Lost Roanoke Colony

Waiting for White's return


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The first Roanoke colony was founded by governor Ralph Lane in 1585 on Roanoke Island in what is now Dare County, North Carolina, United States. Following the failure of the 1585 settlement, a second colony—led by John White—landed on the same island in 1587, and set up another settlement that became known as the Lost Colony due to the subsequent unexplained disappearance of its population. White returned to England with Fernandes, intending to bring more supplies back to his colony in 1588. The Anglo-Spanish War delayed White's return to Roanoke until 1590,[1]:94, 97 and upon his arrival he found the settlement fortified but abandoned. The cryptic word, "CROATOAN," was found carved into the palisade, which White interpreted to mean the colonists had relocated to Croatoan Island. Before he could follow this lead, rough seas and a lost anchor forced the rescue mission to return to England.