In a former life, I was a Social Studies teacher. Not a past life, just quite a few years ago -- right after I graduated from college. My favorite subject to teach was American History, and one of my favorite eras was the colonial time, from the settlement of this country until the American Revolution.
The first permanent European settlement was in St. Augustine, Florida (the state now, simply a colony of Spain then), founded in 1565. You might jump ahead to the story of the Puritans touching their toes on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts but you'd be missing a major historical event.
The first English settlement was at Roanoke in what is now North Carolina, 37 years before the Pilgrims landed in 1585. You might recall something you've heard or read about this colony, now referred to as the "lost colony of Roanoke". Settling a colony was hard work, and many of the first colonists to arrive from England were more interested in searching for adventure or wealth than trying to farm the land. There weren't enough trades people or farmers in this first venture to the New World. Food was scarce and relations with the native people tenuous.
Just when things were bleakest, Sir Francis Drake appeared and took some of the settlers back to England. But not all of them. 90 men, 17 women and 9 children remained behind.
(Images from Jamestown Virginia)
And when the ships returned from England with more supplies and settlers, there was no sign of the people they left behind. Just one word carved into a post: "Croatan".
Writers have been exploring this strange occurrence for many years, and there are many theories about what happened to the colonists. I have my own ideas, and I'll get to play with this in one of my upcoming books about the Glyndwr sisters, elemental witches who are escaping from England to the New World.
Whistle Down the Wind by Sibelle Stone
Escaping from the persecution of the European witch hunts, a powerful witch with the ability to control the wind joins forces with a handsome Cavalier on a mission to save the King of England and the colony of Virginia while a dangerous stranger hunts them both. Book One: Mystic Moon Series.
Sibelle Stone is the pseudonym for award winning historical romance author Deborah Schneider. Sibelle writes sexy steampunk and paranormal stories, filled with magic, mad scientists, dirigibles, automatons, and creatures that would scare the panties off Deborah. In her spare time Sibelle enjoys dressing up in Victorian ensembles, modding play guns into something that looks a bit more sinister and wearing hats.