You Might Want to Brush up on the Roanoke Colony



On September 14, 2016 the anthology TV series American Horror Story debuted a 6th season. There was no announcement of the season’s theme prior to the premiere, but it was later revealed to have a documentary style format and story line of the Roanoke Colony, subtitled “Roanoke.”

I enjoy American Horror Story as much as the next horror fan, so I thought it would be a good idea to dive into the history behind Roanoke, also known as the “Lost Colony.” The Roanoke Colony was established in 1585 on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. Roanoke was a 16th-century directive by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement and was founded by Sir Walter Raleigh.

Roanoke is referred to as the Lost Colony because the establishment’s colonists disappeared during the Anglo-Spanish War.


“There has been no conclusive evidence as to what happened to the colonists.”

“On March 25, 1584, Queen Elizabeth I granted Raleigh a charter for the colonization of the area of North America. This charter specified that Raleigh needed to establish a colony in North America, or lose his right to colonization.” Additionally, the charter called for the establishment of a base to send privateers on raids against the treasure fleets of Spain.

A privateer was a private person or ship that engaged in maritime warfare under a commission of war.


The discovery of the word “Croatoan” carved onto a stockade board

On April 27th, 1584, Raleigh sent out an expedition led by Phillip Amadas and Arthur Barlow to explore the eastern coast of North America and begin settlement. Amadas and Barlow arrived on Roanoke Island on July 4th, and established relations with local natives, the Secotans and Croatoans. “Barlowe returned to England with two Croatoans named Manteo and Wanchese, who were able to describe the politics and geography of the area to Raleigh. Based on the information given, Raleigh organized a second expedition, to be led by Sir Richard Grenville.”

“As retaliation, the settlers sacked and burned the village.”

During the exploration of the mainland North American coast and native settlements, the Europeans blamed natives of the village of Aquascogoc for stealing a silver cup. As retaliation, the settlers sacked and burned the village.” As time passed relations between the Europeans and local natives worsened and the colonists came under attack. Though the colonists were able to repel the attack from the local natives, several insisted on returning home and these Roanoke colonists introduced “tobacco, maize, and potatoes to Europe.” A small detachment of English force was left behind at Roanoke to maintain English presence and to protect Raleigh’s claim to Roanoke Island.

baptism of virginia dare

Baptism of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in North America

A little more than a year later on July 22, 1587, a recently dispatched group of 115 colonists sent by Raleigh drifted up to the eerie and deserted landing of the Roanoke Colony. Ordered to check on the Roanoke settlers, “they found nothing except a skeleton that may have been the remains of one of the English garrison.”

“The end of the 1587 colony is unrecorded, leading to the colony being referred to as the “Lost Colony”, with multiple hypotheses existing as to the fate of the colonists.”

This article borrows heavily from the Wiki on Roanoke Colony. You can check out the Wiki here. I am listing that article as the primary source for all the information displayed above. Thanks for reading! Oh, and SUBMIT TO THE SUPREMEGOATOVERLORD.