Unit 4 - The Watercolors of John White

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:

Indian Towns and Buildings of Eastern North Carolina
Indian Canoes of Eastern North Carolina
Indian Fishing and Hunting
Indian Agriculture in Eastern North Carolina
Indian Food and Cooking in Eastern North Carolina
Indian Religion
Indian Dress and Ornaments in Eastern North Carolina

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Last updated: April 14, 2015

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