The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler
A sweeping account of a four-hundred-year-old mystery, the archeologists racing to unearth the answer, and what the Lost Colony reveals about America--from colonial days to today
In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived on Roanoke, an island off the coast of North Carolina. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, their colony was to establish a foothold for England in the New World. But by the time the colony's leader, John White, returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission in England, his settlers were nowhere to be found. They had vanished into the wilderness, leaving behind only a single clue--the word "Croatoan" carved into a tree.
The disappearance of the Lost Colony became an enduring American mystery. For four centuries, it has gone unsolved, obsessing countless historians, archeologists, and amateur sleuths. Today, after centuries of searching in vain, new clues have begun to surface. In The Secret Token, Andrew Lawler offers a beguiling history of the Lost Colony, and of the relentless quest to bring its fate to light. He accompanies competing archeologists as they seek out evidence, each team hoping to be the first to solve the riddle. In the course of his journey, Lawler explores how the Lost Colony came to haunt our national consciousness, working its way into literature, popular culture, and politics.
Incisive and absorbing, The Secret Token offers a new understanding not just of the Lost Colony, but of how its absence continues to define--and divide--America.