Learn American History through 50 pop songs

The Lost Colony


The Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County in present-day North Carolina was the first British colonial enterprise, which was financed and organized by Sir Walter Raleigh. Between 1585 and 1587, several groups attempted to establish a colony, but either abandoned the settlement or disappeared. The final group of colonists disappeared after three years elapsed without supplies from England during the Anglo-Spanish War, leading to the continuing mystery known as “The Lost Colony”.


© Copyright 2010 by Mr. and Mrs. Gillenwater

On Roanoke we arrived in 1585
Adventurous and alive
A profit seeking enterprise

An unsolved mystery – by 1590
For all of history we will be
Known as the doomed lost colony

Then in 1607 a British ship crossed and found
A stretch of wooded beach they called Jamestown
They built a fort and hunkered down
But not us, we weren’t around

True two-thirds of Jamestown died
But two-thirds of them survived
They lived on handouts from their foe
Till they sowed their own tobacco

1620 brought the Pilgrims
Who made their historical excursion
To escape religious persecution
But not us, we lost every single person

In Massachusetts they were living
That’s where the Pilgrims had their first Thanksgiving
After Squanto taught them farming
And saved them all from starving

In 1630 came the Puritans
With religious superstitions
They burned up a bunch of witches
Who were just free thinking righteous Wiccans

Yes from New England to Virginia
British settled down the coast
But not us, we we’ll forever be
That doomed lost colony


Roanoke Island— The island on which a small ship from England seeking profit in the ‘New World’ landed. This colony disappeared and their fate is unknown. For that reason the Roanoke Colony is often referred to as the Lost Colony.

Jamestown— The first British colony to survive in the ‘New World’. The Jamestown colony landed on May 14, 1607 in the area of the east coast that would one day be Virginia. It was named after King James who was King of England at the time.

Pilgrims— A Separatist group who broke from the Church of England and in 1620 and sailed to the ‘New World’ on the Mayflower, landing in Massachusetts Bay.

Puritans— A member of a group of English Protestants who in the 16th and 17th centuries advocated strict religious discipline and favored the purification of England’s Anglican Church. Many Puritans migrated to Massachusetts Bay after 1630 to establish a religious commonwealth.

Tiered Questions

Tier 1 Questions

When did the Lost Colony arrive in the New World?

When did a colony arrive in Jamestown? What plant did they learn to grow?

When did the Pilgrims arrive? How did they escape starvation?

Tier 2 Questions

Why is this group of people called the Lost Colony?

Besides the Lost Colony, name 3 other groups of people who came to the New World and explain the reasons they came.

Who saved the Pilgrims from starving and how did he do it? Explain.

Tier 3 Questions

Compare and contrast the Roanoke Colony with each of the other three colonies mentioned.

The Pilgrims suffered religious persecution in England because they left the Church of England. The Puritans persecuted people they perceived to be ‘witches’. Compare and contrast these two events.

Test Prep Questions

  • Jamestown, founded in 1607
  • Plymouth colony, founded in 1620
  • New Amsterdam, founded in 1625

1) These early colonial settlements were similar in that each was located

  • (1) at the base of a mountain range
  • (2) near the coastline
  • (3) in an arid climate
  • (4) on offshore island