Royal Governor Tryon

Research by Zach Payne

  1. The first primary source is a speech given by Governor Tryon.   The Royal Governor addressed the General Assembly in North Carolina on December 5, 1767.  This speech addressed several issues such as counterfeit money, taxing imports, and appropriating funds.  These issues were addressed to promote the honor of the Royal Crown and bring success to the colonies.  Governor Tryon was an appointed official by the King and would often read proclamations and other documents that had been passed from the Crown.  The very end of the speech tied the Crown with the prosperity of the colony.

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For full text see Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

2. George Mickeljohn, “Sermon to His Excellency” 1768

A sermon dedicated to Governor Tryon September 25, 1768 on subjection to higher power. The sermon is very anti-regulator in the language and comes just days after regulator protests in Hillsborough North Carolina. The sermon was meant to outline authority, which comes solely from God. The sermon goes further by claiming that those who resist will receive damnation. This was meant to subdue and correct the regulators protest by encouraging them to resist violence and submit to the government. This sermon symbolizes the effort from the churches to use religious language to promote peace in the colonies, and allegiance to the Crown.

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 To view the complete document, click here.

3. Petitions to Governor Tryon

Money, debt, and taxes fueled the flames to the regulator movement. The petitions in 1768 expressed the grievances and attitudes of the Regulators towards Royal Governance. Governor Tryon fought continuously for the ability to print currency, but under the Currency Act, the colonist could not print anymore currency. This again further angered backcountry farmers in North Carolina who had significant debt with a scarcity of money. Corruption from public officials and the seizing of property to fulfill the debt led members of Orange County to petition the Royal Governor concerning their issues with the government. Petitions to the Royal Governor symbolize the efforts of those who felt the burdensome taxes imposed by parliament and the corruption of elite officials. This kind of rhetoric was being circulated all throughout the colonies with similar ideas of being taxed without representation that were included in a circular letter from Samuel Adams in 1768.

To see the complete document, click here. To compare the language of these petitions, read them alongside this Massachusetts Bay Circular.

4. Tryon Calls for Regulators to Submit

The Battle of Alamance, May 1771, began when the regulators challenged the militia of Governor Tryon. The residents were unhappy about taxes and corruption. Property, such as clothing and horses were being seized for compensation. Governor Tryon calls for surrender to prevent rebellion against their King, their Country, and their laws. The Virginia Gazette and South Carolina Gazette give an account of orders given to troops from Governor Tryon in his campaign against the Regulators at Alamance. The Battle of Alamance is symbolic of the oppression the people of Alamance felt and to the extent they would go to defend their rights.

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To read Governor Tryon’s Proclamation, click here. To read coverage of the Battle of Alamance from the Virginia Gazette, click here.