Raleigh’s “New Fort in Virginia” 1585, Savage Manteo Christened
The following data is extracted from Trinity College Historical Society .
"The 13 of August our Savage Manteo was christened in Roanoak, and called Lord thereof and of Dasamonguepeuk, in reward of his faithfull service. The 18, Elenor, daughter to the Governour, and wife to Ananias Dare, one of the Assistants, was delivered of a daughter in Roanoak, and the same was christened there the Sonday following, and because this child was the first Christian borne in Virginia, shee was named Virginia."
The baptism of Manteo and of the first Anglo-American child are the beginnings of the life of the English church in the new world. The name Dare has been given to a county of North Carolina on Pamlico sound, and its county-seat is the village of Manteo on Roanoke island; a happy and permanent association of these Indian and English names with the locality where they were first brought into interesting conjunction.
What became of Virginia Dare?---the first American girl-that pattern of sweet womanhood now recognized as a distinctive type, and one as fair and winsome as the Mirandas or Violas of poetry! Did she die in infancy, and does her dust, mingled with the soil of her birthplace, blossom there into flowers that blush unseen? Did her little feet join in the wandering of the settlers from Roanoke to Croatan? Did she grow to womanhood in their second home, and did her life end in tragedy amid the darkness which enshrouds the fate of the Colony? What a subject for imaginative speculation!--and I wonder that no Carolina writer has made her story the theme of a romance.
A pretty Indian legend is that for her grace and gentleness she was known among the Red Men as the "White Fawn," and after death her spirit assumed that form-an elfin Fawn, which, clad in immortal beauty, would at times be seen haunting, like a tender memory, the place of her birth, or gazing wistfully over the sea, as with pathetic yearning for the distant mother-land.
Shall not the name of Virginia Dare, the White Fawn of Carolina, grow more dear, more familiar to us all? The women of our dear old State will see to it, I am sure, that the memory of this first Carolina girl, and of Eleanor Dare, the first Carolina mother, be tenderly cherished and honoured.
"The 22 of August the whole company came to the Governour, and with one voice requested him to return himselfe into England, for the obtaining of supplies and other necessaries for them; but he refused it, and alleaged many sufficient causes why he would not. . . . At the last, through their extreame intreating constrayned to return, he departed from Roanoak the 27 of August." The next day he set sail, destined never again to see his daughter and grandchild, and after a terrible voyage reached the coast of Ireland on the 16th of October.
This is the last that is known of the lost colony, whose fate has given rise to so much interesting speculation, and whose blood it is thought may be traced to-day in the Croatan or Hatteras Indians of Robeson county, North Carolina. It was three years before succour came from the old world, for England in the meantime had needed every ship and every sailor in her life-and-death struggle with Spain and the invincible Armada. Efforts were made to reach the colony, but they were unsuccessful, and not until the summer of 1590 did Governor White again arrive off the North Carolina coast.
"The 20 of March the three shippes, the Hopewell, the John Evangelist, and the little John, put to sea from Plymouth. . . . The 23 of July we had sight of the Cape of Florida, and the broken hands thereof. . . . The 15 of August we came to an tinker at Hatorask, and saw a great smoke rise in the Ile Roanoke neere the place where I left our Colony in the yeere 1587. . . . The next morning our two boatel went ashore, and we saw another great smoke; but when we came to it, we found no man nor signe that any had bene there lately. . . . The 17 of August our boates were prepared againe to goe up to Roanoak. . . . Toward the North ende of the Island we espied the light of a great fire thorow the woods: when we came right over against it, we sounded with a trumpet a Call, and afterwardes many familiar English tunes and Songs, and called to them friendly; but we had no answere; we therefore landed, and coming to the fire, we found the grasse and sundry rotten trees burning about the place. . . . As we entered up the sandy banks, upon a tree, in the very browe thereof were curiously carved these faire Romane letters, C R 0: which letters we knew to signifie the place where I should find the planters seated, according to a secret token agreed upon betweene them and me, at my last departure from them, which was that they should not faile to write or carve on the trees or posts of the dores the name of the place where they should be seated : and if they should be distressed, that then they should carve over the letters a Crosse -|- in this forme, but we found no such sign of distresse. . . . We found the houses taken downe, and the place strongly enclosed with a high palisado of great trees, with cortynes and hankers very Fortlike, and one of the chief trees at the right side of the entrance had the barke taken off, and five foote from the ground in fayre Capitall letters was graven CROATOAN, without any crosse or signe of distress." No further trace was found of the colonists, except buried chests which had been dug up and rifled by the Indians, "bookes torne from the covers, the frames of pictures and Mappes rotten and spoyled with rayne, and armour almost eaten through with rust. . . . The season was so unfit, and weather so foule, that we were constrayned of force to forsake that coast, having not seene any of our planters, with losse of one of our ship-boates, and seven of our chiefest men. . . . The 24 of October we came in safetie, God be thanked, to an anker at Plymmouth. . . . Thus committing the reliefe of my discomfortable company, the planters in Virginia, to the merciful help of the Almighty, whom I most humbly beseech to helpe and comfort them, according to his most holy will and their good desire, I take my leave."
Thus ended in disaster all of Raleigh's great schemes for planting the English race on our shores. They had cost him £40,000, and the result was apparent failure; yet his greatest glory is these attempts at colonization. The seed
Source: Trinity College Historical Society