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Croatoan by Steve Payne

Author says: what if John White found the Roanoke Colony still populated but instead something else was dreadfully wrong? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1590, August 18th: on this day a relief fleet comprising the Moonlight, Little John, Hopewell, and other ships commanded by Captain Christopher Newport arrived off the Chesapeake Bay in present-day North Carolina.

Reuniting with his daughter Eleanor, Governor John White had arrived just in time to celebrate the third birthday of his grand daughter Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas. But White's initial joy soon gave way to deep disquiet. His suspicion that something was very wrong at Roanoke Colony began as soon as he noticed the word "Croatoan" carved into a post of the fort and "Cro" carved into a nearby tree.

In fact, during the voyage from England White had greatly feared that upon his return that he would find the settlement completely deserted. Because in late 1587 a dispute had developed with the neighboring Croatan tribe. A fellow colonist Ralph Lane mysteriously disapppeared while searching for crabs alone in the Albemarle Sound. Fearing for their lives, the Roanoke Islanders had urged White to return to England to explain the colony's situation and ask for help. Before he left the colony, White had instructed them that if anything happened to them, they should carve a Maltese cross on a tree nearby, indicating that their disappearance had been forced.

But the England to which White returned had a much bigger problem than the future of Roanoke Colony. That problem was called the Spanish Armada. All suitable vessels were requisitioned for the defence of the country, delaying his return by three agnosingly long years. Because of these troubles, by the time he returned to the colony his famously blond hair had gone completely grey.

During the night White was startled awake by the noise of nearby trees crashing. Something huge was approaching the colony, and at a truly frightening high speed. The unidentified source of John White's fears was about to take a very definite shape.

Author says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

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Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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