Why We Search for the Lost Colony

SWR over recreated Raleigh map

Plan to attend Monday, June 6 at 1:30 as the Friends of the Archives presents “‘Bring Them Home’: Why We Search for the Lost Colony.” This free presentation will be held at the State Library/State Archives building at 109 E. Jones St. in Raleigh.  

The story of North Carolina’s “Lost Colony” is a simple yet compelling one. A late-16th-century effort to establish England’s first permanent settlement in the New World results in failure with the fate of its 117 colonists—men, women, and children—remaining unknown. But while this was just one of many similarly unsuccessful colonies, only this “Lost Colony of Roanoke” still asserts its emotional pull on public and scholarly imaginations across the centuries.

In the last decade, archaeological and archival research has produced new evidence not only of what fate befell Sir Walter Raleigh’s Roanoke Colony, but also of the enduring effects that enterprise wrought. Brent Lane has been an active participant and curious observer on these recent efforts and their often dramatic findings. Brent discusses what is known and what must yet be discovered if our generation of Tar Heels is to fulfill the best—and probably last—hope of recovering North Carolina’s “Lost Colonists.”

Brent Lane is a professor of Heritage Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School where he is Director of the UNC Center for Competitive Economies at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Brent works with several local, national, and international  organizations on the importance of natural and cultural heritage in conservation, education, and the economy.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Archives, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization formed in 1977 to privately fund some of the services, activities, and programs of the State Archives of North Carolina not provided by state-appropriated funding.