Why Is Roanoke Island Important in American History?

Roanoke Island is a small island located off the coast of North Carolina. Despite its size, it holds a significant place in American history. In this article, we’ll explore why Roanoke Island is important and what events have occurred there that make it such a notable location.

The Arrival of the English

In 1584, the English arrived on Roanoke Island, becoming the first Europeans to set foot in what is now the United States. This event marked the beginning of English colonization in America and paved the way for future settlements. The expedition was led by Sir Walter Raleigh, who was determined to establish a permanent colony in the New World.

The Lost Colony

In 1587, Raleigh sent another group of settlers to Roanoke Island to establish a colony. However, when a supply ship arrived three years later, they found no trace of the colonists.

The only clue left behind was the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree. To this day, no one knows for certain what happened to these settlers or where they went – hence why they are referred to as “The Lost Colony.”

Theories About The Lost Colony

There are several theories about what happened to The Lost Colony. Some believe that they were attacked by local Native American tribes or that they simply assimilated into those tribes and adopted their customs and way of life. Others believe that they tried to relocate further inland but perished due to harsh conditions or attacks from other Native American tribes.

The Birthplace of Virginia Dare

One of the most significant events associated with Roanoke Island is the birth of Virginia Dare on August 18th, 1587. She was the first English child born in North America and her birth represented hope for future generations of colonists.


Roanoke Island’s place in American history is undeniable. From the arrival of the English to the mysterious disappearance of The Lost Colony, it has played a crucial role in shaping the nation. Visiting Roanoke Island today, you can still feel a sense of wonder and mystery as you walk in the footsteps of those who came before us.