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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The New World

On May 14th, 1607, English settlers arrived in the Chesapeake and founded Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

Facing many challenges, the settlers suffered greatly in those years. Poor leadership, fouled relations with the Powhatan Confederacy, a harsh climate, and the travails of establishing a self-sufficient colony conspired against them. When additional colonists and supplies arrived in 1610, only 60 of the original 214 colonists were still alive.

Previously, two colonies had been established. In 1585, the first colony of Roanoke was founded and the survivors were rescued by Sir Francis Drake. Two years later, the second Roanoke colony was established. In 1590, no trace of the 90 colonists was found. A single word had been ominously carved into a nearby tree. It said "CROATAN."

No one knows what became of the colony or colonists, nor what the word, Croatan, means.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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