The Secret Token-An Amazing Look at What Happened to The Lost Colony

Andrew Lawler's The Secret Token.
Andrew Lawler’s The Secret Token.

There is a new book out on the Lost Colony and it may be the most comprehensive study of the fate of the 115 colonists that has been published.

Andrew Lawler’s The Secret Token, Myth, Obsession and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, is an amazing book that manages to incorporate elements of a a mystery or spy novel into a book filled with a detailed study of the history of the Lost Colony and why—and how—it has to hold such a dominant place in the American psyche.

Lawler is a journalist and science writer, and his style reflects that. There is very little opinion about conclusions, rather fact upon fact is layered in dizzying quantity.

History Comes to Life

The Secret Token is divided into three sections—the story of the Lost Colony, the geo-political situation in Europe in 1585-1590, and the efforts to discover the fate of the colonists

Lawlers ability to take an astonishing quantity of factual information and create a well-written—even compelling—book is remarkable.

He remarks, at one point, that the Lost Colony had to be lost and not a failed attempt at colonizing the new world. And, as Lawler writes, that did not happen until until the 1830s when George Bancroft a Harvard trained historian wrote A History of the United States.

Bancroft had visited Germany before writing his book and he was swept up in the romantic philosophy that seemed to grip Germany at that time.

Virginia Dare became the first white child born in the New World, a symbol of purity and innocence surrounded by savages.

Lawler goes into considerable detail about Simon Fernandes, the ship’s pilot who directed the operation of the ships. It was Ferandes who insisted upon leaving the colonists on Roanoke Island when the original plan called for the colony to be in what is now Hampton Roads.

Although The Secret Token does not answer why they were left at a poor second location, Lawler’s research demonstrates that Fernandes was firmly in the English camp.

The modern day gathering of archeologists, historians, and quasi-scientists is remarkable, and Lawler describes many of them with an eye for physical description and personality quirks.

It all makes for some great reading and here at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates we have no problem recommending Andrew Lawler’s The Lost Token.

First Friday in Downtown Manteo-A Great Celebration

Mojo Collins performs at a First Friday on the DCAC Gallery steps.
Mojo Collins performs at a First Friday on the DCAC Gallery steps.
First Friday Wraps Up a Great Outer Banks Week

We have a great week coming up on the Outer Banks. There’s the 4th of July, of course, which is always a good time. But close on the heels of Independence Day it’s First Friday in downtown Manteo.

First Friday is a great way to get out, stretch the legs and enjoy a great small town atmosphere.

There is no official start time to the event, although generally 6:00 p.m. is when things seem to get rolling. There will be live music on the street—there is always something happening on the steps of the Dare County Arts Gallery. (DCAC). That’s the old County Courthouse for the history buffs.

The DCAC always uses First Friday to introduce their artist of the month. This month it’s Dawn Gray Moraga and Ben Morris, local artists who are remarkably talented. They are cooperating on a show titled “In Living Color Art Show.”

There are always a couple of restaurants that offer some street food, and there are sidewalk cafes.

What truly seems to make First Friday worth going to, though, is the general festival-like atmosphere that seems to settle over the downtown waterfront of Manteo.

An event that is occurring in conjunction with First Friday this month—Andrew Lawler, the author of The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke will be at Downtown Books in Manteo on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Lawler is the bestselling author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World, a book that examines the impact chicken has had on world civilizations.

The Secret Token is his newest novel, a book that takes a hard factual look at the beliefs and theories that have grown up around the disappearance of The Lost Colony.

He will be making a second appearance at the DCAC Gallery on Sunday at 4:30.

There’s always a reason to spend some time on the Outer Banks. Check out our Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates. listings to see what’s available.