29 Dec 2014

Mystery of Lost Colony Solved — BAD REPORT

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Croatoan

115 English colonists established a new colony on Roanoke Island, North Carolina on July 22, 1587. The first English child born in North America, Virginia Dare, was born on August 18th. Her grandfather, the colony’s governor, John White, left for England, later that year in search of aid and reinforcements for the new colony.

The arrival of the Spanish Armada and the consequent war with Spain delayed assistance and White’s return. He finally arrived back at Roanoke on August 18, 1590, his grand daughter’s third birthday. White found the colony deserted and the homes and fortifications dismantled. The only clue to the fate of the English colonists was the word “Croatoan” found carved in a tree.

World News Daily reports that recent archaeological investigations appear to have solved the mystery of what happened to the Lost Colony.

Archaeologists excavating an early 17th century Native American village near the Enoree River in Laurens County, North Carolina, have discovered seven contemporary Christian sepultures holding the skeletons of six males and one female of European origins. The bones have been proven through comparative DNA testing, to have belonged to members of the lost colony of Roanoke, established in 1585 on Roanoke Island, which disappeared mysteriously. …

The female skeleton has been identified thanks to DNA testing, as Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas. The DNA of the skeleton which was found in October, was compared to that of modern day descendants of Governor John White, her grandfather. The test confirmed that the bones were indeed with more than 99.8% certainty, those of Ms. Dare. Four of the others corpses have also been identified through the same process by the scientists, including that of the girl’s father Ananias Dare, a tiler and bricklayer from London. The other identified skeletons are those of Arnold Archard and his son Thomas, as well as the young John Sampson. …

It is still unclear if the colonists were taken as prisoners or if they sought shelter with the Eno people, but Professor Monroe and his team believe that the colonists were most likely sold into slavery at some point in time and held captive by differing bands of the Eno tribe, who were known slave traders. They survived with the natives for many years, as Virginia Dare who was born in August 1587, was estimated to have been around twenty years old at the time of her death.

This astounding discovery seems to confirm the 17 th Century writings of William Strachey, a secretary of the Jamestown Colony. He wrote in his The historie of travaile into Virginia Britannia in 1612, that four English men, two boys and one girl had been sighted at the Eno settlement of Ritanoc, under the protection of a chief called Eyanoco. This mysterious settlement had however evaded discovery until now, as its location was not clearly mentioned by the author and no other mention of it or its chief have ever been recorded.

Strachey had reported that the captives were forced to beat copper for the natives. He explains that they had escaped an attack that had allegedly killed most of the other colonists. They would have fled up the Chaonoke river (the present-day Chowan River in Bertie County, North Carolina) only to be captured by Eno warriors.

Read the whole thing.

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CORRECTION AND RETRACTION, later on 12/29:

This is only the second time in many years I fell for a fake story. (The first time was when I first came across Duffleblog and failed to recognize that the story was appearing on a satire site.

This Roanoke story looked good and had a very plausible ring to it. There was no obvious giveaway.

But, one commenter, Gray, called the story out, and he is perfectly correct. There is no Professor William J. Monroe at Johns Hopkins or anywhere else. This story is otherwise completely unreported. There is no Laurens County in North Carolina. And “World News Daily” is just a totally irresponsible Israeli tabloid that evidently thinks making up stories like this is fun.

Apologies to Free Republic and American Digest. I’m off to eat a large plate of crow.

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8 Feedbacks on "Mystery of Lost Colony Solved — BAD REPORT"

GoneWithTheWind

Somewhat ironic that the first documented slavery in the new world was by the noble savages and the first case of genocide too was committed by the Indians.



Gray

I call bullshit.

Only source for this is “Whirled Nuts Daily”.

Professor William J. Monroe appears no where on the www but in this story

No Johns Hopkins announcements.

This is not archealogical dig season there, when was the original find? No date in article

Story discusses Johns Hopkins selling the remains to museums.

Laurens County is in the middle of South Carolina….



JDZ

I think you’re right, and I will be issuing a correction tomorrow.



Robert

Well, it’s always wise to be skeptical about anything nowadays, especially something just posted on the Internet.

However, while it might not be true that validating DNA evidence was actually achieved as described, the belief that the colony was set upon by hostile natives has always been considered the most plausible explanation for the disappearance beginning with John White’s return in 1590. And, the reports from William Strachey are well-established history. It is also well documented that there were some native tribes in North America which practiced slavery (though not necessarily in the form most of us think of as slavery) and even other tribes who practiced cannibalism. While there were many North American tribes that were peaceful and had advanced culture (as far as tribal cultures go), there were also many tribes who really were “savages” toward other native tribes and, certainly, towards complete foreigners.



JDZ

Thanks, Gray.



Joel Raupe

The meat of the story is a little off-putting (to say the least) when it begins by citing excavations in a South Carolina county attributed to a non-existent county in North Carolina.
And those many among us who’ve closely studied Dare and Roanoke our whole lives aren’t prepared to take a headline writer’s word as settling the matter, not least because that headline writer works for the eternally fretful WND.

But, that doesn’t mean I won’t examine the evidence.



Gray

I like your blog very much and get get here occasionally. I’m sorry my first comment was a “bullshit call”, I was a bit terse. But, that’s me–probably the thing that attracts me to your blog.

True to the spirit of the quote “…never yet melted”, you responded in a tough-minded, courteous and honorable fashion. I’ll certainly visit more often.



Az

Also of note, the town mentioned is not in NORTH Carolina, it is in South Carolina. As is the county mentioned (which is where the river and the town are located).

But yes, it sounded reasonable on first glance! I was taken as well.



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