Thursday, August 16, 2007

In Search of the Lost Colony

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    The Lost Colony resulted from England's second attempt to colonize the shores of northeastern North Carolina. The first attempt in 1585 and 1586 failed after its members, led by Ralph Lane, warred with local Indians and were unable to establish the means to sustain themselves. Commissioned by Sir Walter Ralegh, this expedition generated ethnographic reports, maps, and dramatic paintings by Thomas Harriot and John White. Its members signaled English ships passing off the shoals on Hatteras, and they sailed back to England with Sir Francis Drake's privateer fleet in 1586. A small party of soldiers left by Sir Richard Grenville in the same year to garrison Lane’s abandoned fort at Roanoke Island disappeared in 1586 and 1587. Their troubles did not dissuade the second group of settlers, who were borne by three ships that arrived in July 1587.

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