Raleigh’s “New Fort in Virginia” 1585, Naturall Inhabitants
The following data is extracted from Trinity College Historical Society .
being boiled or sodden, they are very good meat. . . The naturall inhabitants are a people clothed with loose mantles made of deere skinner, and aprons of the same round about their middle, all els naked. . . . For mankinde they say a woman was made first, which by the working of one of the gods, conceived and brought foorth children; and in such sort they had their beginning. . . Some of the people could not tell whether to thinke us gods or men, the rather because there was no man of ours knowen to die, or that was specially sicke: they noted also that we had no women among us. Some therefore were of opinion that we were not borne of women, and therefore not mortal, but that we were men of an old generation many yeeres past, then risen againe to immortalitie. Some would likewise prophecie that there were more of our generation yet to come to kill theirs and take their places."
In no wise discouraged by the failure of this costly experiment at colonization, Raleigh fitted out another expedition of three vessels in the following year, under command of John White, to whom we are indebted for the story of this second colony. For the first time the enterprise had an element of permanence, by including among the emigrants women and children. The intention was to make a settlement on the shores of the Chesapeake, but through the treachery of a pilot, as is said, Roanoke island again became the home of the colonists.
"In the yeere of our Lord 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh intending to persevere in the planting of his Countrey of Virginia, prepared a newe Colonie of one hundred and fifty men to be sent thither, under the charge of John White, whom hee appointed Governour, and also appointed unto him twelve Assistants, unto whom he gave a Charter, and incorporated them by the name of Governour and Assistants of the Citie of Ralegh in Virginia. Our Fleete being in number three saile, the Admirall a shippe of one hundred and twenty Tunnel, a Flie-boat, and a Pinnosse, departed the 26 of April from Portsmouth. . . . About the 16 of July we fel with the maine of Virginia, and bare along the coast, where in the night, bad not Captaine Stafford bene carefull, we had bene all castaway upon the breach, called the Cape of Feare. The 22 of July wee arrived at Hatorask: the Governour went aboard the pin nesse, with fortie of his best men, intending to passe up to Roanok foorthwith, hoping there to finde those fifteene men, which Sir Richard Grenville had left there the yeere before. . . . The same night at sunne-set he went aland, and the next day walked to the North ende of the Island, where Master Ralfe Lane had his forte, with sundry dwellings, made by his men about it the yeere before, where wee hoped to find some signes of our fifteene men. We found the forte rased downe, but all the houses standing unhurt, saving that the heather roomes of them, and also of the forte, were overgrowen with Melons, and Deere within them feeding: so wee returned to our company, without hope of ever seeing any of the fifteene nien living. The same day order was given for the repayring of those houses, and also to make other new Cottages."
The settlers, numbering ninety-one men, seventeen women, and nine children, set to work to rebuild the fort, and to make for themselves an English home. Soon after their arrival occurred two incidents of extreme importance in the life of the colony.
Source: Trinity College Historical Society