powered by google
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
January 10, 1769
Volume 08, Pages 4-7

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

Brunswick the 10th January 1769

I have the honor to transmit to your Lordship under the Colony Seal, twenty one Acts passed last session of Assembly held at Newbern seventh of November and prorogued the 5th of December 1768. It may not be thought improper to make a few observations on the following Acts only

“An Act to amend and explain an Act entitled An Act for establishing an orthodox clergy.” This law was enacted in conformity to his Majesty's additional instructions forwarded to me by the Earl of Shelburne in 1767.

“An Act to amend and continue an Act entitled au Act concerning Vestries.” On this bill the provision for the ministers made by the Clergy law depends, as without a Vestry, they could have no

-------------------- page 5 --------------------
claim on anybody for their yearly stipend. The Vestry levies the parochial taxes, and the Church Wardens pay the salary to the minister. I was desirous to have this law made perpetual but could obtain it only for five years.

“An Act for establishing a Militia in this Province,” Makes provision for pay to both officers and soldiers when called out on public service, and provides better regulations for the good order and discipline of the men than any former Act passed in this government.

“An Act to direct Sheriffs in levying Executions and the disposal of Goods and Chattels taken thereon.” Enacted with an intention to secure debtors from being too much distressed by the suits at law of their creditors under the present scarcity of a sufficient medium of trade. I am doubtful if this bill is consistent with strict justice to the creditor tho' it may answer the above purpose.

“An Act for dividing the County of Mecklenburg and other purposes.” Out of this County your Lordship may observe Tryon county is erected; as by examining the divisional line in the law with Mr Churton's map, it will evidently appear if the south branch of Catawba River is made the boundary between the two Carolinas, as proposed to me by Lord Charles Montagu I should loose my county and mountain, as by such a partition both would fall into the south government. I hope I have stated sufficient objections to this division in my letter to your Lordship No 10.

“An Act to encourage the importation of British copper half pence,” Will facilitate the purchase of small articles; at present a four penny proclamation bill is the lowest charge.

“An Act for making provision for the payment of the Forces raised to suppress the late Insurrections on the Western Frontiers, providing for the Public Claims and for the more easy collecting the annual Taxes of government,” Was ratified on Monday the 5th December last, whereas all the other bills were ratified the Saturday preceding, and occasioned by the following incident. On Saturday the third of December I rejected the bill inclosed intitled “An Act to expedite the collecting of public Taxes, defraying the charges of government and other purposes,” By reason that it was in manifest violation of the express letter of the Act of Parliament prohibiting an emission of paper currency in the Colonies with a legal tender. I had no sooner returned home from the Council Chamber than one of the gentlemen of the Assembly waited on me with a verbal message from the Speaker, signifying that if I would

-------------------- page 6 --------------------
point out all the objections that induced me to reject the above bill, the House was willing to take the same into consideration and to obviate them. I desired Mr Speaker might be informed I would point out the objections I had to the said bill and send them to him, in consequence whereof the bill for making provision for the payment of the forces raised to suppress the late insurrections on the Western frontiers, providing for the public claims and for the more easy collecting the annual taxes of government, was brought into the House, read three times, passed and ratified on Monday the 5th of December. Should this Act appear to strain on an article of his Majesty's instructions which forbids the passing of any Act of an unusual and extraordinary nature without a suspending clause, I am in justification of such seeming breach of duty to assure your Lordship, it was from a principle of justice to his Majesty's service, that determined me to pass this bill. On the one hand, I was sensible and it was no secret in the country that many of the volunteers, who stood up in arms in support of the laws of the country had declared if they did not get their services allowed by the General Assembly they would be as indifferent about Government as the insurgents, and that they would turn out no more in the same cause; on the other hand had these troops and Commissaries received no security for the discharge of their services it would have raised the hopes and expectations and much forwarded the intentions of the discontented through the whole government. It was therefore, my Lord, on principles of public good and a sense of the justice due to the troops that my conduct was governed in this instance, A conduct I most humbly submit to his Majesty's wisdom.

“An Act for vesting the School House in Edenton in Trustees,” I rejected not esteeming the words, “With the approbation of his Excellency the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being” in the Commissioners' appointment of the school master, so full and comprehensive as the qualifications pointed out in the third clause of the School Bill for Newbern passed in 1766, Viz, “Provided always that no person shall be admitted to be Master of the said school, but who is of the established church of England and who at the recommendation of the Trustees or Directors or the majority of them, shall be duly licenced by the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being.” Should your Lordship judge the above objection immaterial, I imagine there will be no dificulty in getting the bill reenacted next session, if your Lordship will honor me with

-------------------- page 7 --------------------
your sentiments and the return of the bill. Though these institutions are extremely wanted in this Colony yet the foundations of them cannot be too securely laid by the Legislature.