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The Virginia Dare Stone

As defined in Webster's Dictionary:
Dare (d‚r), Virginia. 1587- ?
The first child of English parents born in America. She disappeared with other members of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island in Virginia.

Below is an excerpt from John W. White's 1991 book, A Witness for Eleanor Dare, and below that an article from the Saturday evening Post. White's 285 page book is a valiant effort to debunk the article by Boyden Sparkes which appeared in the April 26, 1941 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The 1941 article recklessly declared the stones to be a hoax in a grand betrayal of truth, the Post, and the American people. Being that the Post, in those days, was considered an American institution, the academic world, including respected sources like the Encyclopedia of American History have accepted this free-lance reporter's exposť as fact, presumably without ever considering the source!

In 1977 the television program, In Search Of... hosted by Leonard Nimoy, did a show on the Lost Colony alluding to it's authenticity. Once again in 1977 someone found it necessary to do more unsubstantiated press releases to the contrary. Click here to view the In Search Of... clip in Windows Media Player.

I implore every journalist, historian and citizen to read the complete article, view the video, read White's book, and decide for yourself.  I respectfully await your your opinions and recommendations. Click here to email me

Excerpt from John W. White's 1991 book, A Witness for Eleanor Dare:

For full chapter click here.

"The Saturday Evening Post bought Pearce's manuscript and assigned a self-described reporter named Boyden Sparkes to investigate the stones. Thereafter they published Sparkes's article and suppressed Pearce's. This shift in sentiment at the Post was the single event most responsible for the ensuing belief that the stones were a hoax, and circumstances suggest The Saturday Evening Post was acting on behalf of the Roanoke tourist attraction. The cooperation and help Roanoke extended to Sparkes suggests they had nothing to fear from any report he would write; that implies they had either put him forward to the Post or else approved the Post's choice in advance of the article, for throughout the article Sparkes relied on views of experts who had been chosen for him by the people of Roanoke. As a result, his article was biased in favor of Roanoke - it was misleading and virtually slanderous toward the group of scholars and Pearce. Because of this article, the story of the Lost Colony was nearly lost for good."

Excerpt below by: Boyden Sparkes, Saturday Evening Post, April 26, 1941:

Titled: WRIT ON ROCKE Has America's First Murder Mystery Been Solved?

   "...Last fall thirty-four scholars, headed by Dr. Samuel E. Morison, of Harvard, president of the American Antiquarian Society, journeyed to Brenau and after two days' study pronounced that "the preponderance of evidence points to the authenticity of the stones."
   The stone diary, if genuine, accounts for seventy-one of the colonists. The fate of the others is conjectural. I give you the painstakingly deciphered story of the seventy-one; and the even more exciting story of a modern archaeological paper chase."
   The First Stone

   It was a piece of rough veined quartz weighing twenty-one pounds four ounces. The inscriptions could reasonably have been made with tools possessed by the colonists. The language was competently declared to be Elizabethan in character, spelling and idiom. Botanists said leaf mold in the grooves had been there "a long time." The Smithsonian Institution said the rock showed "no evidence of fraud." That was all they could honestly say. Professional stonecutters were asked to duplicate the wording on similar quartz by short-cut methods, sandblasting, drilling and acids. It couldn't be done. . ." 

Click here for the full 1941 article with graphics 



  1. 1586 June 8:  Sir Francis Drake, Gov. John White, and Eleanor Dare arrive at what will be Roanoke, North Carolina.

  2. 1587 Aug. 18 Eleanor Dare gives birth to a daughter, Virginia, on what is today called Roanoke Island, on the North Carolina coast.

  3. 1937 The outdoor play, The Lost Colony makes it's debut. Is presently touted as, "Americaís first and longest-running outdoor drama. Written by Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Green . . . the show has thrilled over three million visitors since its debut in 1937."

  4. 1937 Nov. 8      Louis Hammond walks into Emory University with the first stone.

  5. 1938 May        Haywood Pearce of Brenau College becomes sponsor of the stone. Subsequently publishes academic article in the Journal of Southern History.

  6. 1940 Oct. 19  Study Group of scholars prepare statement for the press declaring that the preponderance of the evidence points to the authenticity of the stones.

  7. 1940 Summer   Brenau College starts a play of it's own in Georgia, based on the new information contained in the stones. Roanoke Island residents and businesspeople are outraged.

  8. 1940 Dec. 13  Pearce goes public, against the advise of the Study Group. Saturday Evening Post receives and subsequently purchases manuscript written by Haywood Pearce, Jr. of Brenau College.

  9. 1941 Apr. 26   Saturday Evening Post hires Boyden Sparkes, a free-lance reporter from North Carolina, living in New York. Sparkes' exposť is the first article to claim the stones were "fake."

  10. 1991 John W. White publishes his book, A Witness for Eleanor Dare. White's book suggests the Boyden Sparkes article was "biased... and was was acting on behalf of the Roanoke tourist attraction. "

Click Here to See a Photo Gallery of the Stone

Related Links:

Book: A Witness for Eleanor Dare (Attempts to debunk the 1941 Saturday Evening Post's article and re-establish the historical significance or the Stones. Stone #1 is pictured on the cover.)                    

Unique Language of the Lumbee (Croatan, Cheraw) Indian Tribe

"Wolfram says that dialect awareness and pride may be a hard sell among the Lumbee. "Unfortunately, the Lumbee have suffered from a kind of linguistic double jeopardy. They gave up their ancestral language heritage to accommodate the political and economic pressures of colonial encroachment -- an accommodation that has severely hindered their pursuit of full federal recognition as a Native American group. And, the language they molded is rejected as bad English."

Any information you have on this stone, the people involved, or help to authenticate it, would be greatly appreciated. To contact me send an e-mail to Stephen at