Roanoke Island's Lost Colony:
A Note

Edited by Henry H. Mitchell.


The following is found in “Captain Newport's Discoveries in Virginia,” Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. 4, John Wilson & Son, Boston, Massachusetts, 1860, p. 61. The passage is referenced as being from William Strachey, History of Travaile into Virginia Brittania, published by the Hakluyt Society in 1849 from a manuscript in the British Museum.

As I mentioned in the text of my 1997 article “Rediscovering Pittsylvania's ‘Missing’ Native Americans,” in years past I have talked to Halifax County (Virginia) residents whose families have a long tradition of descent from local Native Americans and the very first English settlers. In endnote 9 of that article, I mention that Douglas L. Rights, in his book The American Indian in North Carolina (John F. Blair, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1957), asserts that the last survivors of the Lost Colony took up residence near Clarksville, Virginia. The text below appears supportive of that conclusion; it is not clear whether it was one of Rights' sources.

According to this account from William Strachey, the surviving Roanoke colonists would have escaped to places called Ritanoe, Ochanahoen, and Peccarecamek [near today's Clarksville?], where they lived under the protection of, and worked in the copper mines of, the Weroance [chief] Eyanoco.



At Peccarecamek and Ochanahoen, by the relation of Machumps,1 the people have houses built with stone walls, and one story above another, so taught them by those English who escaped the slaughter at Roanoak, at what time this our Colony, under the conduct of Capt. Newport, landed within the Chesapeake Bay, where the people breed up tame turkeys about their houses, and take apes in the mountains; and where, at Ritanoe, the Weroance Eyanoco preserved seven of the English alive — four men, two boys, and one young maid2 (who escaped, and fled up the river of Chanoke) — to beat his copper, of which he hath certain mines at the said Ritanoe; as also at Pamawauk are said to be store of salt-stones.3

Notes

  1. An Indian subsequently mentioned.
  2. Was this Virginia Dare, the first-born Anglo-American? She or “— Harvie” are the only two on the list of that colony, as White left it, who could have been spoken of as “maids” in 1607. There were boys, but no other girls, among them.
  3. Page 26.