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had a fort built, and with plenty of arms and ammunition they were not afraid to remain. They thought themselves much stronger than the savages.
So, after a few months, the ships all sailed away, promising to send help to the party left behind on the island. It was certainly brave of those fifteen to stay, but it was as certainly very rash.
Carolina! the land of the free;
Carolina! my song is of thee.
Where Manteo greeted the whites,
And Freedom looked down from its heights.
Swept over the island and sea,
That tells of a Raleigh to me.
To Hatteras, the dread of the sea,
And tyranny trembles at thee.
A glorious destiny waits
T. W. HARRINGTON.
GOVERNOR WHITE'S COLONY.
Sir WALTER would not give up his hope of founding a great state over here. In a year or two he had more ships ready, and sent one hundred and fifty men, many of them with their wives and children; and this time he also sent plenty of farming implements, so that they might go to work and cultivate the ground and have farms, and not depend on the Indians or upon hunting and fishing. He ordered them, besides, to stop at the Bermuda Islands and get cattle, sheep, hogs, and horses. 1587.
The man whom Sir Walter put at the head of this new attempt was named John White. The ships reached the same place on the Albemarle Sound and on Roanoke Island where the others had landed, and, though the Indians were now in general unfriendly to the whites, yet there were some good-natured and friendly who came forward and welcomed them.
But nothing was to be seen or heard of the fifteen men who had been left behind. Their fort was broken down, and the houses around it were in ruins, and wild deer were feeding on a melon-vine inside the walls of one. There were some bones of one of the Englishmen found in one place.
They had all been killed, and everything belonging to them carried off by the hostile Indians. The new-comers, however, went bravely to work building new houses and a stronger fort, and trying to make friends among the well disposed of the Indians. Soon after they had landed a Mrs. Eleanor Dare, daughter of Governor White, gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Virginia in honor of the virgin queen. Next Sunday she was christened.
This was the first white child born of English parents in America. One of our counties on the Albemarle Sound, opposite Roanoke Island, was named Dare for her not many years ago.
Pretty soon, at the entreaty of these settlers, Governor White left them and went back to England to get more help and more men. The settlers hoped he would not be gone long, but they told him if anything should happen to them in his absence if the hostile Indians should attack them—they would go across the sound to Croatan, where the friendly Indians lived, and take shelter with them, and if they did go they would carve on a tree the word “ Croatan ” in plain letters, so he might know where they were. If they had to go in any great straits of disaster, they would cut the figure of a cross over the letters.
Having agreed upon all their arrangements, White and his ships sailed away, leaving about one hundred men, women, and children on the island. One would think he would have hurried back as soon as possible, especially as he had left a little grand-daughter there.
1590. But he did not hurry back. He let first one
thing and then another keep him in England, though Sir Walter provided him at once with two ships. And it was three years before he came with more people and help for the colony. When at last he arrived, nothing was to be found of the hundred men and women he had left. All was silence on Roanoke Island; the white people had disappeared. There were the ruins of the fort, and some of the cannon rusted, and some remains of their things among the ruins of their houses. But they all were gone, little Virginia Dare and all, and nothing was ever seen or heard of them again. There was a tree found with the word “CROATAN” cut deep into it, as had been agreed upon,
cross was cut. They must have gone over to Croatan. There were no Indians to be seen, no one of whom to ask questions.
It seems very strange that Governor White did not at once sail to Croatan and try to learn something there, and find some trace at least of his own family.
He said to excuse himself for his not doing so that the weather was stormy and his ships came near being wrecked. No doubt the silence and desolation of the island appalled the hearts of all. At any rate, they went no farther. They sailed away as soon as they could, and left the City of Raleigh to the wild deer again, and the unfortunate colonists to their fate, whatever it was.
It is thought that the colonists took refuge with the friendly tribe of Indians, and, living among them for years, hopeless of ever seeing white people again, gradually married among them and became like them. Many years after there was found a tribe of Indians in North Carolina with blue or gray eyes and light hair and light skins, who claimed to be descended from white people.
However, this may be, nothing was ever certainly known of these poor deserted Englishmen-one hundred men, women, and children. And, though three hundred years have passed since then, it is still pitiful to think how they must have waited and watched and wept for the help that
Thus ended disastrously Sir Walter Raleigh's third and last attempt to settle a colony upon our shores. He tried
The rest of his life was sad. When Queen Elizabeth died, King James, who succeeded her, became
Sir Walter's enemy, and finally put him in prison, 1618.
and after keeping him there twelve years had him beheaded on a false charge of treason.
Sir Walter failed to do many things on which he had set his heart, and his end is melancholy to think of. But no man's life is a failure who does his duty. He was a noble and gallant gentleman, a brave soldier, a scholar, and a good Christian. The books he wrote are still read; his life and character are studied and admired.
The State which he in vain tried to found, after two hundred years had passed away became great and free and independent, and then it built a new capital city in the centre of its territory, and in grateful memory of him named it RALEIGH.
And may Raleigh live and flourish for ever!