Raleigh's Colony

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Martin, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    What do you believe happened to Raleigh's colony at Roanoke?

    Notice that I am asking for your opinion and not what you think the current theory is. Having done some study it is my opinion that they died soon after they left Roanoke or at least sometime before 1607. I base this opinon upon the fact that they never tried to contact their fellow englishmen/women at Jamestown. How they died I can't say. Maybe they died of disease or maybe Powhatan killed them when he wiped out the Chesapeake indians. Theories that they merged with the Croatan and became the modern Lumbee are interesting but I'm not sure how realistic. I think the majority of them probably died before 1607 though it is possible that some of their children survived and were raised as indians. Thus they would have considered themselves indian, not english, and would not have tried to contact the english at Jamestown.

    Of course, all of this is theory. We may never know what really happened.
     
  2. Salty

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    Web link will give you more info
    for those who are history impaired:laugh:
     
  3. Martin

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    ==It is interesting how many such reports the colonists did recieve. Personally I think such reports were little more than rumor/legend. Of course I have to think that since my theory is that most of the colony was dead by 1607, the only exception being some children who had been raised as indian. However the information the colonists at Jamestown recieved is still very interesting and may prove that indeed some remained alive post 1607. However we are once again confronted by the question: If some of Raleigh's adult colonists had indeed survived why did they not attempt to contact their fellow english at Jamestown? The only reason I can think of is that the adult colonists were dead by 1607 and the children, who survived, were raised as indians and felt no kinship towards the english at Jamestown. It is just one of many theories but it is the best thing I can think of at this point in time.

    The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research
     
    #3 Martin, Mar 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2009
  4. Enoch

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    I was just reading about this the other night...it's one of those stories that always intrigue people. I think if any of the adults had survived why would they not come forward later? If they all died who buried them and where are the graves? There should be some markers at least? If they were slaughtered what did they do with the bodies? I hope they assimilated but perhaps they were slaughtered by Native Americans or the Spanish? Although the Lost Colony DNA Project looks interesting. Who knows?



    http://www.lost-colony.com/DNAproject.html
     
  5. Zenas

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    In northeast Tennessee and southeast Kentucky there lives a race of people known as Melungeons. Their skin color ranges from olive to nearly black and their features are mostly Caucasian. No one knows their origin and no one remembers when they weren't there. I submit that the people of Raleigh's lost colony left and went far inland, perhaps 300 or 400 miles, settled on the west edge of the Appalachians, mingled with the native Cherokee, and today are known as the Melugeons.
     
  6. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Well no one can prove you wrong Zenas. DNA testing of Melungeon famalies so far has only shown that they are of mixed race descent and that their ancestors include Native American, European, Mediterranean, and Aftrican individuals. But who is a Melungeon and who do you test is a big question. Because we have famalies that are known relations to the missing Roanoke settlers it would seem that DNA testing would at some point provide proof of your theory.

    The Melungeons and other tribes of “White Indians” raise many interesting questions. While some have white or Mediterranean features others have more traditional Native American or African features. While they may comprise a distinct ethnic group or sub group their racial ancestry is undoubtedly mixed. What we refer to as Melungeons is just one of many groups of mixed racial heritage in America today. There are other groups throughout America. The harsh terrain of the Appalachian Mountains has contributed to this particular groups isolation over the years and allowed them to develop a more pronounced sub culture but there are many other groups. When I lived in South Carolina there was a sub group called ”Brass Ankles” or “Turks” that fit the same description. There were also “Redbone” Indians in South Carolina that had a mixture of white and native American features. Many of these titles are considered derogatory and care should be used when using these terms.

    Survivors of the Roanoke colony could be one source of the mixed ancestry of these groups, but there are many other sources as well. The fact is that there were interactions between what we call Native Americans and white sailors for a century or more before the Jamestown settlement. While Raleigh’s settlements might have been the first authorized by the Queen there were individual explorers and adventurers who moved throughout the American continent much earlier. Many of these came to the American continent alone and married Native American women. That some white or mixed race children appeared in the generations afterwards should be expected. That these mixed race people may have been drawn to one another and therefore increase the isolation of the gene pool should also be expected. Run away and freed slaves, slaves from central and south America, shipwrecked sailors or sailors who deserted their ships for whatever reason, run away convicts and indentured servants, all of these may have contributed to the gene pool of these groups. Different families of Melungeons claim Native American, African, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, or Jewish origin.

    There are many romantic tales of persecuted peoples from the across the Atlantic who found refuge and a new land in America. From dispersed tribes of Israel and Phoenician sailors lost at see to the Welch Prince Madoc these stories fire our imagination. And who is to say that some of those stories could not be true.

    We are all of mixed race, and modern DNA science offers the possibility that some of the mystery in each of our personal histories can be solved.
     
  7. LadyEagle

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    Great thread and great comments! I love it! :)
     
  8. Martin

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    --Glad you are enjoying it. This is one of those topics that appeals to a wide variety of interests. When I teach American History I, I give my students the rare chance to earn extra credit by writing a short paper on the various theories about the lost colony. Last semester I even gave a few extra points to the brave souls would would present their paper to the class. Sadly only two students took me up on the presentation offer but the majority of the class wrote the papers. Made for some very interesting reading, to be sure.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==That is a very good point and one reason I tend to think the adults were dead by 1607. They could have died as a result of disease, fighting with Indians, or the Powhatan destruction of the Chesapeake.

    ==I have thought about that as well. However even if we found some graves I'm not sure how helpful graves would be. There would have to be some "markers" letting archeologiest know who the graves belonged to. That may very well not exist (anymore). Also there is the question of where were they buried? The possibilities are just too wide open for anyone really good search (mainly considering the possible lack of id). If they were killed by indians, they may not have been buried. Their bodies could have been mixed in with Indian bodies (in the case of the Powhatan attack).

    ==Assimilation could be the answer. Again, however, there is no way to prove it. Also assimilation would probably have only been possible for the children and some of the women. Adult englishmen would probably have been killed in conflicts/arguments with Indians (arguments between teh two groups were very, very common in the southeast). Many indians viewed the englishmen as rude and aggressive. Some could have been adopted, but I think assimilation is most likely with the children. I think it is likely that some of the children were assimilated into Indian culture. They would have been raised by and as indians. This would explain why they never contacted the english at Jamestown, they would have considered themselves indian and not english. There does seem to be some evidence for this.

    As for the DNA project, I'm just not sure.
     
  10. Martin

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    ==The same could be, and has been, said of the Lumbee Indians located in Robeson County, NC. There are other groups making similar claims. I think at the end of the day it is going to be difficult, if not totally impossible, for any of these groups to prove their claims.
     
  11. LadyEagle

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    Not to change the subject, just an aside: I have often thought about all those Christian graves through the ages where we don't even know where they are and what a sight that will be on Resurrection Day when all the saints are raised from the dead out of graves that are unmarked. Maybe from under houses or office buildings or who knows? It should be something! Anyway, back to the OP. :)
     
  12. Kevin M

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    I found something interesting in N.Brent Kennedy's book
    The Melungeons The Resurrection of a Proud People.

    "Williams also described an exploratory journey made in
    April 1673 by James Needham, an Englishman and Gabriel
    Arthur,possibly an indentured servant, along with eight
    Indians, to the Tennessee Valley. A portion of Needham's
    account of this trek is fascinating and relevant enough to be included here."

    ""Eight days journey down this river, lives a white people
    which have long beards and whiskers and weares clothing,
    and on some of ye other rivers lives a hairy people. Not
    many yeares since ye Tomahittans sent twenty men laden
    with beavor to ye white people: they killed tenn of them and
    put ye other tenn in irons, two of which tenn escaped and
    one of them came with one of my men to my plantation. As
    ye will understand after a small time of rest one of my men
    returns with his horse, ye Appomatock Indian and twelve
    Tomahittans, eight men and foure women. One of these
    eight is hee which hath been a prisoner of ye white
    people......ye prisoner relates that ye white people have a
    bell which is six foot over which they ring in morning and
    evening and att that time a great number of people
    congregate togather and talkes he knowes not what.""
     

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