Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony
Virginia Dare was the first English child born on US soil, on August 18 1587, in the English colony of Roanoke Island, on the North Carolina Coast. Her grandfather discovered Virginia’s disappearance, after he returned from a trip to England, to fetch supplies for the colony he’d founded. On returning, he found the 108-person settlement gone and all the buildings dismantled. There were no signs of struggle but carved into a nearby tree were the letters CRO, and at the colony’s entrance, the word CROATOAN had been chiselled on a post. Before he’d left, he’d told the colonists to carve a Maltese cross on the tree if anything happened, but there was no such sign.
The Croatoan were a Native American group living on what’s now Hatteras Island, but a report said the colonists had sought shelter with the Chesapeake, who were friendly. Another Native Chief, Powhatan, claimed his tribe had killed most of the group.
In 1612, the Jamestown Colony secretary reported that two-story stone houses had been seen at two Indian settlements, built by Indians who’d learned from Roanoke settlers.
A 1901 poem by Sallie Southall Cotton claimed Virginia became part of a Native American tribe, fell in love with a handsome Chieftain, Okinisawa, and captured the heart of the witch doctor, Chico. She was turned into a white doe when she spurned Chico’s advances. Cotton claimed her poem was based on three-century old colonial folklore, and a white doe has been seen on what was formerly Croatoan Island, but is this really likely? What do you think?