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The Secret Token:Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Andrew Lawler

In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived at Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina to establish the first English settlement in the New World. But when the new colony's leader returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, his settlers had vanished, leaving behind only a single clue: a "secret token" etched into a tree. What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? This question has consumed historians, archaeologists, and amateur sleuths for 400 years. In his new book, Andrew Lawlor, a contributing editor for Archaeology magazine, sets out to discover the fate of the settlers, finding fresh leads as he encounters a host of characters obsessed with resolving the mystery.