• Dogwoods in bloom during the spring

    Fort Raleigh

    National Historic Site North Carolina

Roanoke Revisited Unit 4

John White's Watercolors

Many of Thomas Harriot's descriptions in his Brief and True Report were illustrated by his associate John White, an artist who was also a member of the Grenville expedition to Roanoke Island in 1585. It is clear that Harriot remained with the Lane colony for the full term, the length of John White's stay cannot be determined from the evidence now know to exist. He may have remained with Harriot, or he may have returned to England with Grenville. Whatever his length of stay, his task must have been to prepare accurate depictions of the plants, animals, and native inhabitants of the region. White's surviving paintings of the area (many may have been thrown overboard during evacuation of the colony), taken together with engravings of paintings that reached England but were lost later, make up the fullest sixteenth-century pictorial representation of the New World.

The following links contain essays that develop different aspects of the Native American culture of the region in the 1580s:


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Did You Know?

English flag in the 16th century

Contrary to folklore, the potato and tobacco were never introduced as true discoveries by Sir Walter Raleigh or his explorers. These were introduced to England by Spanish traders in the 1580s.