Why the Roanoke Colony Disappeared

“Land Ho”! In the year of, 117 colonists arrive at the shore of, nowadays, North Carolina (Drye Willie, 2004). On the ship the ship is a pregnant women also known as Eleanor Dare, daughter of John White, and the mother of Virginia Dare; the first English born American child. The Roanoke colony is one of the first American mysteries that no one has yet solved. There are a lot of theories regarding this tragedy. Some say that they drowned, and others say that they merged with the Indians living near by the colonists.

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Based upon research, the theory that appeared the most logical was that the Indians murdered the colonists. Not only because it’s one of the well-known theories, but also because it seemed probable. The facts that we, the historians, know so far are that all the colonists, their buildings, and personal possessions disappeared. However, the fences were still up. Secondly, the fact that the whole colony disappeared in just 3 years and never came back to the place where they first settled.

Last, but not least, the fact that there was a word “Croatoan,” written on a tree (Wayne McDowell, 2002). The theory that the Indians massacred the colony is very valid because “Croatoan,” written on the post definitely seemed as if the colony was in a hurry or even forced, because John White told the colonists that if something happens, they should carve a Maltese cross on a tree; not “Croatoan,” (? 2009). If the colonists were forced out of the area, you can definitely see that Indians came to attack the colonists, and burned down the house.

Also, it didn’t seem that they left one by one. If they left one by one they wouldn’t have just written “Croatoan,” on the post, and some of the people would probably still be left there to inform the supply ship where their new location was. According to the source that was found to back up my theory is, “The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree. In addition, they found two skeletons buried.

Before he left the colony, White had instructed them that if anything happened to them, they should carve a Maltese cross on a tree nearby, indicating that their disappearance had been force” (? 2009) The next explanation for the theory is that three years would have been enough for the Indians to murder all the settlers and leave no trace considering that they killed all the fifteen men that were left behind when the colony tried to colonize in that area (ezlee2, 2007). Three years was also enough time to hide the bodies.

The Indians could have murdered all those people and hidden their bodies if what happened to the fifteen men as their doing. Europeans never got to really know how the Indians worked their system and they probably underestimated their skill and ability. “Twas a group of fifteen men. A little over a year had passed since they first started the colony, before explorers decided to check up on their hopeful progress. What these explorers found was one dead body. It was verified that it was the work of the Natives.

From this past event we know that the Natives were capable of such atrocities and also capable of hiding the bodies. The “Indians” had a sufficient amount of time to tear down the buildings too. ” (John K. Davis, 2009). The most important reason that makes this hypothesis the most significant is that when John Smith went to settle down in Virginia, one of his missions was to search for any evidence of the lost colony. When, John Smith asked the Chief Powhatan if he knew what happened to that village, the Chief replied by telling John Smith that his warriors destroyed them all.

The Chief even showed Captain Smith musket barrels, brass mortar, and pieces of iron that certainly belonged to the settlers (Jodee Redmond, 2006). It is the most significant proof because Smith probably wrote it all down, and his journals are the most accurate information of what happened during the unstable time when they tried to stabilize the James Town settlers (Walter Russell, Anas Todkill, and Thomas Momford, ? ). “As proof, Powhatan showed a musket barrel and a brass mortar, and certain pieces of iron which had been theirs. ” (Jodee Redmond. 2006).

As mentioned above, this quote was from John Smith’s diary indicating that he actually heard directly from the Chief and wrote down what the Chief said about the Roanoke Colony. While researching, there were continuous suggestions of different theories, but some of these theories are not reasonable. One of the theories that are questioned is the possibility of the settler trying to get to London by themselves and drowning. However, the boat that was left at the colony wasn’t big enough to fit the whole colony. So, they couldn’t have fitted all the colonists in.

Another theory that historians propose is that they might have starved to death, but the chances are rare. The island had plenty of animals and berries to feed on. An additional theory that was interesting was the theory that the people were blown away by a hurricane. The chances are almost impossible because the fences were still standing. The fence had to be blown away if the houses were blown away by the hurricane (Jodee Redmond, 2006). The philosophy about the colony being massacred by the Indians is the most suitable theory because the “Croatoan,” marked on the post indicated the people were in a hurry.

Also, the fact that Chief Powhatan actually told John Smith that his men killed them all was huge evidence. At last, that the Indians could actually pull off something like that just by looking at the case of the fifteen men that were killed by the Indians: no trace. The Roanoke colony is still a huge mystery. However, it seems that whatever might have happened, the colonists were more likely attacked by the Indians. No definite evidence has been found up till now, only theories, and it is up to our generation to uncover the truth.

Bibliography Drye, Willie. “America’s Lost Colony: Can New Dig Solve Mystery? ”. National Geographic. 2 March 2004. . 29 October 2009. Davis ,John K. “The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island”. Suite. 101. com . 3 Jan 2009. . 29 October,2009. Ezlee2. “The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island”. Slide Share. 2006. . 29 October 2009. Redmond, Jodee. “The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island”. Suite101. com. 26 August 2006. . 29 October 2009. McDowell, Wayne. “What Happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? ”. Essortment . 2002. . 29 October 2009.


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