June 23. 1586: Attempts by European’s to settle in North America were spotty in the 1500’s. Most groups large enough to establish a permanent base did not really take hold until the 1580s and later. Most of those that arrived where men in search of fortune and adventure, often times at the expense and persecution of the Native American inhabitants. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that waves of European’s came to escape mainly religious persecution and in a striking twist of irony they also built their settlements exhibiting some of the same behaviors they were escaping from Europe. One of the earliest colonies set up was on Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina. First settled in 1585 by Ralph Lane it was re-supplied by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586. Raleigh stayed for some weeks, but as he was set to return to England a powerful Hurricane hit on June 23. The storm wrecked most of the colony and it had to be abandoned and those surviving evacuated back to England. The following year another group of settlers arrived in the same spot. They were dropped off and the ships returned to England. No contact was maintained with the colony and 3 years later when a supply ship arrived no trace was found of the second colony. Some thought hard times caused those there to abandon the site or simply perish. Some believed the 1586 hurricane that destroyed the infrastructure left no base for the new colony to build on. It would another 2 decades before the English would establish a permanent site on the Mid-Atlantic coast in Jamestown Virginia.
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