Monday, May 10, 2010

Roanoke Roundup

Randall Stephens

William Stith, History of the Firft Discovery and Settlement of Virginia (Williamsburg, 1747).
This Colony chofe Roanoke, an Ifland at the Mouth of Albermarle Sound, for the Place of their Habitation; and their chief Employment was to reconnoitre and view the Country. Their fartheft Difcovery to the Southward was Seeotan, an Indian Town, by their Reckoning, eighty Leagues from Roanoke, lying up between the Rivers Pampticoe and Neus, in North-Carolina. To the Northward they went an hundred and thirty Miles to the Chefapeaks, a Nation of Indians, feared on a fmall River, to the South of our Bay, now cabled Elfabeth River, from whom, as thefe firft Difcoverers tell us, the Bay itfelf took its Name. >>>

Steven Morris, "Bideford Mayor Hunts US 'Lost Colony' Clues," Guardian, May 6, 2010.
A mayor in north Devon is attempting to help rewrite American history by proving that people from his small port town settled in the US 30 years before the Pilgrim Fathers set sail. Andy Powell hopes to find funds for DNA tests that might help demonstrate Bideford's "pivotal" role in the history of modern America. If he can find the proof, the town might find itself at the centre of a tourism boom. >>>

"Local Legacies: The Lost Colony," Library of Congress.
The mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke Island has been passed down from generation to generation since their discovered disappearance in 1590-three years after the settlers from England landed. Did the 120 men, women, and children assimilate with the friendly Croatoan natives or the Chesapeake tribe? Or were they massacred by the unfriendly Wanchese tribe? This legend gains more poignancy when you consider that Virginia Dare, the first child born of English parentage in America, was among these brave pioneers. >>>

Drew DeSilver, "A Kingdom Strange: A new look at the Lost Colony of Roanoke" (a review of James Horn's new book), Seattle Times, May 1, 2010.
For a people who celebrate success as much as Americans do, we have something of a romantic affinity for failure. The Confederacy may have fallen, but as the Lost Cause it inspired, among other things, "Gone With the Wind." The Chicago Cubs have legions of fans who've never set foot inside Wrigley Field; they love the team not despite its decades of futility but largely because of them. More than 400 years after it disappeared, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, in what is now North Carolina's Outer Banks, continues to fascinate. >>>

Greg Schneider, "Book review: 'A Kingdom Strange,' by James Horn," Washington Post, April 25, 2010.
In 1587, 20 years before Jamestown, English settlers founded a colony on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This wasn't some hardened outpost of soldiers. It was families, husbands with pregnant wives, fathers with young sons -- 118 people in all. They built a fort, befriended some of the natives and produced the first English baby born in the New World: Virginia Dare. And within three years, they all disappeared. The fate of the Lost Colony is a mystery at the heart of the nation's founding, chock full of odd characters, conspiracy theories, strange turns of events -- even enigmatic carvings left behind on tree trunks. >>>

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