Symposium Day 1: Thomas Harriot

OBX History Weekend 2022: Searchers of New Horizons Symposium Day 1: Thomas Harriot, Thursday March 31st.

Thursday, March 31st, 2022, kicks off the first day of OBX History Weekend’s Searchers of New Horizons Symposium at The Lost Colony’s indoor Gazebo Theatre from 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Reservations are recommended for all 3 days of symposium sessions.

A full day of public-oriented half-hour presentations focused on English naturalist, astronomer, mathematician, ethnographer, translator, and Roanoke colonist, Thomas Harriot and his associates—Sir Walter Raleigh, John Dee, and others.

Presentations will be led by professors and historians with fascinating scholarly documentation and evidence of Harriot’s scientific experiments, life as a gentleman, researcher, and confidant to Sir Walter Raleigh.


Location: The Lost Colony’s Indoor Gazebo Theatre; 9 am – 5 pm

Click presenter names to view their topics. See the full schedule here.


Reserve Your Spot For OBX History Weekend 2022 Below

Reservations are strongly recommended for our free, public-oriented symposium. Use the form below to claim your spot at OBX History Weekend 2022’s Searchers of New Horizons Symposium.

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Thomas Harriot and Sir Walter Raleigh’s Colonies

After completing his studies at Oxford, Harriot worked closely with Sir Walter Raleigh and ‘Lost Colony’ Governor John White. As a consequence, Harriot was deeply involved in Raleigh’s plans to colonize a portion of the New World.

Thomas HarriotIn 1585, Harriot was a member of Raleigh’s First Colony, which settled on Roanoke Island and explored a considerable portion of what is now Northeastern North Carolina.

His only surviving published book, “A briefe and true report of the Newfoundland of Virginia”, reports many of the discoveries made during his 11-month tenure with Ralph Lane’s colony of exploration.

Harriot’s meetings with the Native Algonquians, Manteo & Wanchese, resulted in his creation of a syllabary that could be used for translating the native language.

On the voyage and on land, he collected data for John White’s subsequent maps & Theodor de Bry’s engravings of White’s paintings.

A preview of the original Theodor de Bry engravings of John White’s watercolor paintings will be on display at the OBX History Weekend: Searchers of New Horizons Exhibition’s wine and cheese reception on Thursday, March 31st from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo. Searchers of New Horizons Exhibition will be on display for the general public Mondays-Fridays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and Saturdays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, until April 9th, 2022. No reservations are required for the exhibition.

New Information About Thomas Harriot at OBX History Weekend

Thomas Harriot can be credited with inventing the ‘greater than’, > and ‘less than’, < symbol, and drawing the moon through a telescope four months before Galileo. Yet new information about the man continues to arise.

Thomas Harriot died in the London house of a member of the 1585-86 expedition. Clearly, a long friendship was forged in America. Harriot’s will cites a bag of papers associated with Sir Walter Raleigh and orders that it be burned.

OBX History Weekend: Searchers of New Horizons Symposium Day 1 on Thursday, March 31st, will provide guests with new information on Thomas Harriot’s life before, during, and after the Roanoke Colony and his time on the Outer Banks.

See Day 2 Symposia Events