Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Legends Of Croatoan

Referred to as Pamlico, the Croatoan was a race of Algonquian people who dominated the islands on the outer banks of North Carolina, south of Roanoke. The English were dedicated to establishing a permanent English presence in North America and an emissary was sent to the Croatoan nation in the hopes of generating positive relations between the two groups. However, it was still a necessity for the English Governor and his troops to return to England in search of supplies and relief effort for the sole purpose of evacuation. He left his colony behind in the hands of the Croatoan. Governor White set sail from Roanoke in August 1587. He instructed the colonist to place a cross on a tree as a sign of distress and that it was necessary for them to remove themselves from the island. This would give him an idea where the colony’s status and would aid him in locating them. What he did not know was that this was the last time he would be seeing them.

Despite wanting to return to Roanoke as soon as possible, Queen Elizabeth had sent orders to all sea worthy vessels to be used against the Spanish naval force. Governor White’s vow to return to Roanoke was not feasible till 1590. He returned only to find that the colony had already been evacuated from the location. All buildings were decrepit or in some cases, dismantled. There were no crosses as indicators of distress, let alone any other signs about there whereabouts and causes of their evacuation. All except the word “Croatoan” carved on a tree in the centre of the town square. There was no evidence of the colony being carried away by natural or unnatural forces, no signs of fight or foul play. Governor White was in a state of puzzlement.

Croatoan are described to be a race of friendly people. Governor White described them as “our friends”. He needed to find the people of Croatoan chiefly because the salvation of his colony was in their hands. Governor set out to find his Croatoan, unfortunately a coastal storm stopped him from his attempt to turn back and they were unable to continue on their quest. Twice this occurred. Disillusioned and dismayed, the Governor returned to his native Ireland. He passed away without anyone knowing. Till this day nobody knows what happened to the people of Roanoke colony.

After 50 years of disappearance, descendants of the Croatoan tribe began to appear. They spole English and had European features. They were known as Lumbee. Till this day they remain in North Carolina, dominating other parts of the region just like their ancestors. They were recognized officially as mixed tribe. The U.S government do not recognize them as an Indian nations whilst North Carolina does not recognize them as the Lumbee as true descendants of the Croatoan people. Till this day, nobody knows what happened to the Roanoke colony, though many have come to believed that the colonist came to live among the Croatoan people. But really, who knows?