In an effort to provide you guys with additional historical context outside of class that DOESN’T require even more reading, I thought you would enjoy listening to these short episodes from the podcast ‘Stuff You Missed In History Class’. Remember, the best way to achieve a higher score on the AP Exam, to become a better writer and a more skilled analyzer of literature is to BUILD MORE KNOWLEDGE. The ‘Historical Context Spotlight’ posts throughout the semester will point you in the direction of interactive, entertaining ways of learning more about American History and Literature. While you will not be directly quizzed on these podcasts, they will add a certain amount of depth to the analysis you are able to conduct on the assigned readings, and therefore could involuntarily improve your writing and grade! Enjoy!


What Happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke?

  • In 1587, English colonists in Roanoke mysteriously disappeared, leaving only a few cryptic clues behind. For centuries since, researchers have wondered what became of the lost colonists.


Cannibalism at Jamestown

  • As winter fell at the end of 1609, the settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, found themselves in dire straits. A powerful hurricane had all but destroyed a fleet of ships carrying provisions from England, leaving the colonial fort with a depleted food supply. Outside the walls, the Powhatan Indians had declared war and were laying siege to the fort, trapping the 300 settlers inside. Out of food and unable to forage, the desperate settlers ate horses, dogs, rats, and snakes. As winter dragged on, they turned to an even more unorthodox source of food: Today, scientists revealed the first physical evidence that the starving colonists at Jamestown ate their dead.