His 2213 LU5 What Happened to the Lost Colonists of Roanoke?
Learning Unit 5 Lecture“What Happened to the Lost Colonists of Roanoke?”
Part One: Background to EnglishSettlement in the New World 2
England, andothers, werejealous of Spain’sNew World Empire.Catholic Spainused its wealth tomake war onProtestantEngland. Englandwanted to harassSpain in the NewWorld and seizetheir gold. TheEnglish alsobelieved theycould rule over theIndians with morejustice and lesscruelty than theSpanish hadshown (but theywould not live upto this ideal).
Piracy was one wayEuropean rivals could harass and damageSpain’s position in the New World. Actual pirates really did dress in a flamboyant manner --like in the movies-- and pirate ships were arguably the most multicultural, democratic places on Earth.
Sir Francis Drake English PrivateerPrivateers were “official” pirates who carried licenses (letters of marque) from European states to practice piracy.
The background to the Spanish conquest of the New World isthe Reformation, when Protestants all over Europe--particularlynewly wealthy merchants & manufacturers--broke away fromthe Catholic Church. John Calvin Our fates are predetermined. Humans are too corrupt to play a role in their own salvation. Earthly Martin Luther power should Faith, not works, is what be in the gets you into Heaven. Salvation hands of the is God’s gift to the faithful. Elect.
But in England, the Protestant Reformation was less about religion and more about the privatelife and lovesof King Henry VIII. King Henry VIII
Anne Boleyn Mother of Elizabeth I Henry wants to divorce Catherine, his first (Spanish) wife to marry his love-of-the-Catherine of Aragon moment, Anne Boleyn. When the Pope in Mother of “Bloody” Mary Rome refuses to annul Henry’s marriage, Henry breaks with the Catholic Church and forms the Church of England (Anglicans).
Henry VIII has three children sit on England’s throne. The country violentlylurches back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism until the 45-yearreign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) brings stability but not religious tolerance. Edward VI “Bloody” Elizabeth I (Dies young) Mary Tudor (Protestant) (Catholic)
Part Two:The ‘Lost Colony’ at Roanoke Island 10
The ‘Lost Colony’ at Roanoke Island• Sir Walter Raleigh, mass murderer in Ireland & the Queen’s favorite• Colonization of Ireland was model for colonization of “Virginia,” which included the Outer Banks of North Carolina• Amadas/Barlowe expedition (1584); Grenville/Lane group (1585-86); John Raleigh White’s group (1587)• Re-supply delayed by Spanish Armada (1588); White finally returned 1590• “Croatoan”; Lost colonists probably massacred elsewhere and/or ‘went native’ by assimilation, but no one knows for certain what fate befell them. Elizabeth I
The English calledeverything from the Carolinas to Maine,“Virginia”; Roanoke Island was/is actually off the coast of present- day North Carolina
The Amadas/Barlowe Voyage, “Earliest DocumentedEncounter of Native Americans &Englishmen” (1584)“[The next day, an English delegation was receivedby Granganimeo (brother of the King), whoaccording to Barlowe] ...came along to the place [onthe shore] over against the ships, followed with fortymen. When he came to the place, his servantsspread a long mat upon the ground, on which he satdown, and at the other end of the mat, four others ofhis company did the like: the rest of his men stoodround about him, somewhat afar off: when we cameto the shore to him with our weapons, he nevermoved from his place, nor any of the other four, nornever mistrusted any harm to be offered from us, butsitting still, he beckoned us to come and sit by him,which we performed: and being set, he makes allsigns of joy, and welcome, striking on his head, andhis breast, and afterwards on ours, to show we wereall one, smiling, and making show the best he could,of all love, and familiarity.”
Artist (and future Roanoke governor) John White accompanied the Grenville/Lane Expedition (1585-86), and his illustrations give us the best information about Native American life at the time of English contact. They convey a message that (apart from fewer clothes) the inhabitants of theNew World were not all that different from the English.
Grenville/Lane Expedition (1585-86) “…Some of our company towards the end of the year, showed themselves too fierce in slaying some of the people [Indians] in some towns upon causes that on our part might easily enough have been forgiven…. [Consequently, there was an] alteration of …opinions [among the Indians toward the English that] it was on their part justly deserved.”—Thomas Harriot, expedition scientist
White’s Expedition (1587)“... A secret token agreed upon between them[the Roanoke colonists] and me at my lastdeparture from them; which was, that in anyways they should not fail to write or carve onthe trees or posts of the doors the name ofthe place where they should be seated; ...Iwilled them, that if they should happen to bedistressed in any of those places, that thenthey should carve over the letters or name across + in this form; but we found no suchsign of distress.”
John White’s return to Roanoke Island was delayed by the unsuccessfulattack of the Spanish Armada on England. When he came back in 1590, hefound a clue to the colonists’ whereabouts but no distress signal.
Part Three:Theories of What Happened to the Lost Colonists 23
Drought? Bad Timing? Dry weather would have made it difficult for the Roanoke colonists to survive. According to a 1998report published in The Washington Post, “Rainfall data gleaned from ancient bald cypress treesshows that the regions worst three-year drought in 800 years peaked in 1587, the year the 120 men, women, and children of the Roanoke Colony werelast seen by Europeans.” In fact, a cycle of drought and famine continued for years in the region, increasing violent competition between later English arrivals & Native Americans for resources. Twenty years later, severe regional drought will also have a decisive (and negative) impact on Anglo-Indian relations at Jamestown.
Reproduction of Capt.John Smith’s (ofJamestown fame) mapwith his notes about thelocation of possibleRoanoke survivors.Smith may have had agood idea whathappened to the LostColonists, but either ofthe likelyoutcomes--massacreand/or assimilation--would not have beengood news to encouragefuture colonists. Smithofficially reports thatChief Powhatan of theChesapeake areaordered the deaths ofthe ‘Lost Colonists.’
YET RUMORS OF THE COLONISTS’ SURVIVAL PERSISTGEORGE PERCY, JAMESTOWN COLONIST, 1609“[I saw an Indian with] a head of hair of a perfect yellow and a reasonablewhite skin, which is a miracle amongst all Savages.”WILLIAM STRACHEY, 1612“[Indians told me of] houses built with stone walls, and one story aboveanother, so taught… by the English.”JOHN LAWSON, NEW VOYAGE TO CAROLINA, 1709“Hatteras Indians, who either then lived on Roanoke Island, or muchfrequented 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 grayeyes being found frequently amongst these Indians, and no others.”BOWEN, “AMERICA DISCOVERED,” 1740“In 1669, Rev. Morgan Jones and others in his company were taken captiveby the Tuscarora [Indians]. But they were saved, by Jones account, when,after crying out in his Welsh tongue when he learned that he was to die attheir hands, a visiting Doeg Indian replied to him in the same tongue.”
We often think of ColonialAmerica as an encounterbetween “Red, White, andBlack” (Native Americans,Europeans, & Africans),but these racial categorieswere not fixed and stable.Many individuals crossedethnic lines, and otherswere born of mixed unions.The Roanoke Colonistsmay have been the first ofmany who would beassimilated by anotherethnic group.
A DNA project is currently underway collecting samples from English descendants of the RoanokeHeather Locklear Colonists and is a descendant also from of Lumbee members of the Lumbee tribe who ancestors. share surnames with the Lost Colonists. The researchers are looking for a match that will link these two populations on either side of the Atlantic through the Lost Colonists.