Raleigh’s “New Fort in Virginia” 1585, Roanoke Island
The following data is extracted from Trinity College Historical Society .
Wee came to an Island which they call Roanoke, distant from the harbour by which we entered seven leagues: and at the north end thereof was a village of nine houses, built of Cedar, and fortified round about with sharp trees, to keepe out their enemies, and the entrance into it made like a Turne pike very artificially. . . . The wife of the king's brother came running out to meete us very cheerefully and friendly. When we come into the utter roome, having five roomes in her house, she caused us to sit downe by a great fire, and after tooke off our clothes and washed them, and dried them againe: some of the women plucked off our stockings and washed them, some washed our feete in warme water, shee herselfe making greate haste to dress some meate for us to eate. . . . We were entertained with all love and kindnesse, and with as much bountie as they could possibly devise. We found the people most gentle, loving and faithfull, voile of all guile and treason, and such as live after the manner of the golden age."
It is important to mark this tribute to the character of the Hatteras Indians, and bearing in mind after instances of their kindliness and fidelity, we are forced to admit that their final attitude of hostility was entirely due to harsh and cruel treatment of them by the Colonists. It was a stern and ruthless age; the followers of the blessed Gospel of peace and love went ever armed with fire and sword, and admitted no right of any savage or pagan opponent to property, liberty or life.
These first explorers remained in our waters only two months, reaching England again "about the middle of September," bringing with them two of the natives, Wanchese and Manteo. Their arrival excited the greatest interest. Raleigh named the new country Virginia in honor of the queen, and our whole Atlantic coast was now regarded as under the dominion of France, England, and Spain; the three districts of indefinite boundaries being known as Canada, Virginia, and Florida.
This voyage of Amadas was merely one of exploration; but in 1585 Raleigh fitted out a second expedition of seven sail and one hundred and eight men, under command of his cousin Sir Richard Grenville, to plant a colony in the paradise described by Barlowe. Grenville is another of the brilliant heroes of this period, and it is interesting to note the number of remarkable men who were connected with the American voyages. Gilbert, Raleigh, Grenville, Lane, Hariot, White, form as striking a group of adventurous spirits as can be gathered together in history.
Full accounts of the experiences of the colonists are given by Lane. "The 9 day of April 1585 we departed from Plymouth, our Fleete consisting of the number of seven sailes, (to wit the Tyger, of the burden of seven score tonnes, a Flie-boat called the Roe-bucke, of the like burden, the Lyon of a hundred tunnes, the Elizabeth, of fifty tunnes, and the Dorothie, a small barke: wherunto were also adjoyned for speedy services, two small pinnesses. . . . The 12. day of May wee came to an anker off the island of St. John de Porto Rico. . . . The 24. day we set saile from St. Johns, being many of us stung upon shoare with the Muskitos. . . . The 20 of June we fell in with the maine of Florida. The 23. we were in great danger of wracke on a beach called the Cape of Feare, [the Promontorium tremendum of the old maps.] The 26. we came to anker at Wocokon [Ocracoke]. July 3 we sent word of our arriving at Wocokon to Wingina [the Indian chief] at Roanoak. The 16. one of the savages having stolen from us a silver cup, we burnt and spoyled their come and towne, all the people being fled. . . . The 27. our Fleete ankered at Haterask, and there we rested. The 25. August our Generall weyed anker, and set saile for England."
Grenville thus remained two months, on the Carolina coast, and then putting the colony under the government of Ralph Lane, returned home to join the other "Sea-
Source: Trinity College Historical Society