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The Colony of Roanoke: Comparison of Two Sources Essay

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Updated: Aug 1st, 2022

The Lost Colony of Roanoke and Newfound survivor camp may explain fate of the famed Lost Colony of Roanoke are two sources that cover the mystery of the Roanoke colony and its outcome. According to Fullam, there were many attempts to locate it (1). While both sources provide exact data and evidence regarding the events, Jean Fritz and Hudson Talbot’s book is more credible than the article written by Andrew Lawler.

Both the article and the book try to explain the disappearance of the Roanoke colony and the possible fate of settlement. The book The Lost Colony of Roanoke suggests that the colonists would not have survived. The place was intended to be agriculturally sustainable, but the realities would push the settlers to look for a home elsewhere (Fritz and Talbott 227). Speculations suggest that some colonists returned to Newfoundland while others assimilated with the Native Americans. The article is based on the findings of pieces of pottery 50 miles near the original camp. This suggests the colonists migrated to nearby territories (Lawler). The book focuses on every event that led to the disappearance, and its main idea is to shine a light on the situation with supporting arguments that suggest the real reason for the disappearance and fake versions of the colonists being slaughtered by Native Americans.

The article focuses on the new evidence that proves that the colonists simply relocated. The main idea is that they merely moved 50 miles from the initial place, and it is supported by archeological findings of pottery nearby. The only evidence that the article uses is the findings of the archeological expedition. However, other scientists claim it is impossible to lick those pieces of pottery to the colony. This is not necessarily valid evidence since the pottery styles remained similar for an extended period of time. The book is based on many other sources, including works from that period by John Smith. It is backed up by facts and other studies that have analyzed the lost colony. This makes the source more persuasive and credible.

The book’s initial intention is to inform about the event as a whole. It does not limit itself to versions and possible outcomes but creates an informational summary of existing studies. The sources used in the book make it persuasive and credible because it is backed by evidence provided by people who took an active part in the expedition. The targeted audience is, most likely, people who are fascinated by mysteries but are willing to dive deep into them and see the complete objective picture. The article, however, is intended for mystery lovers who would instead focus on a possible outcome rather than analyze the whole story. It is a concise description of one possible outcome, and it is structured in a way that is captivating for the reader. This does not impact the content of the source since the evidence is, by itself, not necessarily revolutionary. However, the evidence of archeological findings makes the article relatable and credible.

None of the authors are historians. Jean Fritz, the book’s author, is a children’s writer, and this was her last book. Frits did, however, have experience in writing biography and history works. Andrew Lawler, the author of the article, has written three history books and articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Geographic. Based on this, Lawler is more of an expert in this field without having a background in history backed by a degree.

National Geographic specializes in geography and history-related content, but it is not a source that is considered credible in scientific communities due to the aim of headlines and speculations. The Last Colony of Roanoke was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, which is an imprint of the Penguin Group. It is a reliable publisher. However, it does not add credibility since the publisher does not specialize in history books.

The article is accessible and easy to understand. The source is presented as concise, evidence-based writing with pictures of archeological findings. The only possible biased is the source’s tendency for speculations and sensational events that are linked to National Geographic as a website. The book is available on Amazon. Although it is related to factual evidence, credible sources, and a level of investigation, it is easy to read and intrigues the reader with its simplicity.

Although the colony’s disappearance has been a mystery that has been captivating the public for a long time, there was never objective evidence that would give exact answers. In this sense, the article is a more timely information source because it provides a new perspective. This, however, makes the content more biased because it intends to suggest a possible outcome rather than looking at every possible situation objectively. The book is a longer piece, so it definitely covers more information. The article does not go in-depth because it only suggests an answer to the mystery with a short reminder of the event itself. The book is definitely more detailed, has multiple credible sources of evidence, and covers the events in a way that every aspect of the mystery is comprehensible.

Based on the analysis of the two sources regarding data, authors, publishers, and the credibility of the facts mentioned by the authors, the pattern of answers suggests the book as being more persuasive. While Hudson and Fritz do not have the expertise backed by a university degree when it comes to covering historical events, the authors managed to shine light on this mystery. This is the reason why the book is more credible than the article that covers the same topic.


Fritz, Jean, and Hudson Talbott. The Lost Colony of Roanoke. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004.

Fullam, Brandon. The Lost Colony of Roanoke: New Perspectives, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017.

Lawler, Andrew. History, National Geographic. 2021. Web.

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