Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Virginia Dare's Birthday

Posted August 18, 2010

Where, oh where is Virginia Dare? It is a question that has echoed through the live oaks and red cedars of the Outer Banks for centuries. On this day in 1587 Dare was born on Roanoke Island becoming the first child of English parents born in America. Virginia was the granddaughter of Governor John White.

Exactly three years later Governor White returned from a supply trip to England to find that the Roanoke Island settlement had been deserted. Sweet Virginia and all the others had vanished. The only clue was the word CROATOAN carved into tree. White attempted to sail south to Croatan or Hatteras Island, however, severe storms forced him back to England. No one would ever hear from the coastal settlers again.

What happened to the Lost Colony? On this the 423rd birthday of Virginia Dare I would like to ask you for your theories. Feel free to wax poetic if you would like. Write some lyrics for us to enjoy.


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  • anggiet Aug 19, 2010

    I would disagree with the theory of the settlers moving inland and intermarrying on their own. People are proud of their heritage and there should be some historical documentation of that happening, if not family lore, passed down from generation to generation. If they were captured by the natives and disbursed amongst the tribes, it could be that they had no way to tell of their English heritage to their offspring without the threat of being killed.

  • go fish Aug 19, 2010

    They moved to Cedar Island! Growing up in Carteret County I actually read a book by a local gentlemen putting that theory forward. It was pretty interesting

  • wdwbmw Aug 18, 2010

    I taught NC history to eighth graders so have heard some pretty interesting ideas about what might have happened to the colonists. My personal hope is that they willingly left with native people and survived somewhere else - quite possibly the Robeson County area. There was a wonderful special on PBS several years ago that lasted for three hours and told the story of the Lost Colony. My students loved it.

  • dharper22 Aug 18, 2010

    I, too, favor the theory that the people became assimilated by the Natives and descendants live in the Southeast corner of our state. I remember visiting with a Lumbee woman years ago who insisted that she really was a Croatoan. She had blue eyes and dark skin.

  • PAINFREE Aug 18, 2010

    I wrote a college English termpaper on the Lost Colony back in 1956, and my research led me to the conclusion that they probably wound up in what is now Roberson County and intermarried with the Lumbee Indians in that location. My father, who worked in Lumberton seasonally (tobacco buyer) also felt the blue-eyed natives were related to the colonists who disappeared. If only we had some ancient DNA to compare!!

  • wahmobx Aug 18, 2010

    I feel like they moved inland searching for food.

  • weasleyes Aug 18, 2010

    A buddy who lived down there for years says that the mosquitoes ate 'em, but I agree with "lookn4spac." I worked around the Lumbees for years and agree that they have many of the early English characteristics/mannerisms, etc. Plus, they got that accent from somewhere. Bill, thanks for all the thought-provoking questions.

  • lookn4spac Aug 18, 2010

    I believe that they became part of the Lumbee tribe. We met a many while at the recreation of the Lost Colony that was writing a book with that conclusion. Sure sounded good!

  • veyor Aug 18, 2010

    I thought only "CRO" was carved into a tree, indicating a quick exit.

  • Frizz Aug 18, 2010

    Abducted by space aliens.




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