Roanoke Island is located in Dare County, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The island got its name from the Roanoke Carolina Algonquian people, who inhabited the area when the English explored the island in the 16th century.
The island became the site of the tirst English colony in the ‘New World, the Roanoke Colony, in the 16th century. At that time, the area in which it was located was known as Virginia, named to honour the ‘Virgin Queen’, Elizabeth I. Two groups tried to establish a colony on the island, but both failed.
The first attempt at colonisation was made in 1585, led by Ralph Lane. The colonists were transported to [then] Virginia by Sir Richard Grenville, who then traveled back to England for supplies. These supplies were desperately needed by the colonists, but unfortunately, Grenville’s return to Virginia was delayed. Waiting for their supplies to arrive, the colonists’ only hope was the local Algonquian tribe, upon whom they relied heavily. However, [inexplicably], in a misled attempt to have greater access to supplies, the colonists’ leader Ralph Lane led an unprovoked attack against the tribe. The Algonquian tribe’s chieftain was killed, and the colonists were no longer given supplies by the tribe [unsurprisingly]. When Sir Francis Drake eventually arrived on the island, on his way back to England after his attacks on the Spanish colonies, all of the colonists decided to abandon the colony and return to England with Drake.