Birthplace: Roanoke Island, NC
Cause of death: unspecified
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Firstborn white child of the New World
Virginia Dare was the first English subject born on the soil of the New World, and the namesake of Dare County, North Carolina. Her parents were among about 115 settlers who voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean from England on the Lyon and two other ships in the early summer of 1587. They came ashore on Roanoke Island in the colony of Roanoke (now North Carolina), and there Virginia was born on or about 18 August 1587. When the next English supply ship arrived at Roanoke Island three years later, however, the settlers were gone, leaving only one clue -- carved into a post was "Croatan", the name of a local band of natives.
The fate of young Virginia Dare and the other settlers has been the subject of ghost stories, serious scientific studies, and philosophical extrapolation. Climate researchers believe that their landing in Roanoke coincided with the area's most severe drought in some 800 years. Some experts surmise that the settlers may have joined the Croatans, who were believed to be friendly and peaceful, and are now extinct. Historian David B. Quinn theorized that the colonists relocated to the southern shores of the Chesapeake in their hunt for subsistence, and there they were massacred by the Powhatan tribe. Virginia Dare and her parents were declared legally dead by a British court in 1594, resolving a lawsuit filed by her father's illegitimate son to obtain access to his father's property.
Father: Ananias Dare (b. circa 1563)
Mother: Elinor White Dare
Brother: John Dare (half-brother; Ananias Dare's bastard son)
Appears on postage stamps:
USA, Scott #796 (5¢, depicting babe Dare in mother's arms, issued 18-Aug-1937)
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