Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Letter from William Tryon to Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire
Tryon, William, 1729-1788
October 27, 1768
Volume 07, Pages 860-863

[From Tryon's Letter Book.]
Letter from Governor Tryon to Earl of Hillsborough

Brunswick 27th Oct 1768.

I have the honor to transmit to your Lordship by the care of Captain Collect a draft of a map of North Carolina in two divisions No 1 and 2, which I humbly beg leave may be presented to his Majesty. Captain Collet, Commander of Fort Johnston with his assistant made these drafts from the original of Mr Churton's map which was laid before the General Assembly of this province in November 1766 at my recommendation for whose assiduity and labor the Assembly allowed Mr Churton a handsome gratuity; after I had succeeded for him I assured him if he would take due pains to complete and make perfect the southern and maritime parts of the province he should carry home the complete map and present it at the Board of Trade, to whom I would recommend him for his Majesty's benevolence in consideration of his additional expence and labor. He gladly embraced my proposals and consequently in in 1767 he made several journies to the different parts of the sea board, where upon taking actual surveys both on the coast and in the country, he found that division of his map No 2 greatly defective

-------------------- page 861 --------------------
(having been planned only from information and old maps) which he told me so vexed him that he condemned and cut off that part of his map No 2. While he was on the above surveys he wrote to acquaint me if any accident happened to him before his intended departure for England he gave me his map which was a request I had formerly made him: Soon after this, in December last, he died, and by virtue of the above letter I got into my possession his map as divided; The works he had traced in his last surveys were not perfect enough to be made use of by any but himself, I am further to observe that, that part of his map No 1 containing chiefly Lord Granville's district, was laid almost wholly by actual surveys and has been under the correction and improvement of Mr Churton for upwards of ten years, This task he was very capable of executing with correctness having been a surveyor in Lord Granvilles land office near twenty years. I enclose your Lordship a letter of Captain Gordon, chief engineer in America which will shew you the opinion he entertained of this laborious work, I am inclined to believe there is not so perfect a draft of so extensive an interior country in any other colony in America.

The map No. 3 represents Mecklenburg county and the dividing line that was run last year between this province and the Cherokee hunting grounds: Tho' part only of this map is laid down by real surveys, it is nevertheless tolerably accurate with regard to the water courses and will afford some idea of the western frontiers of this province. It is laid down upon the same scale with Mr Churton's map. This draft No 3, points out how far the partition lines between his Majesty and Lord Granville's district, and the temporary boundary line between the two Carolina's have been extended, the first to Cold Water a branch of Rockey River, the second to the eastward boundary of the Catawba nation, five miles and a half to the eastward of Catawba River, reference being had to my letter to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, bearing date the 27th January 1766, the proceedings that have been had on these two lines will fully appear. This leads me to point out to your Lordship the real important occasion there is to extend by authority the temporary line between the Carolinas from where it left off till it intersects the boundary line run last year between this province and the Cherokee hunting grounds. I submit the following reasons in support of this necessity. 1st. The taxes of almost the whole inhabitants, amounting to four or five hundred families that are settled between the

-------------------- page 862 --------------------
westward of Catawba river and the western frontiers, are lost to this government—the settlers refusing payment and asserting they are not within the jurisdiction of this colony. 2ndly. All civil processes that are levied upon these people by the sheriffs or other civil officers are treated with contempt or opposition, many of them alleging they lye within the South government. 3rdly. All the horse thieves that were drove out of South Carolina last year, joined with those of this Colony, find a secure retreat in these parts, to the great prejudice of our western frontier, and lastly by the line running no further than the eastward boundary of the Catawba nation it leaves a country of almost seventy miles extent, between that line and of the Cherokee boundary. This body of land lies open to be patented by both governments by which means many tracts of land are patented by both governments a circumstance that may be the source of many suits of law among the poorer inhabitants. On these grounds I beg leave to submit to his Majesty the expediency of closing up the limits between this province and South Carolina. At present it embarrasses my administration extremely, particularly by the frequent complaints that are sent to me of the deputy surveyors of the South government breaking in upon these settlements and surveying lands for south patents, thirty or forty miles to the northward of where it is supposed this dividing line will run, as punctuated in the plan No 3.

I had an opportunity by Lord Charles Montagu's honoring me with a visit the 24th instant in his journey to Charlestown, of shewing his Lordship this plan at the same time I acquainted him of my going to apply home, that the temporary line between the two Carolina's might be continued to the Cherokee indian partition line before mentioned, and explained to him the real inconvenience this province suffered for want of its being closed. His Lordship was pleased to say, he believed the south government could have no objections to that line being extended, and that the inconveniences, particularly with regard to the land offices were mutual to both governments for want of extension of the said temporory line. The continuation of the partition line between his Majesty's and Lord Granvilles district would prevent the confusion that must happen whenever Lord Granvilles land office is again opened, and tho' all possible care is taken to prevent encroachments on his Lordships lands to the westward of Cold Water, I am apprehensive many of the Kings patents will be found to fall within his

-------------------- page 863 --------------------
Lordships districts whenever his Majesty and Earl Granville shall extend by commission this line to the Blue Mountains, I mention to the mountains, as it is imagined it will strike them to the northward of Tryon mountain.