. Coast watch. Marine resources; Oceanography; Coastal zone management; Coastal ecology. PEOPLE & PLACES The Freedmen of Roanoke Island: The Other Lost Colony By Kathleen Angione c V ^rossing the bridge onto the northern tip of Roanoke Island, visitors can hardly help but stare at an 11-foot-wide sign announcing the birthplace of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the new world. Across the road, a simple street sign marks another of our nation's historic firsts. The thin strip of metal reads: "Freedmen's Colony Road." There is no room to explain that the Freedmen's Co

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. Coast watch. Marine resources; Oceanography; Coastal zone management; Coastal ecology. PEOPLE & PLACES The Freedmen of Roanoke Island: The Other Lost Colony By Kathleen Angione c V_^rossing the bridge onto the northern tip of Roanoke Island, visitors can hardly help but stare at an 11-foot-wide sign announcing the birthplace of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the new world. Across the road, a simple street sign marks another of our nation's historic firsts. The thin strip of metal reads: "Freedmen's Colony Road." There is no room to explain that the Freedmen's Colony was a camp of ex-slaves that became a thriving colony — one that built schools, churches and homes during the Civil War. Until recently, that explanation was left to a dilapidated monument at the far end of a motorist pull-off area. The monument's faded plastic pictures and overgrown planter were plaintive reminders of Freedmen's voices absent from America's stories of bravery, perseverance and freedom. Most people have not heard about this other "lost" colony that is rarely mentioned in history books. But a handful of people, mainly from Manteo, are steadily raising awareness about the Freedmen and their remarkable colony. "My goal is to make sure that this type of information is incorporated into North Carolina history," says Virginia Tillett, a Dare County commissioner and one of the leaders in the effort. "None of the areas in and around North Carolina would have been as beautiful as they are if it wasn't for slave labor," Tillett says. The Freedmen's Colony was an opportunity for ex-slaves to contribute to United States history as free citizens. "I think that type of history needs to be told," says Tillett, who is also assistant dean of continuing education at the College of the Albemarle. She often speaks to school and community groups in the area about the Freedmen's Colony. Each fall, Tillett joins neighbors Arvilla Bowser

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