Archaeology, Blog Administration, Corrections and Retractions, DNA, Lost Colony, Roanoke Island, Virginia Dare
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 girlâ€™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.
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.