William Tryon and William Houston Marker, Wilmington
This granite slab memorializes the location of the residence of North Carolina governor William Tryon and the alleged site of the forced resignation of colonial Stamp Master William Houston in 1765. The marker is a short and thin granite slab with an inscription on the smooth upper portion of the stone. It backs up to a companion marker dedicated to Beery's Shipyard.
Images: Facing waterfront boardwalk | Facing North
HERE STOOD THE RESIDENCE OF / WILLIAM TRYON, GOVERNOR OF / NORTH CAROLINA, FROM APRIL 3, 1765, / TO JUNE 30, 1771. STAMP MASTER / WILLIAM HOUSTON WAS BROUGHT OUT / FROM THE HOUSE AND FORCED TO / RESIGN HIS OFFICE NOV. 16, 1765. / NEW HANOVER HISTORICAL COMMISSION
City of Wilmington
June 9, 1919
34.235260 , -77.949700 View in Geobrowse
“All Markers Now in Place in County,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), January 28, 1921
"William Tryon, Wilmington in New Hanover County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed August 26, 2013) Link
McKown, Harry. "November 1765: The Stamp Act Crisis in North Carolina," This Month in North Carolina History, November 2006, (accessed August 19, 2020) Link
Smith, Edward, & Ansley, John F. 2006. "Stamp Act," NCpedia.org, (accessed November 29, 2013) Link
Wegner, Ansley Herring. 2005. "William Tryon," NCpedia.org, (accessed November 29, 2013) Link
“Exercises Held at Historic Markers,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), June 10, 1919
“Historic Spots Will Be Marked,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), January 15, 1920
“Site of Tryon’s House Is Marked,” The Wilmington Morning Star (Wilmington, NC), May 9, 1919
New Hanover Historical Commission
William Tryon was governor of North Carolina from 1765 to 1771, assuming office in Wilmington in 1765 during the height of the Stamp Act Crisis. Resistance to the stamp act was brought in the Lower Cape Fear area by local patriots, including Cornelius Harnett who was instrumental in the opposition group the Sons of Liberty. Apart from allowing the activities of the Sons of Liberty, Tryon attempted to thwart the resistance by preventing local election of representatives to the Stamp Act Congress. Incited by the Sons of Liberty, resistance and protest continued to mount in the eastern coastal cities, culminating in a crowd of some 400 forcing William Houston, the Stamp Master's resignation late in 1765.
Little appears to be known about the activities of the New Hanover County Historical Commission and their installation of similar small stone markers commemorating historical locations throughout Wilmington.
[Additional information from NCpedia editors at the State Library of North Carolina: This person enslaved and owned other people. Many Black and African people, their descendants, and some others were enslaved in the United States until the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865. It was common for wealthy landowners, entrepreneurs, politicians, institutions, and others to enslave people and use enslaved labor during this period. To read more about the enslavement and transportation of African people to North Carolina, visit https://aahc.nc.gov/programs/africa-carolina-0. To read more about slavery and its history in North Carolina, visit https://www.ncpedia.org/slavery. - Government and Heritage Library, 2023.]
The memorial marker is located at the end of Market Street where it meets North Water Street, just across from the waterfront boardwalk. Adjacent to the Beery's Shipyard marker, the William Tryon and William Houston marker faces south.
The marker stands in the cobblestone median dividing Market Street and is shaded by a tree.