John White was born somewhere between 1540 and 1550 in England. He married Thomasine Cooper in 1566 in London. They had a son in 1567, but he died one year later. Then they had a daughter named Elinor.
John White worked for Sir Walter Raleigh who was organizing trips to the New World. Between 1584 and 1586, John was the artist on two trips to Roanoke Island. On the third trip, in 1587, he was to become Governor of a new colony in the Chesapeake Bay area. But the colony ended up on Roanoke Island because the captain refused to sail any further. His daughter, Elinor, had the first child of English parents in the New World. They named her Virginia Dare after Queen Elizabeth. In the beginning the colonists had a good relationship with the Native Americans, but later they did not have enough food so the colonists attacked the Native Americans to get more. Because there were not enough supplies, the colonists asked John White to get supplies from England and come back. He wasn't able to come back for three years because of the Spanish Armada. In 1590 he came back, but there was nobody there. He saw the word Croatoan on a tree, so he wanted to sail there, but there was a storm and he could not. Now no one knows what happened to the colonists.
John White is important because he was one of the first people to come to America and become governor of a new colony. He was also a very talented artist and he helped the English see what was in the New World by painting plants, people and their customs, and also animals. He painted really good pictures that let Europeans see what people on another continent were like. He did what he did because he was trying to start a new colony in America and he had a really exciting job.
I drew John White on my stamp, with Roanoke and Virginia Dare, his granddaughter, behind him, and a painting beside him. I chose these symbols to show that John White was an important person back then in government and as an artist. He was the first governor and he painted what the New World was like. He also was the grandfather of Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents born in America.
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