The Lost Colony, Washington D.C., and the Sacred Meridian.
By Bradbury Cort Lindahl 2/20/19 8 pages.
One of the most interesting unsolved mysteries of early America is the Lost Colony of Sir Walter Raleigh. This early colony was founded in 1585 on Roanoke Island just west of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. At one point Sir Francis Drake even visited Roanoke Island and the colony there and evacuated some of the colonists who wanted to go back to England. Prior to that the colony’s governor John White had returned to England to gather more supplies and recruit more colonists. Due to a conflict with Spain Governor White was unable to return to Roanoke Island until 1590. At that time he found the settlement deserted with only the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree.
Drake was accompanied at this time by Captain Christopher Carlisle. Drake was on his return voyage to England after having sacked the Spanish ports of Santo Domingo, Cartagena, and St. Augustine in what is now Florida. Carlisle was even related to Philip Sidney who wrote the famous book entitled “Arcadia.” Both men were in turn associated with Elizabethan “spymaster” Sir Francis Walsingham. Sidney was Walsingham’s son in law and Carlisle’s mother had married Walsingham after his first wife had passed. In addition both Sidney and Carlisle were close personal friends of Sir Francis Drake’s.
Drake’s visit came at a time when Governor White of the Roanoke Colony had returned to England for supplies thus leaving us with the possibility that the remaining colonists had left with Drake at that time though this is not recorded in any common history. Another possibility is that the colonists had decamped for a better location for their colony. Though it may be somewhat of a historical stretch it is entirely possible that Drake could have even visited Oak Island on his return voyage to deposit whatever share of the booty he considered his.
No traces of the missing colonists were ever found though many have searched. It is suspected that any survivors had simply been assimilated into local Native American communities. Many stories and legends exist with regard to Virginia Dare the niece of Governor White. Some of these stories involve a trail of incised stones that left messages showing some of the colonists including Ms. Dare may have travelled as far south as Georgia. Scholarly examination of these stones has shown that they are likely a prank or later manifestation of nineteenth century fake history.
Today the mystery still fascinates people who contemplate the history of the early American colonies. Recently some new information in the form of what is known of as the Virginea Pars (Virginia) map has given archaeologists a new clue as to where the missing colonists may have gone. The map was originally produced by Governor White between 1585 and 1593. The portion of the map depicting the Albemarle Sound and surrounding region seems to be somewhat accurate when compared to modern maps and globes. The Tidewater area of Virginia to the north on the map including Hampton and Williamsburg is not accurate in relation to latitudes and longitudes observed today. This may be because Governor White had not visited the Chesapeake Bay region and had added these parts of the map based on other’s observations.
What is interesting about this map is that the western margin or the edge of what was displayed on the Virginea Pars (original spelling) Map seems to mark the even 77th Meridian West of longitude. It may also be that Governor White was not the cartographer who had produced this map but that his name was associated with it because he was the governor of the new colony planned at Roanoke Island by Sir Walter Raleigh and others. It is more likely that a man named Thomas Harriot had been the cartographer or surveyor of the information displayed on the Virginea Pars map. Harriot had been present at Roanoke Island and likely left with the Governor when he returned to England for more supplies.
Thomas Harriot may be the key to understanding what really happened at the Roanoke Colony. He was one of the early premier astronomers and cartographers of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Though relatively unknown Harriot had drawn the first map ever of the moon’s surface using a telescope. Harriot was associated with many great minds of his day and associated with people like Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, and others of the so called “invisible college” that possibly valued Rosicrucian ideals. Many accounts of the failed “Lost Colony” neglect to note the presence or involvement of this interesting person.
Harriot though well regarded and admired had very few publications compared to his contemporary astronomers. He was also an accomplished early ethnographer who had learned native dialects of the Virginia Native Americans from captives of earlier expeditions. This may also be one reason he was included in the first Roanoke Colony. Thomas Harriot had actually travelled to Roanoke Island and had spent a significant amount of time there prior to the other colonists disappearing from the pages of history. It is also no surprise that he left with Governor White on his resupply mission to England. Thomas Harriot also had a distinct if not hidden Rosicrucian aspect to his life.
Thomas Harriot was a member of the so called “School of the Night” that included Sir Walter Raleigh, George Chapman, Christopher Marlowe and possibly others. This was a very secretive group that was said to have believed in Atheist ideals which were not common during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods during which these men lived. In fact their views would have even been considered heretical by the Church of England at that time. Here we may see Harriot as a kind of emissary of Raleigh who had sponsored the Roanoke Colony originally without ever actually going there. Instead his friend and School of the Night cohort Harriot went to the colony. It may be that part of Harriot’s being dispatched to Roanoke Island involved him finding or plotting the Sacred Longitude of the 77th Meridian West.
There are obvious reasons why a man with Harriot’s linguistic and astronomical abilities would have been sent to the Roanoke Colony but he was also a very important person in the scheme of the development of modern astronomy in the age of reason that had been in part inspired by Sir Francis Bacon, Philip Sidney, and other intellectuals of the age. Why would Raleigh send such an important person to a colony that he knew would face many dangers and challenges? There were others capable of drawing accurate maps and it does seem as even what he had learned from the Native captives could have also been taught to the colonists. It may be that his return to England was part of the plan the entire time though this factor may be forever obscured in the telling. As this story unfolds we may discern that Mr. Harriot had a specific mission attached to his journey to Roanoke Island at the behest of Sir Walter Raleigh.
The story of the Roanoke Colony also includes a man named Captain Ferdinando (Fernandez by some accounts) that in some sources is referred to as “being the man” of Elizabethan spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. It is also possible that Captain Ferdinando was involved in the saga of the Newport Tower or the claiming of New England by English interests in the late sixteenth century. Ferdinando is also associated with Sir Humphrey Gilbert who had awarded his friend Philip Sidney a large portion of the land he had claimed using the name “Norumbega” for his claims. The involvement of Ferdinando shows us some interesting links between the Lost Colony, The Newport Tower, and possibly even Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Both Ferdinando and Captain Carlisle seem to have been closely linked to the premier intelligence officer of Queen Elizabeth. Carlisle was also involved in Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s colonization scheme and may have also been granted lands in Nova Scotia at that time. Note this is prior to the creation of the Baronetcy of Nova Scotia and was an English undertaking.
Given these men’s beliefs it is easy to imagine that they saw the Roanoke Colony and later Jamestown Colony as an extension of their Rosicrucian point of view. It is clear that not all of the colonists of Jamestown and Roanoke Island were adherents to Rosicrucian lore. It is clear that their benefactors and sponsors of such colonies were involved in a kind of secret Rosicrucian philosophy that may have been sometimes used by the intelligence concerns of royal interests in that era of history.
Though Sir Francis Bacon’s “New Atlantis” was not published until 1627 it may be that these men had a similar vision that may have even contributed to Bacon’s writing and philosophy. All of these men were cohorts of Bacon’s and his associates so it is no surprise that their beliefs and philosophies would extend to their vision of the new land in North America. As time went on many in the colonies would forget these kinds of views but there was and always will be a select group of people who continued to value these tenets through the entire development of the colonies into the United States of America. One need look no further than Thomas Jefferson and some of his associates later in history to see how this point of view developed over time.
There is an interesting concept related to Rosicrucian philosophy and ancient navigation and time keeping that may have played a role in the disappearance of the Roanoke Colony that would also have a huge impact on the later development of other storied places in the early colonies and United States. In order to understand this, we must become familiar with what is known of as the “Sacred Meridian.”
As a grand coincidence, the western edge of the Virginea Pars Map seems to mark the 77th Meridian West or what is in some circles referred to as the “Sacred Meridian.” Even the word “MERidian” seems to refer to the Star of Mary or Stella Maris also known of as the Pole Star. Here we have an Arcadian theme even being displayed in an esoteric value of a given line of longitude. Even the words used to describe these astronomical tenets have secrets revealed in their true meaning. The Sacred Meridian may represent a valued meridian established by Raleigh and others to denote their claim in a way that could be legally described. We may also see how this meridian was valued as American history progressed after the Revolution.
It is also interesting that Ferdinando and Carlisle were associated with Sir Francis Walsingham whose son in law was Philip Sidney. Sidney’s work “Arcadia” in name also refers to the pole star that is located in the tail of the constellation Ursa Minor who in Greek mythology was Arcas the namesake of Arcadia cast into the sky. All of what this author terms the “Arcadian Mysteries” include astronomy, a value of the Prime Meridian, and cartography.
The Sacred Meridian or 77th Meridian West is located about 75 miles west of the location of the Roanoke Colony. In addition to being “Sacred” or secret this meridian is valued in that many alchemical and ancient time keeping theories were based on a value of this meridian being a location from which the equinoxes could be more accurately observed. Throughout history the equinoxes had been used to measure time in relation to the number of days in the year. The concept of the “leap year” had confused those that had clung to the old Julian calendar due to its inaccuracy over time. This was important to both pagan and Christian concerns with regard to the correct day to celebrate Christmas and Easter for example as well as the other feast days and significant dates. The equinoxes were a more accurate way to measure these events.
As England had a long tradition of conflict with the Catholic Church they had developed their own calendar which was used until about 1757 when they readapted the same calendar system used by the Church and the rest of the world. The upshot here is that at the time of the Roanoke Colony people like Sir Walter Raleigh and Thomas Harriot would have had a great desire to establish a settlement on the 77th Meridian in order to be able to measure time in this fashion. In so doing they would have been fulfilling an ancient wish to control this valuable area in North America.
The Spanish already controlled places in the Caribbean and South America that conform to the Sacred Meridian. This may have added even more urgency in the minds of Sir Walter Raleigh as to why English colonies needed to be established on the Sacred Meridian. This concept may have also been considered with regard to the time keeping sensibilities of the Incan, Mayan, and Aztec calendars. Interestingly if one follows the 77th meridian West over the north pole to the 77th Meridian East it transects Beijing, China. It is also interesting that the Spanish colony in what is today the country of Columbia is due south of the District of Columbia also known as Washington D.C.
In addition to the practical overtones of this practice a value of the 77th Meridian West had been present long before people were able to find it. It seems that no matter which prime meridian this part of the earth is measured from its location added to more accurate time keeping. In many ways this value was a cloistered secret that naturally people like navigational savant Dr. John Dee would have known of. Indeed the measurement of the year is linked by many to the Book of Enoch in that Enoch was supposed to have lived for 365 years thus matching in years the number of days in a single year. If all of this is true then the Lost Colony may have somehow included a time keeping device that aided in the calculation of longitude. This era was prior to the advent or accurate use of a nautical chronometer but it was possible at that time to build a terrestrial based clock as had been common for hundreds of years prior.
If one examines the life and values of Dr. Dee he had a great influence on people like Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Bacon. Dee was the personal astrologer and “magi” of Queen Elizabeth. Dr. Dee had even written books about navigation that were used to instruct the Royal Navy in a more accurate plotting of their positions on the globe at this time. Dr. Dee’s personal correspondence was often signed 007 thus related to the modern character of spy James Bond. In fact 007 may have also been a reference to Tubal Cain; a figure valued by Freemasons today. It is no wonder that his influence is also seen in a distinct value of the 77th Meridian West.
One of the more surprising things about the Virginea Pars Map is that the western edge of the map seems to mark this Sacred Meridian. In addition, there is a portion of the map very near the western edge at which a concealed blot on the map resembling a star shaped fort has been found. At some point, someone seemingly had intentionally tried to remove this map symbol from Governor White’s map. Had it been the colony’s first intention to settle where this anomaly on the map is seen? The position of this mark on the map is very close to the 77th Meridian West and it is not out of the realm of possibility given the accuracy of the day that they had believed this place was directly on the 77th Meridian West. Today this region is encompassed by the territory of Bertie, County North Carolina.
This mysterious mark on the map may have been located in reality too far inland for easy access to the Atlantic Ocean. Roanoke Island made more sense at first as a place to locate a settlement but this does not mean that they had intended to later occupy this mysterious position seen on the Virginea Pars Map. Why had Harriot or Governor White marked this place on their map? Why had someone later tried to cover this up? With all of this in mind it may be that at some point the missing colonists had chosen to move their settlement to more closely align themselves with the Sacred Meridian. Had the Lost Colonists decamped in search of the Sacred Meridian? Later in history the first North Carolina capitol at Edenton would also be situated in proximity to the 77th Meridian west.
Recent finds by Archaeologist Nick Luccketti of James River Archaeology may confirm that some of the Roanoke Colonists did indeed move to this peninsular area of Bertie County, North Carolina where the 77th Meridian W. transects the region. Mr. Luccketti and his staff have located concentrations of English material culture from the date range during which the Roanoke Colony had been established very near to where the strange hidden markings are on the Virginea Pars Map. At this time (2019) further investigations are going on by these professional archaeologists.
Later to the north Jamestown would be situated only about ten miles to the east of the Sacred Longitude. Is it possible that both colonies had been located in places with regard to an ancient value of this meridian? It appears that Mr. Luccketti and staff are very close to finding the final site of the Lost Colony. It is also interesting to note that the earliest members of Jefferson’s Randolph family as well as colonial rebel Nathaniel Bacon’s plantations were located very close to the 77th Meridian West along the James River south of what is Richmond, Virginia today.
As Virginia developed Richmond was also established within this range of longitude. As governor of Virginia Thomas Jefferson was involved in the design of Richmond and its Capitol building. The entire width of the 77th Meridian West is valued and makes more accurate observations of the equinox possible. It is interesting to note here that the Virginea Pars map displays an east to west line of latitude adjacent to the covered up map symbol that may represent the final site of the Lost Colony. This line seems to conform with the even 36th parallel (latitude) N. Thomas Jefferson was directly involved in why the Virginia Capital was moved to Richmond and later he would also play a direct role in the placement of the nation’s capital.
It is interesting to note how the Sacred Meridian may have been valued by later people who were aware of hidden aspects of history. People who had been college educated during early America were rare and many of the educational tenets of places like Harvard or William and Mary did include professors who seemed to have a Rosicrucian bent. The plays of Shakespeare, Sidney’s “Arcadia” and works of Sir Francis Bacon were among the many volumes of literary and scientific tomes that were read by such people. Among these early students is none other than our Third President of the United States of America Thomas Jefferson. Many other founding fathers of Virginia and the United States were also educated at William and Mary as well as Harvard College in Massachusetts.
Jefferson was trained in many subjects including land surveying, astronomy, and architecture during his time at William and Mary. His time at William and Mary occurred over one hundred and fifty years after the time the Lost Colony had disappeared. Even so many aspects of Jefferson’s life do resemble those of people like Sir Francis Bacon and Sir Walter Raleigh. In fact, Jefferson hired at least three members of the colonial Bacon family to work as his private secretary and to manage his Monticello estate. Jefferson’s admiration for Sir Francis Bacon is clear in that he owned a portrait of the man and even had stated Bacon was one of his three most admired people. During his time in France Jefferson attended many literary salons comprised of people who would have been aware of concepts such as the Sacred Meridian.
As time went on and America emerged from the Revolution it was Thomas Jefferson who was one of the most stalwart advocates of the establishment of a National Capitol at the location of Washington D.C. today. Jefferson did seem to give up some important concessions to his rival Alexander Hamilton in order to have the Capitol placed where it is today. In some ways this is a strange phenomenon that many historians have written off as Jefferson’s desire to have the Capitol closer to his home state of Virginia. In reality, it may have been some of Jefferson’s Rosicrucian or hidden ideas with regard to the Sacred Longitude that had influenced him in this regard.
That’s right. The United States Capitol is located on the 77th Meridian West and in fact the even 77th is present in the eastern part of the District of Columbia. It appears that Thomas Jefferson was aware of the significance of the Sacred Meridian and had gone to great lengths along with George Washington to ensure that the new capitol would be placed in symbolic proximity to a sacred meridian that had been valued by people like Harriot, Raleigh, and Sir Francis Bacon. It appears that in the mind of Jefferson and others the site of Washington District of Columbia was selected based on where and not why.
It seems that Jefferson not only was aware of the esoteric meaning of the location of Washington D.C. but had also gone to great lengths personally to associate the American Ideal with this concept. Lots of other researchers such as author David Ovason have also made similar connections between hidden concepts and the layout of the city itself which was designed by Pierre L’Enfant (the infant) and later executed and laid out by Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker. The street plan of Washington D.C. has fascinated people the world over who speculate as to the hidden meanings of the layout of the National Mall and entire street plan of the city. The original ten-mile square diamond city limits are also part of this tradition as marked by several boundary stones placed in the tradition of the Greek Terminus stones. It may be that the National Mall was inspired by the design of Williamsburg which President Jefferson was very familiar with.
One of Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to the layout of Washington D.C. may have in part been meant to display the tenets of the Sacred Meridian. Jefferson personally established with his own surveying instrument what is referred to today as the White House Meridian. In the course of his measurements Jefferson placed three surveyor’s piers along the course of the White House Meridian.
A surveyor’s pier resembles a small 8 to 10 foot obelisk that is mostly buried that are left to mark significant points of measurement. This meridian of course marks the location of the White House. Today the Jefferson Pierstone marks the center of the National Mall at the point where it intersects with the White House Meridian. The two other pierstones that Jefferson deposited as part of this survey are today missing. Originally the Washington Monument was planned for the location of the Jefferson Pierstone but had to be moved due to the instability of the ground at that point on earth.
As history progressed many additional monuments have been placed along the meridian that President Jefferson had established. To the north of the White House the meridian is marked by what is known of as Meridian Hill Park. Meridian Hill Park is thought to also represent the location of Jefferson’s northernmost pierstone. The park is a north to south oriented linear park on the east side of sixteenth street that also marks the meridian. Moving south the White House Meridian includes the Scottish Rite House of the Temple; Lafayette Park; The White House itself; The Jefferson Pierstone near the Washington Monument; the Jefferson Memorial; Regan Airport; Woodrow Wilson Bridge; Ft. Washington; Accokeek, Maryland; and finally Rose Hill, Maryland.
An interesting link to California history and its mystic Mt. Shasta was also once situated on the White House Meridian. California’s “Poet of the Sierras” Joaquin Miller (Cincinattus Henie Miller) once lived in a log cabin adjacent to what is now Meridian Hill Park. Miller’s cabin was moved to nearby Rock Creek park signifying its importance to history and the people’s value of Miler. The Cabin can still be visited today and is home to poetry workshops and literary readings. Joaquin Miller Cabin represents an important part of California history in the District of Columbia.
Miller is an interesting character who in fact may have been a kind of literary spy in the tradition of Philip Sidney and many later authors such as Longfellow and Poe. Some of Miller’s most famous works include the history of the Mt. Shasta region. Later Miller would build his estate in Oakland California exactly due south of the Peak of Mt. Shasta. At the point on his property that was exactly due south of Mt. Shasta’s peak Miller constructed his “Pyramid to Moses.” It may be that Miller was privy to the real secrets of the Sacred Meridian and had repeated this value in relation to Mt. Shasta. In many ways Miller’s life and work may have inspired many popular movements in literature and art in the San Francisco Bay Area. Miller among his other accomplishments also displays a distinct value of the concept of the Sacred Meridian.
Accokeek, Maryland is very interesting in relation to the concept of the Sacred Meridian. During early Colonial times Accokeek was visited by Captain John Smith of Jamestown who was exploring the upper reaches of the Potomac River. During this trip Smith spent some time with a band of Native Americans near what is today termed Accokeek.
At this time, there are legends that state Captain Smith taught the Native Americans the “Holy Grail.” This legend or myth is very interesting in relation to any hidden or cloistered value of the Sacred Meridian. Had Captain Smith been referencing the Sacred Meridian to the Native Americans? It is quite a coincidence that this legend if true took place on this meridian. The site of Accokeek and indeed the entire White House Meridian is only about a mile and half west of the exact even 77th Meridian West also known of as the Sacred Meridian. Whether this legend is true or not it is clear that someone had associated the concept of the Holy Grail with the White House Meridian. Though this story may simply be a children’s tale it does infer something more.
Is the Holy Grail an astronomical or cartographic secret? It is clear that even famous Knights Templar valued the octagonal Dome of the Rock which they termed the “Templum Domini” or Temple of God. This author has discussed many times how the Dome of the Rock is actually a Byzantine structure based on the Tower of the Winds of Athens that formed a kind of map projection that aided in the more accurate definition of a ruler’s domain. During the period of history during which the Dome of the Rock was built up to and including the time of the Knights Templar this concept may have represented a cloistered secret that would not have been well understood by someone who didn’t understand astronomy and its relation to cartography or what then may have been termed cosmography.
It is easy to imagine the similarities between the fabled Knights Templar and even the Roanoke colonists. The colonists arrived in English ships festooned with a white flag with a red cross. Among the garb worn by these same colonists was body armor thus even more closely matching an image others may ascribe to the Knights Templar. In fact it is probable that the Knights Templar had influenced the original English flag via the Republic of Genoa that used the exact same flag. England even paid tribute to the Republic of Genoa to use the flag as English and European royalty had used Genoa as their bankers for centuries. The Republic of Genoa also played a major role in the First Crusade before the Knights Templar even existed.
Though all of this is based somewhat on speculation it is clear that an esoteric value of this meridian on the globe had existed into antiquity. Regardless of which prime meridian was used to plot it this area was valued due to its location on the globe in relation to the measurement of the equinoxes as related to the calendar. Here we have a chain of evidence involving Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Harriot, and Thomas Jefferson that leads us to the reasons why Washington D.C. was placed exactly where it was for hidden reasons that harken back to the Rosicrucian ideals of Sir Francis Bacon and Philip Sidney if not many others. It does seem in this regard that there is a hidden philosophy and purpose for the United States that is available for all to learn though it is often difficult to find one’s way through the maze of history to such conclusions. The possibility that Washington D.C. was intentionally placed on this meridian should be considered.
The Virginea Pars Map above.
Below: Detail showing altered portion of the same map as above.