On this day - August 18th

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roanoke

What happened at Roanoke?

The Roanoke Colony refers to two attempts by Sir Walter Raleigh to found the first permanent English settlement in North America. The first colony was established by governor Ralph Lane in 1585 on Roanoke Island in what is now Dare County, North Carolina.. Following the failure of the 1585 settlement, a second colony led by John White landed on the same island in 1587.

White returned to England, intending to bring more supplies back to his colony in 1588. Instead, the Anglo-Spanish War delayed his return to Roanoke until 1590.

Meanwhile, back on Roanoke, White's daughter, Eleanor Dare gave birth to Virginia Dare,On August 18th 1587, regarded as the first English child born in the New World.

When White arrived back in Roanoke on August 18th 1590, (which would have been his granddaughter's third birthday) he found the settlement fortified but abandoned. The word "CROATOAN" was found carved into the palisade, which White interpreted to mean the colonists had relocated to Croatoan Island. Before he could follow this lead, rough seas forced the rescue mission to return to England.

The fate of the 1587 colonists remains unknown. Speculation that they may have assimilated with nearby Native American communities appears as early as 1605. Investigations by the Jamestown colonists produced reports that the Roanoke settlers were massacred, as well as stories of people with European features in Native American villages, but no hard evidence. Interest in the matter fell into decline until 1834, when George Bancroft published his account of the events in A History of the United States. Bancroft's description of the colonists, particularly White's infant granddaughter Virginia Dare, cast them as foundational figures in American culture and captured the public imagination. Despite this renewed interest, modern research still has not produced the archaeological evidence necessary to solve the mystery.

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