1585-86, Roanoke, America: The first English settlement in America is founded at Roanoke Island, and Ralph Lane is appointed governor. Governor Lane and his colony of soldiers also includes future 1587 colony governor John White and scientist and author Thomas Harriot. Governor White produces much of his artwork there and Harriot studies the native inhabitants of the region. In his book, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, Harriot describes the impact the epidemic diseases had on the Indians perceptions of the Europeans just prior to the landing of the 1587 colony at Roanoke. The Indians did not understand why so many were dying yet the English were not. That their immune systems could not handle the European diseases that the English were better accustomed to. Harriet writes that "many of the natives saw Lane and his colony as not being mortal and were men of an old generation many years past that had risen again to immortality. That more of their generation was yet to come, to take their places." Harriot also notes that "the natives believed that the other generation of the English to be in the air, yet invisible and without bodies and they made the native people die by 'shooting invisible bullets into them (viruses)."
The natives were sustaining heavy losses from invisible European bullets. The Secotan Chief Wingina plots with other tribes to rid the English colony from America's shores. Governor Lane foiled the attempt and the chief was killed. The Virginia tribes continued to Allie with each other against any foreign colonization efforts, but not the Weapomeoc tribe, they would not Allie with the other tribes against European colonization. Elannor states in the Dare stone message that for two years there was war and misery. It is likely that the other tribes were attacking the Weapemeoc Indians for harboring the English and their fatal European diseases of smallpox, measles, and others.
LOST AND FOUND, THE MANY VOYAGES
August 1587: 117 English men, women, and children arrive at Roanoke Island. Soon after their landing, the governor of the colony, John White, returns to England for additional supplies. (Gov. White's 1587- 90 testimony).
October 9, 1587: Queen Elizabeth puts a stay on all shipping, Spain, and England are at war with each other (Quinn, 1955), and Governor White and John Watts are unable to reach Roanoke until August 1590. As the owner of the ship Margaret and John was one of the ships paid by the city of London in 1588 to sail against the Spanish armada. Watts himself served aboard her as a volunteer and saw some of the worst of the action (Lost Colony Center for Science and Research).
April 22-May 22, 1588: During the War with Spain, Governor John White attempts to return with provisions to Roanoke Island. The ships are plundered by a French warship (a Rochelle), and many on White’s ships are killed, thus forcing the crippled vessels to turn back and abort the attempt (Quinn, 1955).
March 7, 1589: Sir Walter Raleigh, John White, and others agree to continue the City of Raleigh Venture, and inhabit the “countrie called Affamacomock, alias Wingandacoia, alias Virginia” (Quinn, 1955).
Rescue voyages to Roanoke by Governor White and the merchant investors of the 1587 colony began in 1588. Governor White found the case to be with his return there in 1590, that unless the Albemarle Sound and the Chowan River were penetrated, then the plight of the Lost Colony would remain a mystery. The Spanish Military landed at Roanoke Island in July of 1588 and reported only that the island was deserted, they did not report breaching into the Albemarle Sound. The Indians were not talking, and sailing beyond Roanoke Island and into the sound looked bleak for any Europeans that ventured in. Many of the search voyages to Roanoke took on loads of sassafras bound back to England, keeping Raleigh's claims alive in America by suggesting that the colony still existed. The English remained a fixture at Roanoke until answers regarding the 1587 colony came to light. (Jon Sinatra, 2021)
1590, Roanoke, Virginia/NC: English merchant and shipowner Sir John Watts, joins with Sir Walter Raleigh in an attempt to salvage the 1587 colony. As one of the most important investors of the Roanoke venture, Watts had earlier promised Raleigh he would ship Governor White with stores and additional planters following their arrival at Roanoke in 1587 (Andrews, 1959).
1594: Florida Governor Canco learned from David Glande that the 1587 colony was still alive. (Miller, 2000: 207, citing Canço, Report: 156).
1599: Sir Walter Raleigh begins sending ships to Virginia to bring back sassafras (Phil Jones, 2001) and keep England's claims alive in America that a colony still existed.
1601: Martin Pring, with John White on board, made another voyage to search for the “Lost Colony” (Hulton, 1984).
1602: Samuel Mace, of Weymouth, who had been in Virginia twice before, is employed by Raleigh “to find those people which were left there in 1587."
August 1602: Sassafras and cedar brought back by two recent Virginia voyages (Mace is one, and probably Pring, again with John White aboard, is the second one). One of those ships is a pinnace ship sent out to find the Roanoke Colonists. (Nicholls & Williams, 2011). A pinnace ship is needed to sail through the barrier islands of the Outer Banks and into the Albemarle Sound and Chowan River. In all probability, Pring and White sailed the pinnace. This gives more evidence that the Pring voyage with John White made contact with Raleigh’s colony. Of the many voyages to Roanoke by the English when searching for the colonists, this is the first and only recorded use of a pinnace ship used in those searches. The pinnace sailed 50 miles into the main from Roanoke Island to the west end of the Albemarle Sound, then north along the Chowan River to the Chowanock Village of Chowanoac (the Blond Town). And the governor's colony had come to light. It is probable that Elannor was not at the village upon their arrival but rather near Powhatan Town. The governor returned the following Spring and the Powhatans were expecting them (Jon Sinatra, 2021)
May 1603: Just a few months following the Mace/Pring/White voyage of August 1602, Raleigh sends Samuel Mace to Virginia with Bartholomew Gilbert in two ships to bring back sassafras (Jones, 2001);(Miller, 2000). This is the first recorded landing at the Chesapeake Bay searching for the Lost Colony. John White is not listed as being on this latest voyage, but he probably was, only a few records from this voyage survived. Setting anchor in the Chesapeake Bay, Bartholomew Gilbert, and four crewmen went ashore to search for the missing members of the Lost Colony (Charles M. Hudson; Carmen Chaves Tesser (1994) The Forgotten Centuries). It was recorded that the men were attacked and put to death by the Indians (Zandt, Cynthia J. Van, 2008). Following this voyage, records cease regarding any search voyages by the English to Roanoke concerning the 1587 colony and the harvesting of sassafras, the English just stopped going to Roanoke, they knew where Elannor and any other survivors from the colony were at. Samuel Mace, the other ship on that voyage, and following the murder of Bartholomew Gilbert and 4 of his crew, Mace sailed the Rappahannock River and into Powhatan territory and took 3 Indians hostage. Virginia Indians were reported to be in London in August 1603. King Powhatan later complained that Englishmen had captured some of his people (Quinn, 1985), one of which was Elannor Dare. The date of this historic landing at the Chesapeake Bay, by Gilbert, and those aboard his ship, is represented in the Seal of Northampton County, Virginia.
July 1603: In a letter to his wife Bess, Sir Walter Raleigh while under arrest in the Tower of London, he directs that his “poor men’s wages to be paid with the goods upon their return from discovering and planting a colony in Virginia." The letter refers to the above Mace/Gilbert voyage (May 1603). The surviving colonists had been rescued.