Friday, September 28, 2007

English Colonies: the one that got away and the one that was here to stay

Wanted: A group of able-bodied folk willing to live together on a faraway land and endure hardships in order to have a shot at great riches.

No, no, it's not Survivor. It's time to play Who Wants to be an English Colonist? In this game, the riches are not guaranteed, the hardships can be deadly, and the land is far from being deserted.

Our story takes place in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. And instead of an exotic island or the Australian outback, our setting is right here, in what is now the United States. Spain is already active in the "New World " and England feels it needs to get in on the action. Both countries have a desire to grow bigger and more powerful. It is believed that the New World has an abundance of land to offer, and an abundance of gold, copper, pearls and other riches as well. To England and Spain, the New World seems to be the perfect place to send some adventuring souls with a desire for wealth.

If you think of early English colonies, the name Jamestown might stick out in your mind. But first we're going to go a little further back, to a colony that mysteriously disappeared!
Part 1: The "Lost Colony"

In 1585 an English gentleman by the name of Sir Walter Raleigh sent an expedition of 108 men to America to settle on what is now Roanoke Island, North Carolina. The trip was a failure, and at the first chance they got, the colonists ditched their settlement and caught a ride back home. So much for that.

By 1586, Raleigh was at it again, this time sending a group that included women and children and the hopes for a long-term community. Yet once again they ran into hardships. After a two month struggle for food, the colonists demanded that their governor, John White, return to England for supplies and more help. The poor fellow reluctantly agreed and never saw his family or any of the colonists again. It took three years for White to find a ship to go back to Roanoke and by the time he got there, all he could find was a high fence of logs that had been built where the village used to be. There were no houses left, no bodies, no pots and pans, nothing! The only clue was that on one of the fence posts was the carved word: "CROATOAN." So now we are left with this mystery. What happened to the Roanoke colonists? Were they killed by the natives? Ravished by disease? Destroyed in a fire? Washed away by a hurricane?

Full Article Here:

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