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Map made by John White in 1585—86. This map, the original of which is in the British Museum, is of interest as showing opposite the "R" in "Roanoke" a dot that may represent the colonial settlement site. Note Dasamonquepeuc on the mainland u'est of the north end of Roanoke Island and the barrier island of Croatoan south of Cape Hatteras.

LIFE IN THE COLONY. At first, relations with the Indians continued friendly, though the Englishmen had their detractors in the Council of the Indian Chief. The aborigines planted crops and made fish traps for the Englishmen. With rare foresight, the colonists also induced Chief Wingina (who had changed his name to Pemisapan) to put into simultaneous cultivation his lands both on Roanoke Island and on the main land at Dasamonquepeuc in order that the Indians might have no excuse for not being able to supply the colony if need arose. The coast was explored by the English as far south as Secotan (about 80 miles) and as far north as the Chesapeake (about 130 miles). Thomas Hariot collected data on plants, animals, and minerals for his New Found Land of Virginia. John White made the inimitable water-color drawings of the Indians, the animal and plant life of Roanoke Island, and the coast, which have been engraved many times. The much rarer facsimile reproductions of these drawings in color may be seen in the Fort Raleigh museum. These paintings are the first artistic productions of Englishmen in America. The colonists also learned to smoke tobacco, using for this purpose Indian pipes or other pipes of their own modeled on the Indian pipes.

How closely the personnel of the first colony conformed to the standard suggested by Hakluyt in 1584 is not known; but historical documents indicate that there were men expert in fortification and that there were brickmakers, carpenters, and thatchers. Also the names of all of the colonists are known, if not their trades. Some were gentlemen, cousins of Raleigh and Grenville, as the names indicate. Hariot says that some were city dwellers "of a nice bringing up" who soon became miserable without their soft beds and dainty food. Others were excellent soldiers, as Lane testified of Captain Stafford; and there were the humbler folk, of whom Darby Glande was perhaps representative, though he was Irish and appears to have been forced to accompany the expedition. On the whole, they gave the appearance more of a military expedition than a colony. They were dependent upon the Indians and upon England for both food and supplies. Many of their basic commodities, such as salt, horses, and cattle, had been obtained in the first instance by trade, or by force, from the Spaniards in the West Indies. There appear to have been no women among them to give permanence to the settlement.

Native American
Drawing of an Indian made by John White, 1585—86.

Grenville's deplorable action in burning the village of Aquascogok was indicative of the fact that the high-spirited Englishmen of that day could not live on even terms with the natives. In the lean period between the planting of crops in the spring and the expected summer harvest, English relations with the Indians grew strained and finally reached the point at which no further supplies could be had from them. Once the colonists and Indians were at odds, the fish traps began to be robbed or destroyed. Food became scarce, and Lane was forced to send groups of settlers to the barrier islands along the coast to live on oysters and other shell fish and to look for passing ships. Master Prideaux and 10 men were sent to Hatoraske Island for this purpose, while Captain Stafford and 20 men went to Croatoan Island, south of Cape Hatteras. (Croatoan Island is a sixteenth-century name, not to be confused with modern Croatan Sound area.) Sixteen or twenty others were sent at intervals to the mainland to live on oysters and native foods.

By June 1, 1586, the colonists were at open war with the Indians, and many of the latter were slain in the struggles that ensued both on Roanoke Island and on the mainland at Dasamonquepeuc. Pemisapan was among those who were killed in the fighting.


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