To connect the two parts and show that the Croatan Indians of to-day are the descendants of the Hatteras Indians of 1587 and of the English colony left on Roanoke Island by John White in that year, we must examine, first, the evidence of historians and explorers on the subject; and second, the traditions, character, and disposition, language, and family names of the Croatan Indians themselves.

We hear no more of the colonists left on Roanoke Island from the departure of White in 1591 until the settlement at Jamestown. We then have four sources of information in regard to them. The first of these is John Smithʻs “True Relation,” first published in 1608. The second is a rude map of the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, which had probably been sent to England by Capt. Francis Nelson in June, 1608. It was intended to illustrate Smithʻs “True Relation,” was not drawn from surveys, nor is it based on any accurate knowledge of the coast, nor had the maker seen the map of the coast made by John White. It was drawn presumably to illustrate a story told by the Indians, and

based on the information derived from them. It was sent in September, 1608, by Zuñiga, the Spanish Minister in London, to his master, Philip III., and is now first published in Mr. Alexander Brownʻs “Genesis of the United States.” The third source is a pamphlet called “A True and Sincere Discourse of the Purpose and Ende of the Plantation begun in Virginia,” published in 1610. The fourth is Stracheyʻs “History of Travaile into Virginia Britannia,” published by the Haklyt Society in 1849. Strachey came to Virginia as early as 1610, and became secretary of the council. His history is put by Mr. R. H. Major, his editor, between 1612 and 1616.

Captain Smith says in his “True Relation” that Opechancanough, one of the Indian kings, informed him “of certaine men cloathed at a place called Ocanahonan, cloathed like me.” “The people cloathed at Ocamahowan, he also confirmed.” Again: “We had agreed with the king of Paspahegh to conduct two of our men to a place called Panawicke, beyond Roonok, where he reported many men to be apparelled.”1

The map illustrating this “Relation” shows three rivers which are probably intended to represent the Roanoke, the Tar, and the Neuse. On the south side of the Roanoke is a place called Ocanahowan. On the upper waters of the Neuse is Pakrakanick, and near it the legend “Here remayneth 4 men clothed that came from Roonock to Ochanahowan.” The peninsula known to the explorers of 1585 as Dasamonguepeuk is called Pananiock, and the legend placed there says: “Here the king of Paspahege reported our men to be & wants to go.” At a point on James river the map says: “Here Paspehege and 2 of our men landed to go to Panaweock.” This expedition set out in January or February, 1608, and failed because the Indian king played the villain.

The managers of the Virginia Company in their “True and Sincere Declaration,” referring to the Roanoke colony, say: “if with these [evils] we compare the advantages which we

1 Smithʻs “Works,” Arberʻs edition, 1884, pp. 17-23.

have gotten . . . in the intelligence of some of our nation planted by Sir Walter Raleigh, yet a live, within fifty mile of our fort, who can open the womb and bowels of this country; as is testified by two of our colony sent out to seek them, who, (though denied by the savages speech with them) found crosses and Letters the Characters and assured Testimonies of Christians newly cut in the barks of trees.”1

Strachey says: “At Peccarecamek and Ochanahoen . . . the people have houses built with stone walls, and one story above another, so taught them by those English who escaped the slaughter at Roanoak, at what time this our colony, under the conduct of Captain Newport, landed within the Chesapeake Bay.” Powhatan had been instigated to this massacre by his priests. Seven persons escaped, four men, two boys, and a young maid. These fled up the Chowan river and were preserved at Ritanoe by a chief named Eyanoco, and, in return for protection, began to teach the savages the arts of civilized life.2

We are to remember always that the reports of Indians are vague and indefinite. This is to be expected of an uneducated people, but while varying in detail the substance may be depended on as essentially true. The vagueness in these cases is further increased by the fact that the English knew little from actual exploration of the regions involved. We are safe then in identifying: (1) Smithʻs Panawicke with the Pananiock and the Panaweock of the map. This is the name given to the territory known to the earlier explorers as Dasamonguepeuk. (2) The Ochanahonan and Ocamahowan of Smith and the Ocanahowan of the map are identical with Stracheyʻs Ochanahoen. (3) The Pakrakanick of the map is identical with Stracheyʻs Peccarecamek.

Taking these sources of information together and identifying the localities as we have done it seems

1 Brown, “Genesis of the United States, i., 348.

2 Strachey, pp. 50, 185. The expression used by Strachey with reference to the colony on page 152, where he says it will be related “in due place in this decade,” indicates that he had some additional information in regard to their fate, but it was not given.

reasonable to conclude: (1) That about 1607 the colonists left on Roanoke Island in 1587, now intermixed with the Croatan Indians, were on the peninsula of Dasamonguepeuk, and that fresh traces of them were seen about this time by explorers sent out from Jamestown. (2) That they heard of the arrival of Captain Newport in Chesapeake Bay, and that some of them made an effort to reach the colony at Jamestown. It is not necessary to suppose that there was a general migration of the whole Croatan tribe toward the Chowan. We may conclude that most of the original colonists who were then alive and some of the half-breeds undertook the journey. They were met with hostility by the emissaries of Powhatan and some were slain.1 (3) That others were protected and saved by a chief named Eyanoco, who was probably connected in some way with the Croatan tribe, for we must remember that when Lane was exploring these regions in 1586 he found Indians whose language Manteo could understand without an interpreter. (4) That according to the map they travelled from the region of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers to the country known on it as Pakrakanick and to Strachey as Peccarecamek. This was probably on the upper waters of the Neuse, in what may now be Wayne and Lenoir counties. It is probable that they were rejoined by those who had not undertaken the expedition toward Virginia, and from this point they could have passed easily into Sampson and Robeson counties in conformity with their traditions as related by Mr. McMillan.

Smithʻs “Relation,” the map, and Strachey, all tend to strengthen and explain the testimony of the next historical reference we have to the tribe. This is by John Lederer, a German, who made some explorations in eastern North Carolina,

1 Purchas says Powhatan confessed to Smith that he had been present at the slaughter of the English. But this account did not seem satisfactory to Smith, for he says in his condensation of Whiteʻs narrative for his “General History of Virginia”: “And thus we left seeking our colony, that was never any of them found or seen to this day, 1622.” This shows that Stracheyʻs account was not known in 1609, when Smith had given up the search and returned to England.—Arberʻs edition of Smithʻs “Works” 1884, p. 331.

perhaps in the region south of the Roanoke river in 1669-70. He mentions a powerful nation of bearded men two and one-half days’ journey to the southwest, “which I suppose to be the Spaniards, because the Indians never have any” [beards].1 Dr. Hawks thinks that these “bearded men” may have been the settlers on the Cape Fear, but we know that this colony was disbanded in 1667. We have no records of any Spanish settlements as far north as this; and according to Mr. Hamilton McMillan, whom we have already quoted, the mongrel tribe now known as Croatan Indians was occupying its present home as early as 1650.2 The statement of Lederer can only refer to the Croatan tribe.

The next account we have of them is in 1704, when Rev. John Blair, then travelling as a missionary through the Albemarle settlements, tells of a powerful tribe of Indians living to the south of what is now Albemarle Sound, “computed to be no less than 100,000, many of which live amongst the English, and all, as I can understand, a very civilized people.”3 This account is very vague and indefinite, and the numbers are largely overestimated; but it can refer to no other tribe than the Croatans. They were then living southwest of Pamlico Sound and they alone had had civilized influences to bear upon them.

The next reference to the tribe is more definite. John Lawson, the first historian of North Carolina, explored all the region southwest of Pamlico Sound. He was thoroughly acquainted with the Indians in those sections. In writing of the Roanoke settlements he says: “A farther confirmation of this [the settlements of Ralegh] we have from the Hatteras [Croatan] Indians, who lived on Ronoack island, or much frequented it. These tell us that several of their ancestors were white people and could talk in a book as we do; the truth of which is confirmed by gray eyes being frequently found amongst these Indians and no others.

1 Hawks, “History of North Carolina,” ii., 50.

2 McMillan, “Sir Walter Raleighʻs Lost Colony,” p. 20.

3 “Colonial Records of North Carolina,” i., 603.

They value themselves extremely for their affinity to the English, and are ready to do them all friendly offices. It is probable that this settlement miscarried for want of timely supplies from England; or through the treachery of the natives, for we may reasonably suppose that the English were forced to cohabit with them for relief and conservation; and that in process of time they conformed themselves to the manners of their Indian relations; and thus we see how apt human nature is to degenerate.”1 Lawson wrote these words not later than 1709, as his book was first published in that year. It is impossible for the story told by him to be a tradition not founded on the truth, for he wrote within one hundred and twenty years of the original settlements at Roanoke, and he may have talked with men whose grandfathers had been among the original colonists.

The next witnesses in this chain of evidence are the early settlers in the Cape Fear section of North Carolina. Scotch settlements were made in Fayetteville as early as 1715.2 In 1730 Scotchmen began to arrive in what is now Richmond county, and French Huguenots were at the same time pressing up from South Carolina. The universal tradition among the descendants of these settlers is that their ancestors found a large tribe of Indians located on Lumber river in Robeson county, who were tilling the soil, owning slaves, and speaking English. The descendants of this tribe are known to be the Croatan Indians of to-day.

We see, then, that the historical arguments which tend to identify the Croatans of to-day as the descendants of the colonists of 1587 possess an historical continuity from 1591 to the present time. There is also a threefold internal argument based: (1) on the traditions of the Croatan Indians of to-day; (2) on their character and disposition; (3) on their spoken language and family names.

1 Lawson, “The History of Carolina,” (ed. 1860), pp. 108, 109.

2 A house pulled down on Person Street, Fayetteville, in 1889, fixes this date. This places the first settlements in this section at an earlier date than has been assigned them hitherto. (H. McMillan, in a letter to the writer.)

I. Traditions. The Croatan Indians believe themselves to be the descendants of the colonists of 1587, and boast of their mixed English and Indian blood. They always refer to eastern North Carolina as Virginia, and say their former home was in Roanoke in Virginia, which means the present counties of Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Craven, Carteret, and Jones, and of this residence their traditions are sufficiently clear. They say that they held communication with the east long after their removal toward the west, and one of these parties may have met Lawson about 1709. They know that one of their leaders was made lord of Roanoke and went to England, but his name has been lost, the nearest approach to it being in the forms Maino and Mainor. They have a word “mayno,” which means a very quiet, law-abiding people; and this, by a kind of metonomy, may be a survival of Manteo. When an old chronicler was told the story of Virginia Dare he recognized it, but her name is preserved only as Darr, Durr, Dorr. They say that, according to their traditions, Mattamuskeet Lake in Hyde county is a burnt lake, and so it is; but they have no traditions in regard to Roanoke river. They say, also, that some of the earlier settlers intermarried with them, and this may explain the presence of such names among them as Chavis (Cheves), Goins (D'Guin), Leary (O'Leary).

II. Character and Disposition. These Indians are hospitable to strangers and are ever ready to do a favor for the white people. They show a fondness for gay colors, march in Indian file, live retired from highways, never forget a kindness, an injury, nor a debt. They are the best of friends and the most dangerous of enemies. They are reticent until their confidence is gained, and when aroused are perfect devils, exhibiting all the hatred, malice, cunning, and endurance of their Indian ancestors.1 At the same time they

1 A fearful illustration of this spirit was shown in the career of Henry Berry Lowrie, “the great North Carolina bandit.” In February, 1864, the Home Guard of Robeson county found Allen and William Lowrie, the father and brother of Henry Berry, guilty of receiving stolen goods, tried them by court-martial, and executed them under military law. The execution awakened the desire for revenge in the remaining brothers, and under the leadership of Henry Berry Lowrie they defied for ten years the authority of the county, the State, the Confederacy, and the United States. They killed the best men in the section, some for plunder, some for revenge, and some in self-defence. Henry Berry Lowrie was twenty-six at the time of his death, and in physique was a perfect Apollo. His countenance expressed the highest degree of firmness, courage, and decision of character. His forehead was high, broad, and massive; his eyes were a grayish hazel, his hair was straight and black, his chest was deep and broad; he was five feet, ten inches high, weighed one hundred and fifty pounds, and was as elastic as rubber. He was always completely armed; in a belt he carried five long-range six-shooters; a Henry rifle carrying sixteen cartridges was suspended at his back; a long knife and a double-barrelled shotgun were found in his hands. His armament weighed not less than eighty pounds, but with it he could run, swim, bear weeks of exposure in the swamps, and travel by day and by night to an extent which would have killed a white man or negro. He slept on his arms, never seemed tired, and was never taken by surprise. During his long career of outlawry he was never untrue to a promise, never committed arson, nor insulted a white woman. A reward of ten thousand dollars was placed on his head; he was hunted by night and by day, but eluded all his pursuers, and perished on Feb. 20, 1872, from the accidental discharge of his gun. After the death of the chief the band lost much of the terror of its name, and two years later the last outlaw was slain. (Cf. “The Lowrie History, as Acted in Part by Henry Berry Lowrie, the Great North Carolina Bandit, with Biographical Sketches of his Associates,” by Mrs. Mary C. Norment, Wilmington, 1875. This book was written by Joseph B. McCallum; the chapter on the genealogy of the tribe is “notoriously unreliable”; it makes them all descendants of James Lowrie, who came to Robeson county from Virginia in 1769.)

are remarkably cleanly in their habits, a characteristic not found in the pure-blooded Indian. Physicians who practise among them say that they never hesitate to sleep or eat in the house of a Croatan. They are also great road-builders, something unknown to the savage. They have some of the best roads in the State, and by this means connect their more distant settlements with those on Lumber river. One of these, the Lowrie road, has been open for more than a hundred years and is still in use. It extends southwest from Fayetteville, through Cumberland and Robeson counties, to a settlement on the Pee Dee. It was over this road that a special courier bore to General Jackson in 1815 the news of the treaty of Ghent.

III. Language and Family Names. The speech of the

Croatans is very pure English; no classical terms are used. It differs from that of the whites and from that of the blacks among whom they live. They have preserved many forms in good use three hundred years ago, but which are now obsolete in the written language and are found only in colloquial and dialectical English. They drawl the penult or final syllable in every sentence. They begin their salutations with “mon-n-n,” i. e., man. Their traditions usually begin: “Mon, my fayther told me that his fayther told him,” etc. They retain the parasitic (glide) y, which was an extremely common development in Anglo-Saxon, in certain words, through the palatal influence of the previous consonant, pronouncing cow as cyow, cart as cyart, card as cyard, girl as gyirl, kind as kyind. The voiceless form whing is retained instead of the voiced wing. They have but two sounds for a, the short a being changed into o before nasals and representing Anglo-Saxon open o (oǫ) in mon. They use the northern lovand in place of the later hybrid loving. The Irish fayther is found for father. The dialectical Jeams is found in place of James. They regularly use mon for man; mension for measurement; aks for ask; hit for it; hosen for hose; housen for houses: crone is to push down; and knowledge is wit.

The strongest evidence of all is furnished us by the family names of the Croatan Indians of to-day. John White, in his account of the settlement of 1587, has left us “the names of all the men, women, and children which safely arrived in Virginia and remained to inhabit there.” These settlers were one hundred and seventeen in number, and had ninety-five different surnames; out of these surnames forty-one, or more than forty-three per cent., including such names as Dare, Cooper, Stevens, Sampson, Harvie, Howe, Cage, Willes, Gramme, Viccars, Berry, Chapman, Lasie, and Cheven, which are now rarely met with in North Carolina, are reproduced by a tribe living hundreds of miles from Roanoke Island, and after a lapse of three hundred years.1

1 Dr. Hawks reprints (“History of North Carolina,” i., 211), from Hakluyt this list of names. Mr. McMillan has compared it with the names of the Croatans, and, according to his authority, those written below in italics are now found among the Croatans:

John White,Thomas Topan,Richard Wildye,
Roger Baily,Henry Berry,Lewes Wotton,
Ananias Dare,Richard Berry,Michael Bishop,
Christopher Cooper,John Spendlove,Henry Browne,
Thomas Stevens,John Hemmington,Henry Rufoote,
John Sampson,Thomas Butler,Richard Tomkins,
Dionys. Harvie,Edward Powell,Henry Dorrel,
Roger Prat,John Burdon,Charles Florrie,
George Howe,James Hynde,Henry Mylton,
Simon Fernando,Thomas Ellis,Henry Paine,
Nicholas Johnson,William Browne,Thomas Harris,
Thomas Warner,Michael Myllet,William Nichols,
Anthony Cage,Thomas Smith,Thomas Phevens,
John Jones,Richard Kemme,John Borden,
William Willes,Thomas Harris,Thomas Scot,
John Brooke,Richard Traverner,Peter Little,
Cutbert White,John Earnest,John Wyles,
John Bright,Henry Johnson,Bryan Wyles,
Clement Taylor,John Starte,George Martyn,
William Sole,Richard Darige,Hugh Pattenson,
John Cotsmur,William Lucas,Martin Sutton,
Humphrey Newton,Arnold Archard,John Farre,
Thomas Colman,John Wright,John Bridger,
Thomas Gramme,William Dutton,Griffin Jones,
Mark Bennett,Maurice Allen,Richard Shabedge,
John Gibbes,William Waters,James Lasie,
John Stilman,Richard Arthur,John Cheven,
Robert Wilkinson,John Chapman,Thomas Hewet,
John Tydway,William Clement,William Berde.
Ambrose Viccars,Robert Little,
Edmund English,Hugh Tayler,
Eleanor Dare,Elizabeth Glane,Margaret Lawrence,
Margery Harvie,Jane Pierce,Joan Warren,
Agnes Wood,Audry Tappan,Jane Mannering,
Winnifred Powell,Alice Chapman,Rose Payne
Joyce Archard,Emma Merimoth,Elizabeth Viccars.
Jane Jones,— Colman,
John Sampson,Thomas Archard,George Howe,
Robert Ellis,Thomas Humfrey,John Prat,
Ambrose Viccars,Thomas Smart,William Wythers.
Virginia Dare,— Harvie,

The chroniclers of the tribe say that the Dares, the Coopers, the Harvies, and others, retained their purity of blood, and were generally the pioneers in emigration. And still more remarkable evidence is furnished us by the fact that the traditions of every family bearing the name of one of the lost colonists point to Roanoke Island as the home of their ancestors.

To summarize: 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 south-west, 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 were 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 1715, 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.


Richard Hakluyt (1553-1616), in the edition of his “Voyages,” published 1598-1600, prints nearly all the original material on the history of the first attempts of the English to fix settlements in America. He prints:

(1) “The Letters Patents Granted by the Queenʻs Majesty to M. Walter Ralegh,” 1584 (iii., p. 243, seq.).

(2) “The First Voyage Made to the Coasts of America by M. Philip Amadas and M. Arthur Barlowe,” 1584 (iii., 246). This narrative, as the context shows, was the work of Barlowe.

(3) “The Voyage Made by Sir Richard Greenville for Sir Walter Ralegh to Virginia,” 1584 (iii., 251).

(4) “An Account of the Particularities of the Employments of the Englishmen Left in Virginia by Richard Granville under the Charge of Master Ralph Lane, General of the Same” (iii., 255).

(5) “The Third Voyage Made by a Ship Sent in the Year 1586 to the Relief of the Colony Planted in Virginia” (iii., 265).

(6) “A Brief and True Report of the new Found Land of Virginia: by Thomas Hariot” (iii., 266). This edition of the “Brief and True Report” is abridged.

(7) “The Fourth Voyage Made to Virginia, with Three Ships in 1587, wherein was Transported the Second Colony” (iii., 280).

(8) “The Fifth Voyage of M. John White, into the West Indies, and Parts of America Called Virginia” 1590 (1591) (iii., 288).

A new edition of Hakluyt was published in London, 1809-1812, 5 vols., 4to. Vols. i., ii., iii. and a part of iv. are exactly reprinted from the edition of 1598-1600. The remainder of the fourth and the whole of the fifth are occupied by reprints of various publications of Hakluytʻs and others of his time. These documents will all be found in the new edition of Hakluyt just issued.

All the narratives as given by Hakluyt have been reprinted by Dr. Francis L. Hawks in the first volume of his “History of North Carolina” (Fayetteville, 1857). Dr. Hawks was one of the foremost antiquarians of his day; his thorough knowledge of the coast and territory visited by the explorers renders his annotations and notes to the text a necessity to the student. Rev. Increase N. Tarbox has gone over the same ground in his “Sir Walter Raleighʻs Colony in America” (Prince Society Publications, Boston, 1884); but nothing has been added to the work of Dr. Hawks.

The charter granted to Ralegh will also be found in “Hazardʻs Historical Collection of State Papers” (i., 33) and in Ben: Perley Pooreʻs “Charters and Constitutions” (ii., 1379).

In 1588 Hariotʻs “A briefe and true re-/port of the new found land of Virginia:” appeared in London, 4to, 23 leaves. This edition is of great rarity. There is a copy in the Lenox Library, another in the British Museum, and a third in the Bodleian, Oxford.

In 1590 De Bry published Hariotʻs narrative with a map and twenty-two plates from the drawings of John White, and to secure more profit had the text printed in English, Latin, French, and German, thus offering four editions to the public. This was the only part of his “Voyages” which appeared in

English. It was after the publication of this work that De Bry conceived the idea of his collections; Hariotʻs narrative forms the first part of his “Great Voyages.” Hariot is perhaps best known from De Bryʻs English and Latin editions, of which the full titles are as follows:

A briefe and true report/of the new foundland of Virginia,/of the commodities and of the nature and man/ners of the naturall inhabitants. Discouered by/the English Colony there seated by Sir Richard/Greinuile Knight In the yeere 1585. Which Remained Vnder the gouernement of twelue monethes,/At the speciall charge and direction of the Honou-/rable Sir Walter Raleigh Knight, lord Warden/of the stanneries Who therein hath beene fauoured/and authorised by her Maiestie/and her letters patent:/This fore book Is made in English/By Thomas Hariot/ seruantt to the abouenamed/Sir Walter, a member of the Colony, and there/imployed in discouering./Cum Gratia et Privilegio, Cæs. Matis specialis/Francoforti ad moenum/Typis Ioannis Wecheli, sumtibus vero Theodori/De Bry anno CIC IC XC/Venales reperiuntur in officina Sigismundi Feirabendii/[Colophon:] At Franckfort,/inprited [sic] by Ihon We/chel, at Theodore de Bry, own/coast and chardges./MDXC/Folio.

The Latin version is entitled:

Admiranda narratio/Fida tamen, de Commodis et/Incolarvm Ritibvs Virginiæ, nvper/admodum ab Anglis, qvi à Dn. Richardo/Greinvile Eqvestris Ordinis Viro eò in/Coloniam Anno. M. D. LXXXV. dedvcti sunt/inventæ, Svmtvs faciente Dn. VValtero/Raleigh Eqvestris Ordinis Viro Fodinarvm/stanni præfecto ex Avetoritate/Serenissimæ Reginæ Angliæ./Anglico scripta Sermone/à Thoma Hariot, eivsdem Walteri Domesti-/co, in eam Coloniam misso vt Regionis si-/tvm diligenter observaret/Nunc avtem primvm Latio donata à/C. C. A./Cvm Gratia et Privilegio Cæs. Matis specli/ad Qvadriennivm/Francoforti, &c., as above.

De Bryʻs English “Hariot” was reprinted in 1871 by the photo-lithographic process (New York, folio).

De Bry also published in Latin an account of the expedition of Grenville as furnished him by Lane and Hariot in his “Perigrinationes in Americam,” part i. (Frankfort, 1590). The same publication contains Whiteʻs “Portraits to the Life and Manners of the Inhabitants,” which was republished in New York in 1841.

Four letters of Ralph Lane sent home from Virginia, and not to be found in Hakluyt, have been reprinted in “Archæologia Americana,” vol. iv. (Worcester, 1860), and edited by Rev. Edward E. Hale, who also contributes a very unappreciative biography of Lane to the same volume. Mr. Stephen B. Weeks printed in the North Carolina University Magazine (ix., 225; Chapel Hill, N. C., 1890) sketches of Ralph Lane and John White based on the sketch of Lane by Mr. Hale and on the original reports of the explorers.

Some original material may also be found in “A Summarie and True Discourse of Sir Francis Drakeʻs West Indian Voyage,” London, 1589; which is also in Hakluyt, 1598-1600. The subject is treated very briefly in Purchas’ “Pilgrimes,” vol. iv., and in his “Pilgrimage,” vol. iii. Stracheyʻs “History of Travaile into Virginia Britannia” gives us some new hints as to the fate of the colony (London, 1849).

The English settlements on Roanoke Island have been treated in course by the historians of the United States most fully and best by Mr. Bancroft in his history (part i., ch. v., edition of 1883); by Bryant and Gay in their “History of the United States, i., ch. x., and by Hon. William Wirt Henry, in the “Narrative and Critical History of America” (iii., ch. iv.). It has its proper place in the histories of North Carolina. Of these, the work of Dr. Hawks is the best. He devotes the whole of his first volume to the colony, reprints most of the original documents, and adds a sketch of Ralegh.

The sending of colonies to America was but an incident in the life of Ralegh, and these events receive but scant attention in biographies of the distinguished cavalier. The best accounts are those by Oldys (1733) and Edward Edwards (1868).

Mr. Edward C. Bruce, in his “Loungings in the Footprints of the Pioneers” (Harperʻs Magazine, May, 1859, and May, 1860), writes of Roanoke Island as it then was. Mr. Edward Eggleston photographed and published in the Century Magazine for November, 1882, and May, 1883, a part of the Grenville collection of the original drawings, from which De Bryʻs engravings of North Carolina Indians were made. The Grenville collection is larger than the Sloane collection, which has been supposed hitherto to represent the originals of De Bry. The pieces of the Grenville collection are also immensely superior in technical quality, and Mr. Eggleston argues in The Nation for April 23, 1891, that the Grenville collection contains the original drawings used by De Bry, and not the Sloane collection; that they “are John Whiteʻs originals, which were used with some changes by De Bry, and that the Sloane pictures are not original, but early and rather clumsy copies.”

In a monograph before the Essex Institute on “An Account of the Cutting through of Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, September 7, 1846. Also through which Inlet did the English Adventurers of 1584 enter the Sounds of North Carolina” (Salem, 1885), Mr. William L. Welch tries to identify the place of entrance and combats Bancroftʻs statement that they entered through Ocracoke Inlet and landed on Wocokon Island.

The first printed suggestion that the Croatan Indians of to-day are the descendants of Whiteʻs colony of 1587, which has come to the notice of the writer, was in an article published by Col. Fred. A. Olds of Raleigh in the Wilmington (N. C.) Messenger for July 31, 1887; but the real author of the theory is Mr. Hamilton McMillan of Robeson county, N. C., who has lived among the Croatans for many years, and knows their history and traditions. He advanced this idea in 1885, while a member of the General Assembly of North Carolina, and it was through his influence that the tribe was recognized as such. He has since embodied his opinions in a little brochure entitled: “Sir Walter Raleighʻs Lost Colony. An Historical Sketch of the Attempts of Sir Walter Raleigh to Establish a Colony in Virginia, with the Traditions of an Indian Tribe in North Carolina, Indicating the Fate of the Colony of Englishmen Left on Roanoke Island in 1587” (Wilson, N. C., 1888). Mr. McMillan advances internal evidence and tradition with historical evidence, in favor of the Survival. A summary of the present paper will be found in the Magazine of American History for February, 1891.

The lost colony of Roanoke : its fate and survival
The lost colony of Roanoke : its fate and survival / by Stephen B. Weeks. New York : Knickerbocker Press, 1891. 42 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. Cover title. Reprinted from Papers of the American Historical Association, vol. 5, p. 439-480. Joyner-Autographed on cover: "Robt. D. Weekes".
Original Format
Local Identifier
F229 .W39 1891
Location of Original
Joyner NC Rare
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