The Mysterious Vanishing Act of the Lost Colony of Roanoke in Florida

The Mysterious Vanishing Act of the Lost Colony of Roanoke in Florida

The story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of the most intriguing and puzzling mysteries in American history. In 1587, a group of 117 English settlers arrived on the coast of what is now North Carolina, hoping to establish a permanent English colony in the New World.

However, within three years, the entire colony had vanished without a trace. The fate of the colonists has remained a mystery for over four centuries, with numerous theories and speculations attempting to explain their mysterious disappearance. This article delves into the history of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the possible reasons for their disappearance, and the ongoing search for answers.

The Background of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

The First Expedition

Queen Elizabeth I gave Sir Walter Raleigh permission to start a settlement in the New World in 1584. Raleigh sent out two groups to find out more about the area and set up a camp. The first group, led by Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, went to the coast of what is now North Carolina. They wrote glowing stories about the land and its people when they got back to England.

The Second Expedition

Sir Richard Grenville led the second group of 108 people to Roanoke Island in 1585. They built a fort there. Grenville went back to England, leaving the colony in the hands of a small group of men.

The Third Expedition

In 1587, Raleigh sent a third expedition to establish a permanent settlement in Roanoke. This group of 117 men, women, and children, led by John White, established a new colony on Roanoke Island.

The Disappearance of the Colony

The First Signs of Trouble

In 1588, John White returned to England to get supplies for the colony. However, due to the war between England and Spain, he was unable to return to Roanoke until 1590.

The Mysterious Vanishing Act

In 1590, when John White went back to Roanoke Island, the whole colony was gone. The only hint he found was the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree, which suggested that the colonists had moved to the nearby Croatoan Island. But White couldn’t find out more because the weather was bad and he didn’t have enough money.

Theories and Speculations

Indian Attack

One of the earliest theories was that the colonists were killed by Native Americans. However, there is no evidence to support this theory.

Integration with Native Americans

Another theory is that the colonists integrated with Native American tribes and were assimilated into their cultures. This theory is supported by the fact that some Native American tribes claim to have English ancestry.

Spanish Attack

Another theory is that the Spanish attacked and killed the colonists. However, there is no evidence to support this theory.

Natural Disasters

Some historians believe that natural disasters, such as hurricanes or droughts, may have forced the colonists to leave Roanoke Island.

Mass Suicide

There is also a theory that the colonists committed mass suicide due to their difficult living conditions.


One of the most likely explanations for the disappearance of the colony is that they died of starvation. The colonists were heavily dependent on supplies from England, and when John White returned, he found no signs of struggle or violence, suggesting that the colonists left voluntarily or died of natural causes.

The Ongoing Search for Answers

Despite numerous attempts to solve the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the fate of the colonists remains unknown. In recent years, archaeologists have discovered new clues and evidence, such as the discovery of a fort on Roanoke Island and artifacts that suggest the colonists may have moved to another location. The ongoing search for answers continues to captivate historians and archaeologists alike.

Norma Williams
Norma Williams is a talented author based in West Palm Beach. With over a decade of experience covering local news, she has earned a reputation for her insightful writing and dedication to her craft. When she's not reporting or writing, Norma enjoys exploring the beautiful parks and beaches of South Florida with her family.