Secret Token : Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke
by Lawler, Andrew

Cast of Charactersxi
Introduction: The Terror Within5(12)
Chapter 1 Some Delicate Garden
Chapter 2 All Signs of Joy
Chapter 3 Firing Invisible Bullets
Chapter 4 Small Things Flourish by Concord
Chapter 5 A Whole Country of English
Chapter 6 Child of Science and Slow Time
Chapter 7 A Four-Hundred-Year-Old Cover-Up
Chapter 8 Pot of Brass
Chapter 9 Rejoicing in Things Stark Naughty
Chapter 10 We Dare Anything
Chapter 11 Heap Plenty Wampum
Chapter 12 Who's Afraid of Virginia Dare?
Chapter 13 Swamp Saints and Renegades
Chapter 14 Return to Roanoke
Chapter 15 An Old Buck Christmas
Coda: A Brave Kingdom363(6)

Documents the events surrounding the unsolved 1587 disappearance of the Roanoke Island colony, tracing major investigations from the past 400 years as well as the author's own findings about how the Lost Colony is tied to today's America.

ANDREW LAWLER is the author of the highly acclaimed Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?. He is a contributing writer for Science, a contributing editor for Archaeology Magazine, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Slate.

As Lawler aptly notes: "If you look at the maps long enough, Roanoke Island can begin to take on the shape of a question mark." And so, historians have puzzled for centuries over this earliest English settlement in North America. Planted by more than 100 hardy pioneers, it utterly vanished, save for a small and enigmatic carving. Lawler recounts the buildup of English interest in establishing a presence in North America as well as the role of Walter Raleigh and his implacable opposition to the Spanish colonial empire. Lawler examines in detail the facts and the speculations about Roanoke's obliteration as well as continuing obsessions among professional and amateur historians to uncover this greatest of mysteries about the first contacts between Europeans and Native peoples. He casts a critical eye on the speculations over Virginia Dare, first female offspring of the English settlers. This detailed historical inquiry will powerfully intrigue early American history buffs. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Early settlers vanish, spawning centuries of speculation.In 1587, more than 100 men, women, and children landed on Roanoke Island to become the first English settlers in the New World. In 1590, when the group's leader returned from England with supplies, the settlement had disappeared, never to be found again. Lawler (Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization, 2014, etc.), a contributing writer for Science and contributing editor for Archaeology, clearly has been infected with the "Lost Colony syndrome…an urgent and overwhelming need to resolve the question of what happened to the colonists." He creates a vivid picture of the roiling, politically contentious, economically stressed Elizabethan world from which they sailed and a thorough—sometimes needlessly so—recounting of historical, archaeological, and weird theories to explain the disappearance. Besides visiting numerous archaeological digs, historical archiv es, and libraries in America, Portugal, and Britain and interviewing scores of experts, the author doggedly traces down frauds and hoaxes, no matter how improbable. The Zombie Research Society, he reports, warns of "something sinister still in the ground on Roanoke Island, waiting to be released into a modern population that is more advanced, more connected, but just as unprepared as ever." Something sinister certainly emerged in the settlers' relationship with Native Americans. At first, they "traded peacefully," learned each other's languages, and "formed mutually advantageous alliances." But the English spread deadly disease among tribes with no immunities to Old-World pathogens, decimating communities, and although some leaders tried to treat Native Americans with gentleness, others lashed out against those they considered depraved savages. Native Americans responded with ruthless violence. Massacre is one theory of the settlers' fate; another, equally possible, is assim i lation. Most historians believe that the colonists, "if they survived, merged with indigenous society," miscegenation that some found unpalatable. An 18th-century traveler, for example, "recoiled" from the idea that "white women found Indian husbands." In this enjoyable historical adventure, an unsolved mystery reveals violent political and economic rivalries and dire personal struggles. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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