The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

A sweeping account of a four-hundred-year-old mystery, the archeologists racing to unearth the answer, and what the Lost Colony reveals about America--from colonial days to today

In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived on Roanoke, an island off the coast of North Carolina. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, their colony was to establish a foothold for England in the New World. But by the time the colony's leader, John White, returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission in England, his settlers were nowhere to be found. They had vanished into the wilderness, leaving behind only a single clue--the word "Croatoan" carved into a tree.

The disappearance of the Lost Colony became an enduring American mystery. For four centuries, it has gone unsolved, obsessing countless historians, archeologists, and amateur sleuths. Today, after centuries of searching in vain, new clues have begun to surface. In The Secret Token, Andrew Lawler offers a beguiling history of the Lost Colony, and of the relentless quest to bring its fate to light. He accompanies competing archeologists as they seek out evidence, each team hoping to be the first to solve the riddle. In the course of his journey, Lawler explores how the Lost Colony came to haunt our national consciousness, working its way into literature, popular culture, and politics.

Incisive and absorbing, The Secret Token offers a new understanding not just of the Lost Colony, but of how its absence continues to define--and divide--America.

Title:The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke
ISBN:9780385542012
Format Type:

About Andrew Lawler

Andrew Lawler is a contributing writer with Science and contributing editor for Archaeology with more than thirty years full-time experience as a journalist and author. His stories have also appeared in Smithsonian, National Geographic, Discover, Audubon, American Archaeology, Columbia Journalism Review, Slate, Orion, The Sun, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, as well as several foreign


    The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke Reviews

  • Matt

    “At dawn, [Governor John] White and some of the party climbed up the steep bank. It was the third birthday of his granddaughter Virginia Dare, named for the new land and the first English child born...

  • Nancy Oakes

    As much as I enjoyed this book, it needs a home. If you're in the US and you want it, it's yours and I'll pay postage. Just let me know. http://www.nonfictionrealstuff.com/20...I am fascinated by myst...

  • Geoffrey

    (Note: I received an advanced electronic copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley)Due to my being born and raised a New Englander, my education on the "founding" of America focused quite heavily on Pil...

  • Susan (the other Susan)

    Fascinating product of determined journalism. The so-called "Lost Colony" is a romantic legend that enabled white supremacists - as early as the mid-1800s - to deny the likelihood that survivors among...

  • Amanda Roa

    A historical page turner. Looking back at the complex story of The Lost Colony was riveting. I was only vaguely aware of the story until this book. Well written, well researched and thoroughly reviewe...

  • KC

    This is the telling of the colonists of Roanoke Island who in 1587 sailed from England to the coast of North Carolina but mystery surrounds this story. All 115 men, women and children were never to be...

  • Daniel Greear

    America's oldest mystery is the Roanoke Colony disappearance. For a long time, many have been entranced by what happened to 115 odd English settlers in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the 1580s. ...

  • Ionia

    When I first saw this book, I thought..."Oh. Another Roanoke book." To my surprise and delight, this is anything but 'just another Roanoke book.' The incredible amount of research and detail that went...

  • Graham

    I admit to knowing nothing about the subject matter before I read this, but then sometimes that's the best way. THE SECRET TOKEN is a non-fiction documentation of the 'Lost Colony' legend of Roanoke; ...

  • Chris

    Quick note about the audio book - the word shards is pronounced a little strangely. Or I've always been saying it incorrectly.Lawler's book is a wonderful and detailed look at not only the history of ...