Big Chief Elizabeth: The Adventures and Fate of the First English Colonists in America

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 19, 2001 - History - 368 pages
In April 1586, Queen Elizabeth I acquired a new and exotic title. A tribe of Native Americans had made her their weroanza—a word that meant "big chief". The news was received with great joy, both by the Queen and her favorite, Sir Walter Ralegh. His first American expedition had brought back a captive, Manteo, who caused a sensation in Elizabethan London. In 1587, Manteo was returned to his homeland as Lord and Governor, with more than one hundred English men, women, and children. In 1590, a supply ship arrived at the colony to discover that the settlers had vanished.

For almost twenty years the fate of Ralegh's colonists was to remain a mystery. When a new wave of settlers sailed to America to found Jamestown, their efforts to locate the lost colony were frustrated by the mighty chieftain, Powhatan, father of , who vowed to drive the English out of America. Only when it was too late did the settlers discover the incredible news that Ralegh's colonists had survived in the forests for almost two decades before being slaughtered in cold blood by henchmen. While Sir Walter Ralegh's "savage" had played a pivotal role in establishing the first English settlement in America, he had also unwittingly contributed to one of the earliest chapters in the decimation of the Native American population. The mystery of what happened to these colonists who seemed to vanish without a trace lies at the heart of this well-researched work of narrative history.
 

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User Review  - wagner.sarah35 - LibraryThing

The story of the lost colony of Roanoke looms large in this book, and I appreciated the author going into a lot more detail than my middle school history textbook. The story of all the voyages ... Read full review

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User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

A highly readable account of the early attempts by Englishmen to colonise the North Eastern part of what is now the United States in the 16th and early 17th centuries. It starts from unfamiliar ground ... Read full review

Contents

SAVAGES AMONG THE ICEBERGS
5
SIR HUMFREY AND THE CANNIBALS
16
THE JOLLY TRIBESMAN
37
HARRIOTS DEVILS
62
STORMS SPRITES AND GOBLINS
74
GOVERNOR LANES SANDCASTLE
100
ENTER SIR FRANCIS
129
SMOKE INTO GOLD
152
SOUNDING A TRUMPET
219
ONE BESS FOR ANOTHER
238
A MIRACLE AMONG SAVAGES
250
THE KINGS DEAREST DAUGHTER
273
MR AND MRS ROLFE GO TO ENGLAND
300
EPILOGUE
331
BIBLIOGRAPHY
345
INDEX
351

THE UNFORTUNATE MASTER COFFIN
173
ARISE LORD MANTEO
198

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About the author (2001)

Giles Milton is the author of the critically acclaimed Nathaniel's Nutmeg and The Riddle and the Knight. He lives in London.

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