By Erin James
Today, that place is called Buxton and the villages that border it to the south on Hatteras. Home to the Croatoan tribe for more than a thousand years, it’s a place Dawson knows well.
Dawson’s research has revealed an important fact that he thinks other historians have overlooked or dismissed as insignificant: Two tribes inhabited the land near the Lost Colony’s settlement--two distinct tribes with their own dialects, cultures and social hierarchies. Two rival tribes with polarized opinions of white settlers.
His research, combined with his intimate knowledge of Hatteras Island, has led Dawson to conclude that the Lost Colony must have abandoned its settlement on Roanoke Island, traveled south and eventually assimilated into the Croatoan tribe--all in an effort to escape the threat of the Secotan.
As history has given way to legend, Dawson believes the Croatoan have been denied their rightful place in American history as people who welcomed foreigners into their home.