When did Ralph lane come to North Carolina?
Ralph Lane's 1586 Discourse on the First Colony: The Renaissance
Commercial Report as ApologiaMichael G. MoranUniversity of
In 1584 Sir Walter Raleigh received from Queen Elizabeth a patent to colonize any region of North America not possessed by a Christian prince. In 1585 he sent a fleet of seven ships to plant a colony under the governorship of Ralph Lane on Roanoke Island near what is now the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The colony lasted less than a year and then returned to England, where Lane produced a commercial report explaining the failure. Using research from speech communication on the rhetoric of apologia, this essay analyzes Lane's attempts to answer four criticisms of his governorship: that he mistreated the Indians, that he failed to explore the region to find commodities valuable to Raleigh and his investors, that he was an incompetent military commander, and that he deserted the colony. The essay also evaluates Lane's recommendations that future colonies be established further north on the Chesapeake Bay.