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What are some theories about what happened to the Roanoke colony?

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Quick Answer

Theories on what happened to the Roanoke colony range from colonists dying from disease to being killed by local Native American tribes. Another prevailing theory is that the colonists abandoned Roanoke.

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Full Answer

What is known about the Roanoke colony is that the colony was made up of 17 women, 11 children and 90 men. The presence of women and children implies that this group's intention for going to the New World was to settle and start a new life there, away from England.

When the Roanoke colony was found, there were no traces of the colonists who went to settle there. This leads to the first theory about Roanoke.

The prevailing theory is that since there were no colonists found near the Roanoke colony, the colonists must have abandoned it. As to where the colonists went after they abandoned the colony, researchers believe that the colonists traveled through out North Carolina, mainly using the Albemarle Sound and the Chowan River, and joined one of the many tribes they encountered along the way.

Other theories are that the colonists fell to disease caused by New World microbes that their bodies had never been exposed to before or that Native Americans killed off the colonists. In any case, researchers agree that the colonists split up and this eventually lead to their disappearance.

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