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The northeaster had continued and made the failed attempt to return to Croatoan a near disaster for the entire ship.The ship and crew were lucky to survive the trip back to England, and White would never again return to Virginia.
A number of Dare natives have claimed that their ancestors lived undiscovered in Beechland for hundreds of years before it was abandoned in 1840 because of a black tongue plague.Many theories and myths have been put forward to explain the Lost Colony.They were thought lost at sea, washed away by a hurricane, moved southwest to become Lumbee Indians, killed by Powhatan in Chesapeake, or captured by the Mandoag in Chowanoke.He had made an agreement with the colony leaders that, if they should leave before his return, they should leave a sign to indicate their new location.
When White was finally able to return after three years, he had only one day to search Roanoke Island for the colonists. as we entred up the sandy banke upon a tree, in the very browe thereof were curiously carved these faire Romane letters CRO: which letters presently we knew to signifie the place, where I should find the planters seated, according to a secret token agreed upon betweene them & me at my last departure from them, which was, that in any wayes they should not faile to write or carve on the trees or posts of the dores the name of the place where they should be seated; for at my comming away they were prepared to remove from Roanoak 50 miles into the maine.When even the Croatoan failed to come to him seven days later, White ordered Captain Stafford to take 24 men and Manteo to the mainland to seek revenge for George Howe.Early in the dark of morning, the English surprised a group of Indians at Dasamonquepeuk and shot one before discovering that these were men, women, and children of the Croatoan.White was persuaded to return to England after spending little more than a month with the colonists in Virginia.