On April 26, 1587, 117 colonists sailed from England to establish a permanent settlement on the east coast of North America. After a long voyage fraught with storms and spoiled food, they landed on the island of Roanoke, in the Outer Banks region of what is now North Carolina.
Under the leadership of John White, the settlers built a fort and homes, but faced hunger and harsh conditions. At the end of the summer, White was forced to leave his family and his newborn granddaughter, Virginia, to sail back to England for more supplies. While he was there, war broke out between England and Spain, and he could not return for three long years. When he finally did, he found Roanoke completely deserted, with only a few puzzling clues left that have haunted historians ever since.
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