December 19, 2011

Hannah Jane's Roanoke

Well, I'm still crocheting up a storm over here, getting ready for the handmade holiday, so I don't have much time for posting right now.  But Hannah Jane posted her report on Roanoke, which is her absolute favorite thing all of the sudden.  So enjoy this poast from my guest blogger, Hannah Jane, age 8, history enthusiast!  Thanks for filling in for mom, Hannah Jane!


Roanoke was one of the longest unsolved mysteries in American History.  It was island off the coast of what is now North Carolina in the New World, that the Queen of England, Elizabeth, wanted to colonize.  Two groups of colonists vanished and I have a theory about why.

There was a group of  100 men led to Roanoke by Ralph Lane, whose attitude towards the natives was one of enemies.  They started building a fort surrounded by little cabins for the people to live in.  They should have been planting crops.  As winter came, they needed food so they sent some ships back to England to get supplies that they needed to survive the winter.  While the people were gone trying to get food, Sir Francis Drake sailed by and the people left went with him back home to England.  Soon after, the supply ship came back and they found that none of the people were there.  Fifteen people from the supply ship stayed behind in search of the colonists.

Years later, John White led a second group of colonists, this time 150 men, women, and children, back to Roanoke.  When they arrived they found nothing but human bones of the15 people left behind.  Of the three tribes on the island one tribe was friendly, the Croaton.  The Croaton told the English that another tribe had killed the 15 men.  The English were enraged and they went to the neighboring island where the other tribe lived.  When they arrived, the Croaton were already there to help, but the English made the mistake of killing the Croaton that were there trying to help them because they didn't realize who they were.  This did not help their relationship with the Croaton.

Soon John White's daughter had a daughter named Virginian Dare.  John White left for England again to get more supplies.  He was in a hurry to get back because he now had a grandchild  in Roanoke.  While he was there, a war started between the Spanish and the English and the English needed all of their ships to fight so he couldn't get a ship to go back to Roanoke.  It took White two years to get back.  When he arrived, he didn't find anyone there.  He and some other sailors started looking for all of them.  He saw smoke and was hoping it was from the settlement, but it was just from a wildfire.  He went to where the fort had been and it was completely gone.  The people with him couldn't find the cross, the symbol that the colonists agreed to carve if they were in trouble.  He went to where he had put his family heirlooms and he couldn't find them.  They were all gone and all that was there was a book without a cover and torn up maps.  He tried going to the place that the Croaton lived but there was a storm whose wind blew them back towards England.

There are two theories about what happened to the colonists.  Some people reported seeing a settlement on the mainland and others reported seeing fair skinned Croatons, leaving them to believe that the colonists merged with the Croaton.  I believe that they were killed too fast to carve the distress symbol and the Croaton killed them because the colonists had killed some of their people in the big mistake.

As you now know, many groups of people tried to build a colony at Roanoke and there are several theories about what happened to them.  No one knows for sure what happened to the people.  From this we can learn to always bring the supplies we need when we go someplace and that we need to be nice to the natives of new places we visit. 

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