The Conquest Of Roanoke Colony Essay

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In 1584, Queen Elizabeth I granted Sir Walter Raleigh a charter for the colonization of North America. He was given seven years to establish a settlement before losing colonization rights. Raleigh funded an expedition lead by Ralph Lane and Richard Grenville. Five ships left Plymouth in 1585, but due to storms, ship damage, and loss of food supplies, only four ships eventually arrived on the Eastern coast. After exploring the mainland and coast, Grenville returned to England for supplies leaving Lane and some hundred members of the expedition to form a settlement on the north end of Roanoke Island. There, they built a fort and continued their explorations. Unfortunately, this first attempt at establishing a colony did not last long. While …show more content…
He returned to find an empty settlement. Not a living soul remained. No bodies, no bones, no signs of battle, the homes had all been dismantled. A Maltese cross carved into a tree, the pre-designated sign for showing the colonists had been forced to leave, was also absent. The only thing John White found was the word CROATOAN carved into the fort 's gatepost and Cro carved into a tree. Due to an approaching storm, the crew refused to travel on to nearby Croatoan Island to conduct a search there. John White and his men left the next day. What actually happened at Roanoke? Where did the colonists disappear to? People have sought answers for hundreds of years. There are many theories about the Lost Colony. They range from the possible to the absurd. Catastrophic disease, deadly storm, Native American rampage? Did they decide to move to Chesapeake Bay where they originally intended to settle? Maybe they assimilated with the local tribes. Each of these theories will be discussed over the course of this …show more content…
Infectious disease was certainly a deadly foe to the colonists. Sickness could conceivably have entered the settlement and laid waste to the inhabitants. However, one would expect to find multiple graves or, at the least, a mass grave in the area where the earliest casualties were laid to rest. The ending of such a plague should surely have left some bodies or skeletons to be discovered when Governor John White eventually returned to Roanoke. Not only were there no remains left behind at the colony, the buildings were gone as well. It 's very unlikely that a group of diseased settlers would have dismantled their homes and workplaces before lying down and dying in an unknown location. Retribution from Mother Nation is another theory that has been suggested. Was the colony at Roanoke obliterated by a hurricane? It was located on an island off the coast of what is today North Carolina. The area has certainly seen its share of hurricane and/or tropical storm activity. What are the chances, however, of a storm blowing away all the buildings and people in a particular area but leaving the surrounding fence behind? In light of John White discovering the word CROATOAN carved in the gatepost of the empty village 's fence, we must discount this particular theory as

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