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The Lost Colony by Hamilton McMillan, published in 1888
Owned by Roberta Estes
Estes - copyright 2010
original document was written by Hamilton McMillan in 1888.
I have transcribed the original and added research notes where the data
was adequate to either verify what Mr. McMillan wrote or to add more
 Colonial and State Records of NC
Letter from Francis Yardley to John Farrar [Extract]
May 08, 1654
Volume 01, Pages 18-19
[Thurloe's State Papers, Vol. II, P. 273. Reprinted from Hawks's History of N. C.]
FROM MR. FRANCIS YARDLEY TO JOHN FARRAR, ESQ.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In September last, a young man, a trader for beavers, being bound out to the adjacent parts to trade, by accident his sloop left him; and he, supposing she had been gone to Roanoke, hired a small boat, and, with one of his company left with him, came to crave my license to go to look after his sloop, and sought some relief of provisions of me; the which granting, he set forth with three more in company, one being of my family, the others were my neighbors. They entered in at Caratoke, ten leagues to the southward of Cape Henry, and so went to Rhoanoke Island; where, or near thereabouts they found the great Commander of those parts with his Indians a-hunting, who received them civilly, and showed them the ruins of Sir Walter Raleigh's fort, from whence I received a sure token of their being there.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Immediately I dispatched away a boat with six hands, one being a carpenter, to build the King an English house, my promise, at his coming first, being to comply in that matter. I sent £200 sterling in trust to purchase and pay for what land they should like, the which in little time they effected and purchased, and paid for three great rivers, and also all such others as they should like of, southerly; and in solemn manner took possession of the country, in the name, and on the behalf of the Commonwealth of England; and actual possession was solemnly given to them by the great Commander, and all the great men of the rest of the provinces, in delivering them a turf of the earth with an arrow shot into it; and so the Indians totally left the lands and rivers to us, retiring to a new habitation, where our people built the great Commander a fair house, the which I am to furnish with English utensils and chattels.
* * * * * *
Sir, if you think good to acquaint the States with what is done by two Virginians born, you will honor our country. I have at this instant no present worthy your acceptance, but an arrow that came from the Indians
------------------- page 19 --------------------
inhabiting on the South Sea, the which we purpose, God willing, to see this summer, non obstante periculo.
take leave, and ever remain, Sir,
worshipful John Farrar, Esq.,
 This document doesn't say they ever asked them. Also, this is Roanoke Island, the mainland Indians might not have known what happened to people on Hatteras Island.
 Now known as Cross Creek http://www.northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/104/entry
 Have not been found as of 2010.
 In downtown Fayetteville, NC.
 Interestingly enough, in the 1860 census, this George Lowrie, age 62, born in 1798 is also married to a Prissette (Priscilla), age 58. They have 3 children remaining at home, all of whom are only listed by initials. George Lowrie and his family are listed as mulatto and are living among other Lumbee, next door to a Blunt and about 3 houses away from a Locklear family (who is also listed as mulatto) in the North District of Robeson Co. He and his wife were both born in NC. He owns $150 in personal effects and $300 in land and is a farmer. There are 3 George Lowrie's listed, age 62, 40 and 22. In 1850, we find George Lowry, age 52 and his wife Priscilla, age 50, listed as mulatto in Marlboro County, SC, a laborer, owning no land. This area is also known as a settlement area for Lumbee. Their children are Andrew, 20, Wesley, 15, Allen, 14, German 12, Allison 6, Haly Griffin age 45 and Purline Griffin age 1. The Cope family next door is white, but living with them is found Shepherd Locklear, also a mulatto. Locklear is not found outside of the Lumbee tribe. Neither George nor Priscilla can read and write in 1850, but their children can. In 1860 this column is blank. In 1880, George died of Cholera, listed as a black married male farmer, age 82, died on cholera on the 1880 census mortality schedule. According to the NC Marriage Collection 1741-2004 on Ancestry, George married Presscella Swett on May 8, 1818 in Cumberland County, NC. George's parents are shown (unconfirmed) to be William Lowry and Elizabeth Locklear. His father is shown to be James Lowry born in 1738 in Virginia, d 1811 in Robeson County, NC.
 Checking the 1810 census at Ancestry.com, we find no similar names except a William Dara indexed to Sampson County. However, reading he entire census, we find no Dare (or anything similar in that county). Checking hte 1790 and 1800 census, there are also no individuals with a similar surname.
were made towards the Pee Dee and at points beyond that river after their
location on the Lumber.
language spoken is almost pure Anglo Saxon, a fact which we think affords
corroborative evidence of their relation to the lost colony of White.
Mon (Saxon) is used for man, father is pronounced fayther, and a
tradition is usually begun as follows: "Man, my fayther told me that his
fayther told him" &c. Mension
is used for measurement, ask for ask, hit for it, hosen for hose, lovend for
loving, housen for houses. They
seem to have but two sounds for the letter a, one like short o.
Many of the words in common use among them have long been obsolete in
English speaking countries.
are a proud race, boasting alike of their English and Indian blood, hospitable
to strangers and ever ready to do friendly offices for white people. They are peaceable in disposition, but when aroused by
repeated injury, they will fight desperately.
The great mass shun notoriety and carefully avoid places where crowds
of other races assemble. They
generally live retired from public highways, and seem to show Indian
characteristics more strongly than in former times.
There are 16 churches owned by them in Robeson county, divided among
Baptist and Methodist denominations.
Their schoolhouses, built entirely by private means, are all framed
buildings and provided far better than those of the colored race.
are great roadmakers, like their ancestors.
The best public roads in NC are found among this tribe.
has been no census taken separately from the other races, but the number in
Robeson county is fully 2500 and considering the settlements in other
counties, the total is not less than 5000.
The enrollment of Croatan children in Robeson county between the ages
of 6 and 21 years, in accordance with an act of General Assembly passed in
1885 shows about 1100 entitled to the benefit of public instruction, provided
separately for the race.
an act of General Assembly passed in 1887, a Normal School for teachers of the
Croatan race was established and the sum of $500 is annually appropriated for
2 years by the State for its support.
to the law of NC, all marriages between a white person and a negro or Indian,
or between a white person and a person of negro or Indian decent to the third
generation inclusive, are null and void, but there was no inhibition of
marriage between an Indian and a negro till the General Assembly of 887
amended the law, by declaring all marriages between Croatan Indians and
negroes or persons of negro descent to the third generation inclusive, null
22 - Chapter 7 - In investigating the traditions prevalent among this singular
people, we found many family names identical with those of the lost colony of
1587. For the information of the
reader, we give a list of the names of all the men, women and children of
Raleigh's colony, which arrived in Virginia and remained to inhabit there. This list is found in the first volume of Hawk's History of
NC and copied from Hakluyt, Volume III, page 280.
regni reginae Elizabethae 29.
John White, at the solicitation of the colonists, returned to England. Simon Fernando, the Spanish pilot of the expedition, also
returned. George Howe, one of the
"assistants" of Governor White was killed by the Indians on Roanoke
Island soon after the arrival. Omitting
the name of the perfidious Fernando, we have 120 persons in all, including men,
women and children, and about 90 family names, represented in the colony.
The names in the foregoing list in italics [RJE - and bold] are those
which are found at this time among the Indians residing in Robeson county and in
other counties of NC. The
traditions of every family bearing the name of one of the lost colonists point
to Roanoke as the country of their ancestors.
we accept their traditions they held communication with the Eastern coast long
after their exodus, and it is not improbable that it was a party of this tribe
which Lawson describes in1714, as visiting their old hunting grounds and who
described in their ancestors as people who "could talk in a book".
to the intellectual character of this singular people but little can be written
as public schools were unknown prior to 1835 and such education as they obtained
up to that date was limited to a knowledge of reading and writing and the
fundamental rules of arithmetic. Hundreds
have grown up to manhood and woman hood in perfect ignorance of books. By nature they are quick-witted, and judging by the few
examples of educated ones, they are equal to the whites in mental capacity.
Ex United States Senator Revels of Mississippi belongs to this tribe.
He was born in Robeson county and emigrated to the northwest where he was
educated and subsequently resided in Mississippi.
action of the NC legislature in establishing separate schools for this race and
in recognizing them as the
descendants of the friendly Croatans known to the early colonists, is one great
step towards their moral and intellectual elevation.
They are almost universally land holders and occupy a territory in the
county of Robeson of about 60 thousand acres, adapted to the growth of corn,
cotton and tobacco.
24, chapter 8 - It has long been a settled conviction that the lost colonists
perished from starvation or savage cruelty.
This conviction has arisen from the fact that they were seen no more by
particulars given by Governor White of the understanding which existed between
him and the colonists prior to his departure for England in 1587 and his finding
the word Croatan on a tree, in a conspicuous place, on his return in 1590, seem
to prove conclusively that the English had accepted the invitation of Manteo's
tribe, and had gone to Croatan Island. The
fact that they were seen no more by white men does not prove that they perished.
The same fact exists in regard to the Croatans and the same arguments
would prove their destruction also.
must remember that the region embracing Croatan Island and the adjacent mainland
was unexplored for a long period after the attempt at settlement on Roanoke
Island. The history of those times
shows that in 1609 the northeast corner of North Carolina was settled by a
colony from Virginia.
1654, 67 years after the English colonists were last seen on Roanoke, Virginia
adventurers had explored as far south as the Pamlico and Neuse rivers.
In 1656 a settlement was made on Albemarle Sound.
A colony from Massachusetts was located on the Cape Fear in 1660 and was
soon abandoned. Sir John Yeaman's
colony landed on the same river in 1664. In
1690, a French colony from Virginia settled on Pamlico Sound and in 1698
emigrants from Albemarle also located in that region.
have cited the facts to show how little was known, from 1587 to 1690, of the
region where tradition says the Croatans were settled.
1690, the date of the settlement of the French on Pamlico, all the English
colonists must have been dead, and the sad story was held only in tradition, and
it may be that he Croatans who were then remaining in that region, on the
approach of the new colony, removed farther into the interior, where portions of
that tribe had previously located.
previously intimated, the traditions of the Indians now living in Robeson are
sufficiently clear to prove that at an early period they located south of
Pamlico Sound on the mainland. Tradition
in regard to their ancient dwelling places on the tributaries of Black river in
the present county of Sampson are more definite.
The fact that the French, English, Irish and perhaps German names are
found among them is accounted for by the tradition that marriages frequently
occurred between them and the early immigrants.
The name Chavis which is common among this people is probably a
corruption of the French name Cheves. Goins
was O'Guin, as court records prove. Leary
was O'Leary, Blanc or Blonx is French. Braboy
is of recent origin and was originally "Brave Boy" and dates back to
the war with the Tuscaroras in 1711 and was conferred on an Indian by the
commander of the English for some meritous act.
the earliest settlement of the country along the Lumber river these Indians have
been an English speaking people. Their
language has many peculiarities and reminds one of the English spoken in the
days of Chaucer. The number of old
English words in common use among them which have long been obsolete in English
speaking countries is corroborative of the truth of their tradition that they
are the descendants of the lost Englishmen of Roanoke.
traveling on foot they mach in "Indian file"
and exhibit a fondness for bright red colors.
They unconsciously betray many other traits characteristic of Indians.
The custom of raising patches of tobacco for their own use has been
handed down from time immemorial.
building they exhibit no little architectural skill. In road making they excel.
Some of the best roads in North Carolina can be found within their
territory. They are universally
hospitable and polite to strangers. They are proud of their race and boast of their English
ancestry. Like their ancestors,
they are friendly to white men.
traditions are generally preserved by the old members of the tribe, but the
tradition is universal among them from infancy to old age, that their ancestors
came from "Roanoke in Virginia".
By Virginia, they mean territory occupied by the tribe in the vicinity of
Pamlico Sound. In religious matters
they are Baptists and Methodists. The
latter belong to what is called the Indian Mission, which is of recent origin.
never forget a kindness, an injury, nor a debt", said an old citizen.
"They may not pay you when the debt is due, but they seldom forget
an obligation and are sure to pay you after a time."
In common with all Indians they have great respect for the Quakers and
look upon them as all true friends of the Indian.
In the olden times, they had houses of entertainment for travelers.
number of family names to be found among them, identical with those of the
colonists of Roanoke Island is further corroborative of their traditional
line of emigration from their original seat on the coast was westward and can be
traced as far west as the French Broad in Buncombe county.
Though many families of this tribe emigrated from the Lumber river a long
while ago, yet the locations of many of them have been found in western NC with
writer has been much interested in investigating the traditions prevalent among
the Croatans and expresses his firm conviction that they are descended from the
friendly tribe found on our eastern coast in 1587 and also descended from the
lost colonists of Roanoke who were amalgamated with this tribe.
many centuries of time there comes down to us the sad story of the lost legions
of Varus. They mystery that so long
hung over the fate of those legions was solved by Drusus who found the bleaching
bones of his countrymen in a German forest near the Baltic sea.
fate of the lost colonists of Roanoke, we submit, is revealed in the forgoing
the charitable who are interested in the moral elevation of humanity we heartily
comment the Croatans.
 Both the Methodist and Baptist religions were introduced in the mid 1700s. I would have expected them to be Anglican if they carried the religion of the colonists.
William Clement is omitted on other colonist lists. This needs to be researched in the original document.
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