Roanoke Colony

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The Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County in present-day North Carolina was an enterprise financed and organized by Sir Walter Raleigh. It was carried out by Ralph Lane and Richard Grenville (Raleigh's cousin) in the late 16th century to establish a permanent English settlement in the Virginia Colony. Between 1585 and 1587, several groups attempted to establish a colony, but either abandoned the settlement or died. The final group of colonists disappeared after three years elapsed without supplies from England during the Anglo-Spanish War. They are known as "The Lost Colony" and their fate is still unknown.

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Raleigh receives rights to colonize

Sir Walter Raleigh had received a charter for the colonization of the area of North America known as Virginia from Queen Elizabeth I. The charter specified that Raleigh had ten years in which to establish a settlement in North America or lose his right to colonization. Raleigh and Elizabeth intended that the venture should provide riches from the New World, and a base from which to send privateers on raids against the treasure fleets of Spain. Raleigh himself never visited North America, although he led expeditions to South America in 1595 and 1617, seeking El Dorado in the swamps of the Orinoco River basin.

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