Friday, November 25, 2011

The Lost Colony

I have always been fascinated by the missing Roanoke colony from the 16 th century. Where did they go?  When I decided to write about the Fey I thought it would be awesome if they were the Lost Colony. The rest was kismet.

I've spent a lot of time in Norfolk because my husband's family is from there and we go every year. So that was where Valerie was going to drive around when she went on her quest for Lucas. Coincidentally, it turned out that was where the Roanoke settlers left from. And when the English finally returned to Roanoke they found the initials CRO carved into a tree. Sure, it probably meant Croatoan (the local Indians who were nearby) but another term for the Fey is  Bunadh na Cro which means Host of the Hills. It was almost as if they were taken by the Fey. Anyway, it kind of blew my mind.

The story of the Lost Colony reminds me of the Ben Linus line from Lost -- "Fate is a fickle bitch." Boy is it true.

The English Colonists settled in Roanoke, didn't get along with the natives and by the time help arrived in terms of food and reinforcements, 3 years had passed and they had faced the biggest drought in 800 years.
 And then, three years after the Colony's leader left to tell England how awful things were, he returned to find everyone gone-- including his daughter and granddaughter (the first English child born on American soil, Virginia Dare). He arrived on his Granddaughter's 3rd birthday.

Anyway, I took all the info from Wikipedia and pasted it below if anyone is curious about the fate of the Roanoke Colony. The formatting from Wikipedia is a bit whacky and I'm technologically incompetent so it's going to stay that way. Sorry!

The Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County, present-day North Carolina,United States was a late 16th-century attempt to establish a permanent English settlement in what later became the Virginia Colony. The enterprise was financed and organized by Sir Walter Raleigh and carried out by Ralph Lane and Richard Grenville, Raleigh's distant cousin. The final group of colonists disappeared during the Anglo-Spanish War, three years after the last shipment of supplies from England. The settlement is known as "The Lost Colony," and the fate of the colonists is still unknown.

In 1587, Raleigh dispatched a new group of 150 colonists to establish a colony onChesapeake Bay. They were led by John White, an artist and friend of Raleigh who had accompanied the previous expeditions to Roanoke. White was later appointed Governor and Raleigh named 12 assistants to aid in Roanoke's settlement. They were ordered to travel to Roanoke first to gather Grenville's men, but when they arrived on July 22, 1587, they found nothing except a skeleton that may have been the remains of one of the English garrison. They were counting on these men to help with the new colony, but when they could find no one, they gave up hope of ever seeing Grenville's men alive.[5]The fleet's commander, Simon Fernandez, now refused to let the colonists return to the ships, insisting they establish the new colony on Roanoke.[4]:215 His motive remains unclear.
With no choice, White re-established relations with the Croatans and tried to establish friendly relations with the tribes that Ralph Lane had battled the previous year. The hostile tribes refused to meet with him. Shortly thereafter, colonist George Howe was killed by an Indian while searching alone for crabs inAlbemarle Sound. Fearing for their lives, the colonists persuaded Governor White to return to England to explain the colony's desperate situation and ask for help.[8]:120–23 Left behind were about 115 colonists — the remaining men and women who had made the Atlantic crossing plus White's newly born granddaughter Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas.[9]:19

[edit]White returns to England

White sailed for England in late 1587. Crossing the Atlantic at that time of year was a considerable risk, as shown by Fernandez's claim that their ship barely made it back.[10] Plans for a relief fleet were delayed by the captain's refusal to return during the winter. The coming of theSpanish Armada led to every able English ship being commandeered to fight, which left White with no seaworthy vessels available to return to Roanoke. He managed to hire two small vessels considered unnecessary for England's defense and sailed for Roanoke in the spring of 1588. White's attempt to return to Roanoke was foiled by human nature and circumstance; the two vessels were small, and their captains were greedy. They attempted to capture several Spanish ships on the outward-bound voyage to improve their profits, but they were captured themselves and their cargo seized. With nothing left to deliver to the colonists, the ships returned to England.

Return to the Lost Colony

Because of the continuing war with Spain, White was not able to mount another resupply attempt for three more years. He finally gained passage on a privateering expedition that agreed to stop off at Roanoke on the way back from the Caribbean. White landed on August 18, 1590, on his granddaughter's third birthday, but found the settlement deserted. His men could not find any trace of the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children, nor was there any sign of a struggle or battle. The only clue was the word "Croatoan" carved into a post of the fort and "Cro" carved into a nearby tree. All the houses and fortifications had been dismantled, which meant their departure had not been hurried. Before he had left the colony, White had instructed them that if anything happened to them, they should carve a Maltese cross on a tree nearby, indicating that their disappearance had been forced. As there was no cross, White took this to mean they had moved to "Croatoan Island" (now known as Hatteras Island), but he was unable to conduct a search. A massive storm was brewing and his men refused to go any further. The next day, they left.[

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