Author Andrew Lawler will Speak at Washington College October 4


Acclaimed journalist and author Andrew Lawler is coming to Washington College on Oct. 4 to talk about his new book The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, (Doubleday; 6/5/2018). This talk is part of an extensive book tour.

Lawler’s deftly researched and absorbing book offers a surprising answer to the old question of the fate of the fabled Lost Colony, as well as a new understanding of how this story continues to haunt and define America.

Their disappearance has consumed historians, archaeologists, and amateur sleuths for four hundred years. Lawler gathers clues of the fate of the missing settlers at archaeological digs, in European archives, and among the people living today in the Carolina swamps

The story shines fresh light on the issues of race, gender, and immigration consuming present-day America and introduces readers to a host of characters—from Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth to Virginia Dare, the first English baby born in America, whose image has recently resurfaced as a symbol of ethnic purity by the alt-right.

Lawler writes:

Our 400-year-old obsession with the Lost Colony isn’t just about what happened to a group of English migrants on a remote island. In a nation fractured by views on race, gender, and immigration, we are still struggling with what it means to be American.

Andrew Lawler, a former Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library writing fellow at the college’s Starr Center for the Study of the American experience wrote part of the book while in residence at Washington College.

Lawler is the author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization. He has written more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles from more than two dozen countries, his byline has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and many other publications. He is a contributing writer for Science and a contributing editor for Archaeology. His work has appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing.

Andrew Lawler is available for interviews: Please contact Jean Wortman at Washington College, 410-810-7165 or

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