During the 16th century, many of the European monarchs were looking to increase their power and their wealth through the colonization of America. This was especially true of Queen Elizabeth of England and King Philip II of Spain. To this end, the English tried to establish a colony in America. The first colony was founded at Roanoke Island. This would have been one of England's greatest accomplishments except for the fact that the colonists left at Roanoke Island disappeared. The disappearance of these colonists remains one of America's greatest mysteries to this day.
Roanoke Island is an island off the coast of North Carolina. The four bodies of water that surround the island are the Albemarle Sound, Croatan Sound, Roanoke Sound, and the Pamlico Sound. The Atlantic Ocean is less than ten miles away, but direct contact to the ocean is impeded by Bodie Island, which is part of the Outer Banks. The western coast of the island is also less than ten miles from the mainland of North Carolina.
Both Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh wanted great things for England. Queen Elizabeth wanted England to be powerful and rich. She also did not want Spain and King Philip II to have control of the New World. Not only did Sir Walter Raleigh want great things for England; he also wanted great things for himself. He wanted to become famous and he needed Queen Elizabeth to give him money, supplies, and ships to find treasures and colonies for England.
Sir Walter Raleigh, who was one of Queen Elizabeth's favorites, sent an expedition to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to find a suitable location for a colony. He sent two explorers, Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe to scout out a location. Their landfall was at an inlet into the shallow sounds beyond the Outer Banks later called Hatarask, but which they later named Port Ferdinando after their Portuguese pilot, Simon .
Fernandes, whom they credited with discovering it.