1587, Day 1
We arrived today on the island of Roanoke. Queen Elizabeth of England had sent us over here to start a colony in the new world. There were about one hundred and twenty people on board that tiny vessel consisting of men, women, and children. I am very happy to make it onto land after so long on the water in a crowded ship. The land is dense with forests, and the bodies of water that surround us are beautiful. John White has been named governor of our colony.
I have been inside the huts all day taking care of the children and trying to make it more like a home. I’ve conversed with another one of the ladies and she told me that some of the men have ventured into the forest today looking for the lost colonists. There were many gentlemen sent over during England’s last trip; they were to start building a camp, but ran out of supplies so one ship returned to England while the rest of the men stayed here. The fifteen of them that stayed have disappeared without any clues as to what happened to them. I also heard rumors that they have made friends with the Croatoan Indians, and that they will help us with getting supplies. When they returned this afternoon they announced that their day’s expedition was to no avail.
Soon we all have to start figuring out a way to get food, we have enough to last for a long time, but eventually we will run out.
The days are starting out to be the same each day. I have taken care of the children all day and cleaned this filthy shack up. Some of the men ventured out again for hope of the lost colonists, but again to no avail. Others worked all day building homes. Hopefully they will be finished soon so we can get a proper roof over our heads.
John White is talking of another trip to return to England for more supplies soon.
The natives have brought us food today and have taught the men what plants are edible. We still are in need of supplies though and a ship will be leaving soon to collect. Our men have lost all hope of finding the 15 men who had disappeared, so groups have been on missions to find gold or some sort of precious metals to present to her majesty that the new Colonies are profitable.
The ship left to go back to England months ago, and we’ve lost all hope of its return. We have run out of supplies, the natives are helping us, but to stay at Roanoke is hopeless. Colonists have decided to start a move somewhere else. John White had organized an attack on the enemy Indians who we had heard attacked and killed our 15 men left on Roanoke, a few months back, but instead we attacked the Croatoans by accident. The Indians are not very keen on us now so we cannot rely on them for shelter and food. We have packed all our supplies left and ventured inland.
The ship sent back to England didn’t return to the colony for 3 years. During that time England was at war with Spain and couldn’t afford to let one of it’s ships return to Roanoke with supplies no matter how much John White begged the Queen. When England had won the war in 1590, a ship was sent back with supplies for the colony. Once arrived on land, they discovered that the hundred and sixteen people had abandoned Roanoke. All that was left was the word Croatoan carved into a tree. The colony was never found and the ship returned to England not knowing the fate of the colonists.