9 months ago


November 2015

Beechland and the Lost

Beechland and the Lost Colony by Philip S. McMullan, Jr beechland lost colony legend attack roanoak voyage abandoned croatan jamestown peninsula sassafras history survivors crops In 1587, one hundred seventeen men, women and children simply disappeared and became known as The Lost Colony. Sir Walter Ralegh’s attempt to settle Virginia remains one of the greatest mysteries of early American history. John White, the colony’s governor, described how the colonists were forced to remain on Roanoke Island when their intended destination was Chesapeake Bay. There they were abandoned and became lost to history after the Spanish Armada caused their resupply ships to be diverted. However, significant evidence suggests that they intentionally relocated inland and that Ralegh, at least, kept in touch with them. They continued the alliance they had formed with the Croatan tribe and, for at least ten more years, supplied Ralegh with a valuable commodity Sassafras. They chose Beechland, a protected sassafras site about fifty miles into the mainland, in order to prevent the Spaniards (and potential competitors) from finding them. This profitable venture ended when Ralegh lost his patent and his head after the death of Queen Elizabeth. In this scenario, the so-called Lost Colonists were not lost but were finally abandoned when Ralegh could no longer send ships to them. Evidence for the colonists’ movement was found in original accounts, native alliances, oral histories, naming patterns, archeological remnants and reanalysis of early maps. A thorough archeological investigation of the site might yield the crucial clues to resolve the longstanding mystery of what became of the majority of the lost colonists Philip S. McMullan, Jr., is a native of historic Edenton, North Carolina, and has been immersed in the colonial history of his state since childhood. Despite his early interest in history, he elected to study engineering and business administration before becoming a research scientist with RTI International in the newly created Research Triangle Park in 1960. He maintained only a mild interest in the Lost Colony before 1982. That year, he assisted in preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Prulean Farms, a proposed 22,000-acre farm on the mainland of Dare County. One of his assignments was to prepare a history of developments on the Dare mainland and its surrounding region. During his research, he learned of an abandoned settlement on the Dare mainland called Beechland. He was intrigued by numerous oral histories claiming that the original settlers of Beechland were Sir Walter Ralegh’s abandoned colonists and their Native American allies. After retirement, he researched the history of Beechland and its possible relationship to the abandoned colonists and decided that it could help explain the fate of the abandoned colonists. He was then accepted in the Masters of History program at North Carolina State University and began to prepare this thesis. He has taught World History and American History for the Gateway to College Program at the College of the Albemarle since 2007. 4 Albemarle Tradewinds November 2015

By: Kelly Thorsby We are Thankful to our Supporters At this time of year, we are to reflect on what we are thankful for. For many it’s their health, family, friends, finances, faith and peace of mind. In addition to those things that I am thankful for as well, I must also add these components that are essential to my position and this 104 year old institution that I am proud to represent. They are, my amazing staff, board, and ambassadors; our loyal members; and our generous sponsors. Without these vital components, our chamber would not succeed, let alone exist. We try all we can to show our appreciation by consistently referring our members, advertising their products and services, offering educational and networking opportunities, and doing all we can to help them succeed. Our chamber members also enjoy special discounts that Non- Members (or “Future Members”) are not privileged to. One of our next exciting programs to promote our members and community to SHOP LOCAL is our Chamber Cha Ching card! Each month our 550+ members are able to log into our website to post their Cha Ching Deal they wish to offer. This allows seasonal businesses to attract customers in their off-season as well as our restaurants to increase business on their slow days. This card will be a benefit to all of our members to help increase their business as well as to the card holder that can take advantage of some great deals! Our Cha Ching card will be revealed at my personally favorite event of the year, Reindeer Games Bowling Tournament on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at Albemarle Lanes. Each year, our members gather to not only cheer on their favorite bowling team wearing Christmas costumes for the contest, but to win some great prizes, meet Santa Clause and enjoy some holiday cheer and music! We hope that you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and a Blessed Holiday Season! Contact us for more information on these great events and join us for the fun! 252.335.4365 Albemarle Tradewinds November 2015 5