The word Croatan was carved on a tree trunk for Governor John White to find.

The word Croatoan was carved on a tree trunk for Governor John White to find.

The Lost Colony is lost no more. At least that’s the latest claim found in a soon to be published book, The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island by local historian Scott Dawson.

According to Dawson, the colonists, low on supplies and realizing that promised help was not going to be coming form England, merged with the Croatoan Indians, a local tribe that was friendly with the colonists.

It is an entirely plausible theory.

When Governor John White was finally able to return to the Roanoke Colony in 1590, it is well-known that he found the word Croatoan carved in a tree. According to Dawson that was a way of letting him know the colonists had gone with the friendly tribe. Most of the tribe lived on Hatteras Island.

White’s return to the Lost Colony was delayed by Queen Elizabeth I when she impounded all British ships to fight the Spanish Armada in 1588.

That would certainly explain one of the big mysteries of the Lost Colony. Why none of the settlers were there, nor was there a sign of a struggle or violence.

Support for Dawson’s Lost Colony Theory

The theory is further supported by the observations of English explorer John Lawson. Making a number of trips to Hatteras Island between 1701and 1709, he wrote that, “These  (the native Indians) tell us, that several of their Ancestors were white People, and could talk in a Book, as we do; the Truth of which is confirmed by gray Eyes being found frequently amongst these Indians, and no others…”

Dawson is not the first researcher to suggest that the settlers merged with a local tribe. The book has not been published yet so we can’t confirm what he is saying. The early reviews of the book are suggesting that he offers more evidence than has been presented in the past.

Fall is a wonderful time to get lost on the Outer Banks. The summer heat has backed off just a bit but the ocean is still perfect for swimming. Plan a fall getaway to the Outer Banks and stay at one of our vacation rentals!