- from Early Settlements
Gold! Silver! Copper! The treasures of the Americas were hard to resist. In England, Queen Elizabeth I knew what Spain was getting from its colonies. She wanted the same for her country. She had English sea captains rob the Spanish ships carrying treasures to Spain.
England also wanted colonies so it could get raw materials, such as lumber. Raw materials are resources that can be turned into products and sold for profit. But England’s first colonies failed. In 1585, about 100 colonists went to Roanoke Island in an area that had been named Virginia. When they ran low on food, they all sailed back to England. Two years later, John White brought another group to Roanoke. This group also ran low on food, and White returned to England for more supplies. When he got back, the colony was empty. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a wooden post. Croatoan was the name of another island and a group of American Indians. Did the colonists go to the island to live with the Indians? Did Indians attack them? No one knows for sure. Groups of American Indians had greeted the Roanoke colonists. Some were friendly, and others were not.