The Lost Colony of Roanoke


Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to establish the first permanent English colony in North America with the Roanoke Colonial. It was the first step towards the United States of America and Virginia’s first years of existence. It also housed the famed Roanoke colony. It was there that the first British shipment of tobacco arrived from England. It was the beginning of the colony and it eventually became a major trading point.

Many historical documents document the activities of the colony. The Virginia Company of Virginia is a charter given by King George III to the colonists. It states: “The said colony had formed out of the wreck of a vessel called the Vassells which was lost at Boston because of smallpox. The story goes on to explain that the colony was chartered with the purpose of constructing an fort at Roanoke.

What does all this have to have to do with the lost colony of roanoke? Archaeologists have found remains dating to the late seventeenth century and the early eighteenth hundreds at Roanoke. These remains indicate that at most 12 families had their birth in this colony. Sixteeneen copper coins have been discovered at Roanoke. These coins, which are comprised of bronze or copper inlays, date back between 16 hundred and two hundred fifty centuries ago.

Roanoke scientists along with other North Carolina State University researchers made an intriguing discovery. They discovered that the materials used to create the Roanoke crafts of the settlers could be made from metals found in Roanoke. A number of pendants were discovered to contain what appears be gold coins. Roanoke discovered pipes believed to be tobacco pipes. Potholders are also found that could be filled with copper coins. This suggests that the colony’s wealth must be the result of trade with European countries. This also suggests a secure trading relationship between these Native American groups and the Roanoke colonists.

What led the English pioneers to Roanoke Island? Roanoke Island was a major refuge of English and Native American settlers. It was once an important sea port, and also had a thriving sugar industry. It was home to a number of islands, another sign of the colonial roots of Roanoke.

Visitors interested in learning more information about Roanoke Island’s history can visit the Lost Colony of Roanoke today. Many archeologists groups as well as school tours tour the site of the colony each year. There are many archeological events taking place on Roanoke Island in the month of May.


Steven Gregory