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
December 12, 1768
Volume 08, Pages 561-562

North Carolina Brunswick 12th Decr 1768.

My Lord,

The inclosures are on the subject of a divisional Line proposed by Lord Charles Montagu to be run between the two Carolinas. The sketch inclosed is a true copy of one transmitted to me by his Lordship. How very erroneous the south branch of Catawba River is there laid down will evidently appear by Mr Churtons Map. I shall now trouble your Lordship with only a few observations which may I hope together with the reasons I have stated in my Letter to Lord Charles Montagu be sufficient to incline his Majesty to prefer the line I have requested might be extended to compleat the Boundaries between those two Governments.

1st. Should the South Branch be made the Boundary it would join South Carolina to Earl Granville's district and take part of his Lordship's Lands into the South Government, and even then would leave one part of the country as open to both Governments as it remains at present Since the head springs of the said Branch are 40 or 50 miles to the Eastward of the Cherokee Mountains, The South Government

-------------------- page 562 --------------------
by such a Boundary would take from this Province independent of what it would rob of Earl Granville's district a tract of Country now Tryon County of 45 miles in breadth due North and South and 30 miles due East and West, it having been found to be that distance from Catawba River to the Western frontier line which was run last year between the Cherokee hunting grounds and this Province.

2dly The Catawba Tract of 15 miles square can be no vast object to either Government as the Catawba Indians are not likely to stay on those Lands ten years longer The White people continuing to settle fast quite round them and the Deer and every other species of Game being already very scarce.

3dly I am confident ninety in a hundred of the Inhabitants to the Westward of Catawba River would be very unhappy to be thrown out of this Government they being not only well satisfied with the Establishment of judicial Courts in this Province but actually in possession of many hundred thousand acres of Land which have been granted out of the Land office here as will appear by the returns of the patents granted in Mecklenburg County for these several years past particularly during my administration. This will evidently appear if your Lordship will give yourself the trouble to examine the Location of the returns of the patents I have transmitted to your office with the maps carried home by Captain Collet. They are to be found under the Title of Mecklenburg County. Lastly as my petition is only for a Temporary Line the final boundary may at any time hereafter be made at his Majesty's Pleasure when the country is better settled or when it may be found expedient to form interior Governments in the Colonies, I therefore humbly hope his Majesty will give orders for the line to run from where it stopped in 1764, a west course till it intersects the Western Frontier Line of this Province. The Western part of this Country will then lie between two parallel lines the one the frontier between us and Virginia the other the Boundary between the Carolinas The distance between these parallel Lines is one degree and an half that is from 35° 0' 36° 30' North Latitude.

These considerations are humbly submitted to his Majesty by my Lord &c.