Author: John White

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

Roanoke Colonists’ Appeal to John White; an excerpt from “The voyage of Edward Stafford and John White” by John White (1589)

John White, governor of the so-called Lost Colony at Roanoke Island, claimed that the settlers demanded he return to England to update their backer, Sir Walter Raleigh, on the colony’s progress. At first he refused; then he required that the settler put the request in writing, which they did on August 25, 1587. According to the historian David Beers Quinn, “This testimonial is the first formal document to survive which originated in an English settlement on the mainland of North America.” White’s narrative, based on his journal, was published in Richard Hakluyt (the younger)‘s Principall Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589) as “The voyage of Edward Stafford and John White, set out by the aforesaid Sir Walter Ralegh the Fourth time to Virginia, An. 1587.” Some spelling has been updated and contractions expanded.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

John White Returns to Roanoke; an excerpt from “The fift voyage of Master John White into the West Indies and parts of America called Virginia, in the yeere 1590” (1600)

John White, governor of the so-called Lost Colony at Roanoke Island, was forced to leave his daughter Elinor, her husband Ananias Dare, and their daughter, Virginia Dare, behind when he sailed for England in 1587. Delayed by the Spanish Armada, White did not return to Roanoke until 1590, arriving to find the settlers gone. It was his granddaughter’s third birthday. The excerpt below is from White’s account of the journey, published by Richard Hakluyt (the younger) in Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1600). Some spelling has been modernized and contractions expanded.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

John White’s Change of Plans; an excerpt from “The voyage of Edward Stafford and John White” by John White (1589)

In 1587, John White, governor of the so-called Lost Colony, was instructed by his patron, Sir Walter Raleigh, to check on a garrison of soldiers at Roanoke Island before establishing the colony to the north, in Chesapeake Bay. A dispute with his pilot, Simon Fernandes, led to a change of plans. The excerpt below is from White’s account of the journey, based on his journal, published as “The voyage of Edward Stafford and John White, set out by the aforesaid Sir Walter Ralegh the Fourth time to Virginia, An. 1587” by Richard Hakluyt (the younger) in Principall Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589). Some spelling has been modernized.

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