In 1587, a group of English colonists landed on Roanoke Island, located on the coast of present-day North Carolina. Financed by influential courtier Sir Walter Raleigh, the colony sought to become England's first permanent settlement in the New World. Raleigh had planned for the colony to settle on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. The fleet's captain, however, insisted that he could carry the colonists no farther than Roanoke Island. The colony's governor, John White, reluctantly agreed to go back to England with the fleet to obtain more supplies for the colony, but England's war with Spain and other setbacks delayed his return for three years. When he arrived at Roanoke Island in 1590, the island was deserted. The colonists had left behind a cryptic message, but a powerful storm forced the ships carrying White and his supplies to sail back to England before investigating further. Later efforts to find them produced only a few clues about their fate. Historians, writers, and others have developed different theories to explain the mysterious disappearance of Raleigh's Lost Colony. Roanoke explores the questions surrounding this American colony.
G.S. Prentzas is an editor and a writer who lives in New York. He has written a dozen books for young readers, including a guide to the 1994 Winter Olympics and a biography of football great Jim Brown. He is also the coauthor of A.J. Foyt in Chelsea House's Race Car Legends: Collector's Edition series.