Chapter 01: Colemans in America prior to Jamestown and Plymouth.

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The Robert Coleman from Virginia to Texas, 1652-1965

Chapter 01:  Colemans in America prior to Jamestown and Plymouth.

     CHAPTER 1


     By J. P. COLEMAN

     After receiving from Queen Elizabeth a patent for colonization in the
     new world, Sir Walter Raleigh, in April, 1584, sent out Philip Amader
     and Arthur Barlowe to discover a suitable location for a colony. On
     April 9, 1585, a colony of about 108 men sailed in seven small
     vessels from Plymouth. The colony was established at the northern end
     of Roanoke Island on August 17th, and about a week later the
     Commander of the expedition, Sir Richard Grenville returned to
     England. In June 1586, threatened with famine and the hostilities of
     the Indians, this entire colony returned to England on vessels of
     Sir Francis Drake's fleet. Only a few days after their departure, 
     Sir Richard Grenville arrived with supplies and more colonists. Only
     fifteen of these remained when Grenville sailed away.
        A second colony, sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh, composed of 121
     persons under John White arrived at Roanoke Island July 22, 1587. Not
     one of the fifteen persons left by Grenville in 1586 were found
     alive. The sailors refused to transport the second colony to the
     shores of Chesapeake Bay as Raleigh had directed, so they were
     forced to remain at Roanoke Island.
        John White's granddaughter, Virginia Dare, was born only twenty-
     nine days after the second colony arrived at Roanoke, and she was
     thus the first English child born in America. In this group of 121
     persons were Thomas Colman and his wife, whose given name was not
     listed.  See Page 211 of Dr. Francis L. Hawks' History of North
     Carolina, Volume 1, published 1857.
        John White returned to England for supplies and did not get back
     to Roanoke Island for three years, arriving there August 15, 1590.

        After various delays, at 10 o'clock in the morning of August 17th,
     the ships were anchored about two miles off-shore. One group safely
     made it to shore. White reported that there was a great gale of wind
     blowing from the northeast. Captain Spicer, in another boat, steered
     by Ralph Skinner, was very nearly overturned, and then White gave the
     following description: "The men kept the boat, some in it and some
     hanging on it, but the next sea set the boat on ground, where it beat
     so, that some of

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     them were forced to let go their hold, hoping to wade ashore, but the
     sea still beat them down, so that they could neither stand nor swim,
     and the boat twice or thrice was turned keel upward, whereon Captain
     Spicer and Skinner hung until they sank and were seen no more. But
     four that could swim, kept themselves in deeper water and were saved
     by Captain Cook's means, who, so soon as he saw their oversetting,
     stripped himself and four others that could swim very well, and with
     all haste possible rode unto them and saved four. They were eleven in
     all, and seven of the chiefest were drowned, whose names were:
     Edward Spicer, Ralph Skinner, Edward Kelly, Thomas Bevis, Hance, the
     surgeon, Edward Kilborne, Robert Coleman."
        This account is to be found at Page 224 of Dr. Hawks' book and
     shows us that Thomas Coleman and his wife first arrived on the
     eastern shores of North Carolina July 22, 1587, and Robert Coleman
     was drowned while attempting to reach them August 17, 1590.
        This was nearly twenty years before the first permanent settlement
     at Jamestown, and thirty years before the arrival of the Pilgrims at
        As is well known, the 121 colonists were never found. They had
     completely disappeared, leaving no clue except the word CROATOAN
     carved on a tree.
        One could well imagine that possibly Robert Coleman was of some
     close kin to Thomas, and was willing to brave the great likelihood
     of drowning out of a frantic desire to learn something of what had
     happened to the colonists.
        White reached England, after the fruitless search at Roanoke, on
     October 24, 1590.

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     their son, JOHN ALBERT FEASTER COLEMAN, who died at the age of

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     MRS. JENNIE I. COLEMAN, who made the first great contribution to
     Coleman Family History.

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     Top Row, left to right: Mrs. Mary Coleman Faucette, Henry David Coleman,
     and John Albert Feaster Coleman.

     BOTTOM ROW, left to right: Samuel Stevenson Coleman, 
     Julia Stevenson Coleman, and Mrs. Jennie I. Coleman.

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Contents | F | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4