History remembers Virginia Dare as the first child born of English parents in the New World. In August, 1585, twenty-two years before Jamestown, 108 Englishmen under the far-reaching hand of Sir Walter Raleigh, managed to sail into what is now called Roanoke Sound and came ashore on an island called Roanoke in what is now Dare County, North Carolina. Having found a safe harbor between the mainland and the Outer Banks, they chose an area covered with live oaks on Roanoke Island overlooking the Roanoke Sound as the site for the first English colony in North America. Later this group returned to England.Via Pittsford Perennialist. Share
Two years later, Raleigh sent a second ship of colonists, this time including women and families. Several weeks after their arrival in July of 1587, Eleanor Dare gave birth August 18, 1587, to a baby girl who was named Virginia after Elizabeth I, England’s Virgin Queen. It was also a name befitting the first English child born in the wilderness of the New World.
Ten days after the birth of his grandchild Virginia Dare, John White, governor of the colony, returned with the ship to England to secure additional supplies. The colonists were left to fend for themselves without the unifying strength of their governor, without the additional supplies and adequate skills in how to deal with the wilderness of a strange and alien land; the various Indian tribes and the whims of nature in this area which vacillated from drought to hurricanes. Because England was at war with Spain and involved in the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Governor John White could not return immediately with his ship of supplies. When he finally was able to return three years later in 1590, there was no trace of the colonists and no visible evidence of a struggle. On a post near the entrance to the settlement the bark had been peeled off and a single enigmatic word carved into the wood – CROATOAN. Possibly this referred to a nearby island of that name or the Croatan Indians who were considered friendly. There was no sight of a cross which had been the prearranged signal of distress. No trace has ever been found of these colonists in subsequent years. (Read more.)