Crystal Roby Dr. Ridner Colonial America: HI 4103 7 February 2013 Paper Essay 1

To the New World: From the Familiar to the Unknown

The settlers of Roanoke arrived in the New World in 1584, and then again in 1587 and Jamestown who arrived in 1607, all had one common when they reached the New World. They all wanted to escape the harsh environment of their lives in England. They all believed that they could change their fortunes by coming to the New World. They believed that make a new life in the New World. The Roanoke settlers settled in Chesapeake Bay in April 1584, they were led by Arthur Barlowe and Philip Amadas who were send off by Sir Walter Raleigh who wanted Amadas and Barlowe to travel around eastern shoreline of North America. Amadas, Barlowe and the colonists reached Roanoke on July 1584.This expedition was completely different from when the Spanish came to the New World, the Spanish goal was to take resources and use the natives as slaves. The English wanted to claim the land for England, and the colonists declared that the land in North America in the name of Queen Elizabeth I. Horn states,” No Indians were present to witness the event by which the newcomers had asserted their ownership of the land, as if they really weren’t concern about how the Indians might have viewed it. I believe that if that if the English really paid attention expedition of the Spanish to the New World, the English


colonization wouldn’t have failed. I think the colonist were surprised when they finally met the natives, I think they expected to be savages who would attack them on sight, instead they were meet with curiosity, rather than savagery. In author Louise A. Breen book, a document written by Thomas Harriot, describing the Indians, “They are a people clothed with loose mantles made of Deere skins, and aprons of the same rounde about their middles; all els naked; of such difference of statures only as wee in England; having no edge tooles or weapons of iron or steele to offend”1 It seems that the English colonists weren’t really concern with having a conflict with the Indians, by the way Harriot describes the Native people. Harriot also talks about the Indians belief, Harriot states, “They believe also the immortalitie of the soule, that after this life as soone as the soule is departed from the bodie according to the workers it hath done.”2 Harriot writes as if he understands the Indians

The colonists didn’t want to start any conflict with the Indians in the region, they only wanted to set up a colony, and maybe set up a trade the Indians, who knew the area better than they did, they also wanted to settle in an area that they were far from Spanish settlements. The colonists soon encountered the native Indians the Secotans and the Croatans. To better communicate with the Natives and to get information about the area, Amadas and Barlowe aligned themselves with two Croatan Indians named Wanchese and Manteo. In 1584 Wanchese and Manteo alongside Barlowe voyaged to England. When the American Indians arrived in England, they caused a media frenzy while they were there, while in England Manteo had


Louise A. Breen. Converging worlds: communities and cultures in colonial America. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print. Ex. Harriot, James. A Briefe and True Report of the New World Land of Virginia: Thomas Harriot reports on the “Nature and Manners” of the Nature people at Roanoke. Document 1 pg. 56 2 Louise A. Breen pg. 58


learned English while Wanchese was still very suspicious of the English motives. When Manteo and Wanchese arrived back to Roanoke, Wanchese broke off ties with the colonists, while Manteo converted to Anglican. Because the colonist arrived so late to Roanoke, the land was not very fertile, so they could not plant crops or produce food. The newly converted Manteo offered food to the colonists enabling them to survive the brutal winter that year. Author James Horn states that, “relations between the English and Secotans had deteriorated rapidly during the three or four months that Armadas’ expedition was away”.3The thing that amazes about the English settlers is that they remain of little children expecting the Indians to talk care of them, because they felt they were superior to them, this superiority to the colonists to raid Indian tribes often searching for food or out of boredom. Horn states that the most important reason for the relationship between the English and the Natives becoming strained was when the Secotan Indians began getting gravely and dying because of the diseases that the English had brought with them.

The Jamestown settlement was a continuation of the Roanoke. The colony was located near James River in what is now the Commonwealth of Virginia. Jamestown was settled on muddy land also contain insects that carried deadly diseases the begin plaguing the colonists. The colonist came in contact with Chief Powhatan was the leader of the Tsenacommacah Indians. Just like the Roanoke colony, Jamestown would also have a friendly relationship with the Natives; they would also depend on them for food supply. Just like Roanoke, Jamestown was meant to be a permanent settlement on the behalf of England and the Queen. Unlike Roanoke,


James, Horn. A Kingdom Strange, The Brief And Tragic History Of The Lost Colony Of Roanoke. New York: Basic Books.2011. Print. Pg. 89


Jamestown learned from the past mistakes of the colony of Roanoke by succeeding in having and maintaining a relationship with the Natives. I don’t believe the settlers of Jamestown didn’t see themselves as being superior to the Indians; they just wanted to build a life for themselves from the harsh life of England.

Even though the settlements of Roanoke and Jamestown weren’t successful, but they start a trend of many English coming over to the New World to start their new life, where they could leave their past life behind in England even though many knew that they might not live long, that the journey was worth it. The persistence of the English settlers to continue, even in the face of danger and death, it’s just like the saying says. “If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

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